Monday, 24 October 2011

Hawthorn CC Road Championships 2011.

HCC Road Champs on Saturday was the standard three laps of Lancefield (90kms). Typical Lancefield weather, cool, rain, then sunny. Only 11 riders in the 'main event', including two juniors from the club. Honestly, a very poor showing from a club of 150+ members. I don't buy into the weather/day/exams/rarara excuses. If you want to race, you'll race. When there are more people volunteering than racing - Time to survey the membership (which is in the works post Saturday).

After the Masters Nationals TT and a full week over in Adelaide, I entered this race with only one plan. Attack at Dons Rd on the first lap. If someone was on my wheel, good, we'd drop a few and work turns. If I could get up the road with a junior and they raced hard, I'd tow them to the line.

I've snagged Laurie Lovelock's photos of the day for the pictorial. The full album is over here:

First to attack for the day was Andy McGrath, stringing the bunch out early in the race. One of the BoomChika guys quickly chased, towing everyone along for the ride. As we approached Dons Rd I put the hammer down a few 100m out to string things along. 


McGrath onto my plan... and on my wheel.

Still attacking on Dons Rd... my only plan for the day almost complete.

Young Blaise Bourke was the only rider from the bunch to launch across. He was soon on my wheel and we were pulling away from the bunch.

Break... bunch... hill....
With 75kms still to race, this break was a little ambitious... but just might pay off if we could work well for the next two laps. Into lap 2 we were still just in sight of the bunch, and now into the headwind section towards Cobaw. Blaise was soon in trouble. After pulling a turn on the front, I turn around to find out I'm alone.

Solo, 55kms to go. Bugger.

They're chasing. Bugger.
The rain started coming down as I kept going solo. I rolled through the start/finish into lap 3 with 70 seconds on the chasing bunch. 1/2 way to the Dons Rd turn they had me in sight. Up Dons Rd I knew they were within striking distance. If I was still solo at Newham I would have been in for a chance, but Andy van Slobbe had jumped from the bunch and was coming across solo.

I had the choice either to attack and try to stop him getting across, with the risk he'd go back to the bunch and everyone would chase... or wait and help him keep the gap from the chasing bunch. After 45kms solo I wanted company, so I waited. He got on my wheel and we opened up the gap on the bunch into Newham, then kept working turns to make sure we'd 1-2 the race.

In the box up the Rochford climb.
It was only 2-3kms out we knew we'd keep away from the bunch. My solo move for the day didn't work, but the late 1-2 plan did. When the Handy Van opened up a gap on me when pulling his final turn into McMasters Lane, I was done for the day. I rolled in watching him kick to the line taking the championship title. Nice work Handy! After almost getting mowed down by the bunch and ending up with nothing, I was more than happy with the Silver! 

Handy Van - HCC Road Champ 2011

Big thanks to the officials, corner marshals, volunteers, and everyone who entered the race (support race too!). Without the race numbers these events won't run.

MyLaps Timing: 
Cykel Events - Cheers to Rob for his work on the MyLaps stuff above.
HCC Website:

1st Handy Van.  2nd Me. 3rd Jack French.

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