This event was not even on my radar for 2013. I'd switched my Cycling Australia club membership over to St Kilda CC only a week prior, and I was only going to be in Ballarat supporting Super Von who was riding in the Masters Women's TTT category. Typically there is a 'prove your worth' period when you're new at a club. You have to race X number of events to represent them, or donate a cow and three magic beans to the club. After some intense discussions, SKCC accepted my offer of a llama and a few re-tweets, so I was in!
SKCC Elite Men:
Nick Bensley - StayTrue. 7th in the Elite Nationals this year. TT stomper.
David Kelly - Total Rush. Sun Tour Prologue podium'er. Leg ham smuggler.
Andy Naylor - O2. Ex pro. Has a mention in David Millar's autobiography!
Shane Miller - Kosdown. Loves a TT.... or twenty in a season.
Ballarat weather in the middle of winter. Windy as hell, as cold as
ice. Our team preparation was everything short of what Team Sky would
do. This involved a few emails and an agreement we'd all meet there on the day.
Dave even stepped it up a notch and threw himself off his bike and into
an ambulance at the Kew TT a week prior. Every stone was left unturned in our prep! :)
Our race plan was put into action as soon as the clock
started... "roll turns!" And that we did. The first few kms were
FAST. The first 25km was 53km/h fast! Unfortunately we'd dagged
Kelly around the 12km mark who'd succumbed to his injuries from the
previous week. This put Naylor in the box seat with Bensley and I.... or
maybe just the box. We had to finish with three riders so without
Kelly, Naylor was our man! The poor bugger suffered like nothing else
for the following 38km while we did our best at punching a hole into a
40km/h head wind.
We knew the Blackburn CC team were on a stomping ride at the turn. They made the 2 minute gap on us about 200m from the line. Without
Kelly (aka Hamsy McBrickwall) helping us into the head wind we thought
our chances of being on the podium were gone. Not so! We ended up
taking out 2nd place 13 seconds ahead of a solid CCCC/VIS Elite
Regardless of how many kms we each did on the front, that 13 second
gap was the work of all four SKCC starters. Busted Dave rolled in 16
mins down, in the rain, after a long solo 38km, he was every part of the
result we were rewarded with at the end, and the fight Naylor put up to
make sure he was with us in the end was nothing short of epic.
Huge thanks to the crew at SKCC for their work behind the scenes on
the day. Team rego, club jersey, lolly snakes..... next year we'll ride
faster to be back in time for the banana bread!
Elite Men 50km
1. Blackburn CC 1h08:53.2
2. St Kilda CC 1h11:05.0 +2:11.8
3. Carnegie Caulfield 1h11:18.1 +2:24.9
4. Sunbury CC 1h18:51.1 +9:57.9
5. Brunswick CC 1h19:26.8 +10:33.6