Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Australian Veterans CC National Championships 2013 (M35-39) & A hit-out with Eureka Vets.

Where to start....!? Racing with the Vets has been flat out over the past week. Von was on corner duty with her club up in Ballarat so I pinned on a number and had a roll. With no warm up I was looking forward to a gentle race.... no chance! Locals Tony Mirabella and Phil Cartledge put the hurt on way too early. As we hit the wind after finally getting my legs turning properly it was only Mirabella and I at the front of the race.

A small discussion was had. Mirabella needed some points for the aggregate, I needed some solid TT training. For the next few laps I took the turn into the wind and Mirabella kept the pace high through the top of the course to stay away. 5km to go we had it wrapped up so I took off solo for the line with Mirabella hovering not too far off my wheel. A great hit out before the upcoming Vets Nationals and again a stand-out spread of food put on back at the club house. The Eureka Vets CC club put on a great show. Well worth the trip up to Ballarat for the weekend if you want to stretch your legs on different courses.

I was responsible for the missing cupcakes.....

Vets Nationals - Belmont Criterium Track. M35-39 40mins+2.

Only five starters, so no big bunch to contend with around the short twisty grippy circuit. This track is easily the most technical I've ever raced on. The cornering is so fast and tight it feels like you're flying down the side of Mt Hotham.

Laying it over... thanks for the shots Vincent!
Ben Culton was on the attack early and at 8:30am I was still waking up and not chasing anything. He had a few 100m gap before Simon Hall and Matt Upton turned on the pace and reeled him in. I wasn't keen on doing anything for the first 20 minutes, and didn't. With each rider differing in cornering speeds, Upton and I were soon on Culton's wheel and clear of other two. I went on the attack trying to shake Culton and Upton for a clear run to the line. Upton put up one hell of a fight, throwing in a few moves of his own before giving me just enough rope to pull clear and stay away for the win, and the Australian title!

Upton and I in battle. (thanks to Ben's mum for the pic!)
Culton's attacking style meant he secured the bronze. A well deserved reward for how he rode the race from the gun.

Full Results (MyLaps)

Vets Nationals - Time Trial. M35-39 25km. Forest Rd, Paraparap.
A well known TT course used by Geelong CC. The wind was picking up making the first 1/2 a pretty quick ride. This is the 2nd last TT hit out before the CA Masters Nationals next Friday. Everything went pretty well, it was just a case of getting the job done and getting to the finish line.

Just under 33minutes and just under the 46km/h mark. A few things to work on in the next two weeks. Speedy enough to take the M35-39 title, fastest time of the day, and to our surprise at the AVCC dinner that night, I won the age adjusted handicap, the Mockridge Cup. Thankfully I packed a nice shirt (but forgot nice shoes) as I was up on stage to accept two trophies and the two championship jerseys.

Stadium selfies!

Time trials are typically the red-headed step child of championships and don't even have prize money. For this TT I scored two pay cheques, two jerseys, two cups, and a gold medal!

Vets Nationals - Road Race. M35-39 88km. 
Small field again for the road race. We were presented with an out-and-back-and-around-and-out-and-something course that looked like needing a degree in trigonometry to work out. With team mate Tully Lyster in the group I didn't have to worry about covering every single move.

It turns out the course map wasn't too hard to figure out..... for all but one rider who missed the first left turn. I wasn't too happy almost riding into him at the turn. In the confusion and 'correct route discussion' I attacked up the road. After the inevitable chase they were almost back on my when before I went again. This time they left me out for 10km before letting team mate Lyster bridge across, solo. Right. 75km to go. A good TTer to pull turns with all day. Time to drive it! Upton and Little attempted two-up chase but Little soon faded leaving Upton in no-mans land.

With two wins already chalked up I was in a good position to switch to domestique mode and see how close I could get Lyster to the line. If I faded, he'd have enough juice to go solo. If we were caught, he'd go in a counter move. We had cards to play.

Yes, they made us wear those helmet covers! (Photo by Diane Howden)
At each of the u-turns we were checking the time gaps and measuring our effort. By measuring our effort, I mean we kept driving the pace flat out. We crossed the line 1-2 with Lyster taking the Australian title after a solid day out. Upton was picked out as our biggest danger in the race and rightly so as he crossed the line in 3rd well clear of the chasing group.

M35-39 Road Race Podium
Photo (c)

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