Sunday, 10 June 2012

Seymour Broadford CC Tallarook Handicap. June 9th 2012.

Tallarook - Schoolhouse loop (raced anticlockwise)
The little known secret of good racing just an hour away from Melbourne isn't much of a secret any more. With Seymour Broadford CC running races every Saturday afternoon more and more of us are making the trip up the Hume Freeway to race on new (and bloody hard) courses.

This week was the Tallarook handicap. "Out the road for two laps of Schoolhouse and return, about 58km" was the best pre-race description I could find. About 20 riders lined up for their numbers on the sleepy main street of Tallarook with John Burgess taking our $5 entry and assigning us our starting groups with a pencil and notebook. A few familiar faces from SBCC were there but put in the chopping block (second scratch group), 4 minutes ahead of Brad Wright (Preston) and I off scratch. The two out of towners who had no idea where the race went were off scratch..... No problem! John Burgess was the race follow car and soon became our lead car as I waved him past and asked him to show us the way. John drove 200m up the road in his ute, blinkering for each corner, and keeping us on course. Very much appreciated!

At 16km in Brad and I were on the 'Schoolhouse loop' but there was no sign of any groups ahead. The course had no let-up, it was either up or down, a very solid workout. It wasn't until 25kms in that we spotted the chopping block group, catching them at the 32km mark. We reeled them in pretty quick and still had a lot of time to make up to reach the limit riders off 20 minutes ahead.... the pace would need to pick up... we had a lot of work to do.

Climb - Lap 1.

Brad 'Armstrong' Wright locked on.
Up the main climb and over the top I was off the front with one rider, 'Coops', just hanging on. Normally Coops would rip some good turns, but he'd dug himself a hole on the hill. I sat up hoping he'd gather himself and be right to go. He saw I was slowing up for him and he told me to go alone. I didn't need to be told twice, so off I went up the road and Coops was soon back with the chasing bunch.

C'mon Coops! I'll wait up!

Coops was seeing God at this point. Jo captured the moment as he told me to get up the road.
That isn't a smile, more a grimace at knowing the next 20km would be a lot harder alone!
With a slight tail wind and 20km from home I played leap-frog between the out markers who were evenly spread apart. Just as I got onto a group of four riders one of them shot off the front with 10km to go. I saw it was the strong ox, Darryl O'Keefe. I needed to get across to sit behind his huge Zipp 808s! :) Just as I got across Darryl turned around and wasn't surprised to see me. I told him "I'm alone, and the rest are long gone, lets go!". We were both pretty shagged as we hit the final turn with 8km to go and still having 10 minutes to make up! We worked some good turns picking off a few riders. 5km from home I swung my elbow..... Darryl didn't come through... I turn to see him 100m off the back. He was cooked. Shit. No local riders with me to tell me where to go, and no lead car... I switched to the map mode on the Garmin 800 to follow the blue "where you've ridden" line. What a little life saver! I followed the little line until I saw the finish line 5kms later.

I rolled in with a time of 1hr28mins. Fastest time of the day and 3rd across the line. The winner was first time racer Lachlan Hurst (Coburg CC). Being slotted into the limit bunch only happens once when you win by 9 minutes! He'll have his work cut out for him next time. They paid down to 5th place, and fastest time. I came home with $30.

Winner Lachlan Hurst (Coburg CC), and 2nd place, "Mr Green."
Photo by Jo Upton Photography

John Burgess shook my hand after the race and said he was impressed with how Brad and I rode. You could just tell the smile on his face as he said it that there was an young racer in his old body who wanted to be out there with us too. People like "Burgo" run races for cyclists and for the love of it. I am thankful for people like him in our sport. This is why I support clubs like Seymour Broadford. This is why I love racing my bike.

Seymour Broadford CC web page & Facebook
Jo Upton's Photos on Facebook

Random Visuals: 

Spotted these guys on the main street of Tallarook. Family! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"He'll have his work cut out for him next time."

Glad I made the most of it then ;-)

Newbie race report

Mr Green, or Aaron Vague, was pretty handy to have around. Nice to have a little local knowledge.