Monday, 12 March 2012

Seymour Broadford CC - Avenel Loop Handicap. March 10th 2012

With an unfortunate stack in B Grade at National Boulevard on Saturday morning, all racing was called off 15 minutes in. I still managed to get my racing fix with Seymour Broadford CC later that afternoon with a handicap race on the large Avenel loop (~40km). I've earmarked the SBCC Time Trial in a few weeks, so I was keen to get out there for a race before that.

At the rego desk at Burgess Signs I was greeted with "If your last name is Miller, we knew you were coming. You're off scratch!". hah! I'd mentioned to SBCC member Alan Adams who was at National Boulevard that morning that I might drive out for a race, he spread the word. All up there were 21 riders with limit being 13 minutes ahead of the scratch bunch of four containing Alan Adams, Shane Kirby, young Sam Fuhrmeister, and the new ring-in, me.

The course - Avenel large loop.
Elevation. Not much to it, two small bumps.
A slight tail wind meant the first 20mins was fast. 47km/h fast. Looking up to see a long open road in the distance is such a welcome sight, so much nicer than going around and around in circles in a crit waiting for the clock to tick down. We pulled back second scratch (3mins) to 60 seconds after 18kms. We only pulled back another 20 seconds in the cross wind 8km section at the top of the course along Avenal-Nagambie Rd.

Adams played navigator as we raced through the small township of Avenel. A few locals who'd seen the other groups come past stopped and watched the chase. Past the old cemetery (containing Ned Kelly's father!) and back out of town into the headwind home. A slight rise in the road was the nail in the coffin for the front two bunches that we swept up in quick succession.

All together at 8km to go. The race had turned into a scratch race. I sat out a few turns and had a look around at how big the bunch was. Too big, so off the front on the attack I went. Head down driving for a few 100m before checking the damage. A few out the back, a few poker faces I couldn't read still in contention. A few kms later Adams rolled off the front with nobody chasing. I let him go then launched across with a few others on my wheel. Only five or so riders left now with a few km to go. I hit them again trying to go solo to the line. After a few 100m it was looking good.... until Fuhrmeister had other ideas. He was coming across to me solo and fast approaching. I backed off and waited for him to get across then kept driving the pace. Adams and Kirby were chasing hard. If Fuhrmeister and I could keep clear I would have kept driving on the front to the line. Bets were off as soon as Kirby bridged across with 800m to go. Fuhrmeister reversed my plans, he was driving to the line with me on his wheel. I backed off to see if Kirby was going to kick early, he didn't.... no more time to think, I jammed down the gears and hit them at 350m out. 10 seconds all out, check for damage. Fuhrmeister only just lost contact, Kirby drops his head, spent.... I roll over the line for the win and fastest time. Kirby 2nd, Fuhrmeister 3rd, Adams 4th. The scratch bunch cleaned up!

30km team time trial, 10km red-hot scratch race. 325w/348w normalised. A pretty solid afternoon. At presentations we divided the winnings, enjoyed listening to everyone's race stories, and I was welcomed back at any time. Country club racing at its best.

Check their website for race info (Downloads->Fixture):

Course recon... on hold for a minute.

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