Monday, 2 June 2014

Racing into Winter - 2014

Back to regular programming after this tack business on the Kew boulie... Seven races in eight days to report on. I'll try to keep the reports snappy, ain't nobody got time fo eight detailed race reports!

Cycling Victoria Open ITT - Waurn Ponds (aka Geelong) May 24th 2014.

New course for 2014. Just over 23km with 3x laps of a surprisingly hard giant hot-dog. I drove down to Geelong a few weeks prior to scope out the course. Time well spent. I rolled in with the quickest time, 26 seconds ahead of Melbourne's hardest training bearded nice guy, Nick Bensley (StayTrue).

A Grade Elite - Top 5
1     Shane MILLER     31:17.393        
2     Nick BENSLEY     31:43.945     +0:26.552    
3     Peter RISELEY    32:17.167     +0:59.774
4     Tyson CHAMBERS   32:32.832     +1:15.439
5     John CAIN        32:57.868     +1:40.475

Von had a great ride in Women's A Grade, coming in 3rd! But no podium, no envelope, no mention at presentations. Only 1st place awarded.... C'mon guys, this is a little embarrassing. Any podium spot at an Open event deserves more.

We made a weekend of it down that way and stayed in Torquay for the night. Pizzas and Giro on the telly, a perfect night in. (hot tip, code 7777 will bypass LG TV security code. Just in case you need to retune SBS in a hotel.)

Geelong Vets CC Autumn Sash Race (49km Handicap) May 25th 2014

Four riders whittled down to three off scratch after a few km. At the 20km mark I put in a solid 3km turn to catch the chopping block group. I swung out of rotation and missed a turn... yeah, I was a little tired after that effort... I was quickly and not so politely "informed" I was stronger than any of them and I should get back on the front. My legs were hurting and now thanks to this chopping block guy, so were my feelings. ;) I was working my arse off.... and about to get back to that task. Bark all you like, just hold that wheel when the shit goes down.

15km to go, 10 minutes to make up, lots of passengers in the group. A little crosswind bunch trimming took place. 15 of us, then three of us, then two, then me. Yes, shit went down. My feelings were still hurt but my legs were good.

3km to go I caught a group of 10 riders who were all watching each other. I rolled in asking the guy on the back "Is this the race?" (as in the front of the race). The reply was interesting, "Yeah mate, this is a race, we're racing..."... After pointing to my number and informing him I was also IN the race and finding out there was still one limit rider up the road, I was off in pursuit.

The solo limit rider took the win after a rock solid ride all day with no company. I picked up 2nd and fastest time. GVCC put on a great event, and in true vets style, there were plates of food to get stuck into and plenty of race tales back at the clubrooms.

Eastern Vets CC Midweek Kew Crit. May 28th 2014

These are sneaky year-round Eastern Vets CC crits at 10am almost every Wednesday that nobody knows about. Kew loop. Same as Hawthorn CC. Entry fee is cheaper than a small coffee.

They've been threatening to send me off a lap behind Division 1 for a while, this week they did it. It took 20 minutes to catch my race, a few minutes to take someone up the road, and a lot of work to shake him on the bell lap. $17 for the win, which went straight to the Llama Book Club purchase of the new George Hincape book. I hear it is a good read.

2014 Tour of Wangaratta (#WangTour #BigWangTour) May 31st - June 1st.

Worth doing this race for the Twitter hashtag alone. I've done the last two of these and took the overall GC last year by one second. I always enjoy racing up in Wang, so I was back this year to give it another shot.

Hanging with the locals. Such is beards.
Stage 1 - Kermesse (6x6km 36km)

Early attacks were not given any room to move. Tully Lyster and Sam Fuhrmeister pinged off the front before the 1/2 way sprint. These two were kept on a short leash and took 1st (Fuhrmeister) and 2nd (Lyster) around 9 seconds ahead of the bunch (Pascall 3rd).

Stage 2 - Road Race (Taminick Gap 56km)

There was not much aggression early on. I swung my elbow at nobody... I had a 50m gap. Off I went solo for the next 20km. Not fully committed to a solo ride, I was hoping a few would bridge across at some point.

I made it over Taminick alone, but then I was closed down by the survivors of Taminick as we turned south towards Glenrowan. Sean Carruthers (Hampton Cycles) counters, but nobody chases. He goes, and goes! The chase started too late in the stage. Carruthers took the win and a huge 58 second lead on the chase bunch. Classy move, played at the right time, with an engine to get the job done. Respect!

Stringer (Kosdown) doing 'a job of work'! Good stuff!
Jo Upton Photography - Day 1

Back to Château de Reeckman for the night where it started raining... and it didn't stop for the rest of the weekend. While catching up on the Giro stage, Tony dropped a quote I didn't know. Nekminnit, The Big Lebowski DVD is out, laughs were had. Classic!

Stage 3 - Hill Climb (Taminick Gap west side)

No Gravel Pit Rd stage road due to the rain. Probably a good thing since the locals do all kinds of unwanted things to nasty pits. We would race the same loop as Stage 2 with the finish at the Taminick KOM.

With a few DNS in the rain, we all* agreed to roll turns to the climb then let loose on the climb. *All because there was a solo attack before we'd even clipped in.... met with collective groans, boos, and unity in the bunch to chase him down!

Harry Hanley (Hampton Cycles) did the work of three men on the front putting his man in the best position to hold onto GC. As we hit the hill, the young 65kg (or less) snappers hit the pedals, and the rest of us hit the red-zone and hung on, as closely as we could.

Katsonis (Charter Mason) took the stage win from Carruthers, and James Pane in 3rd. I rolled over the line 13 seconds down.

Stage 4 - Time Trial (14km)

Flat out.... just not around the corners like last time. I took the TT stage win with a 19:06. 13 seconds slower than last year, but given the conditions I was happy with that.

Photo (c)
14km and no wind wasn't enough to pull back all the time on Carruthers to snag overall GC. He had a bloody excellent TT, rolling a number of riders who've ridden TTs for a while to take 2nd on the stage.

I climbed into 2nd place on GC for the weekend. Pretty happy to be on the podium after consistent results in the previous three stages.
Again this year Wangaratta CC and the people behind the scenes put on a great show. I said last year I'd be back to defend #1. It didn't work out as planned, but I'll be back in 2015 to proudly pin on #2.

Link Frenzy!
Wang CC www site.
Wang CC Twitter
Wang CC Facebook
Jo Upton Photography Facebook / www
#wangtour Twitter Hashtag

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