|Tallarook - Schoolhouse loop (raced anticlockwise)|
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.|
|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!
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
Spotted these guys on the main street of Tallarook. Family!