The 40 minute + 3 lap criterium was reduced to 30+2. I'm not sure on the reasoning, the 2.8km course may have been a little slower than they'd scheduled for? With my sights more on the road race than the crit, I wasn't planning on working too hard in the first 1/2 of the race.
Like clockwork, at 15 minutes in good mate Mathew Upton was able to escape the bunch into the quick left/right turn on the course. I jumped across, and it was on full gas for a few minutes. The bunch hesitated and we were given just enough space to believe the move just might stick. At this point I wasn't sure it was the right move. I was digging into reserves I wanted to use in the road race on Saturday. With the chase bunch appearing to shatter, it was all or nothing.
In the closing laps Glenn Mathiske put in a super human solo effort to join Upton and I in the break. The effort to get across was evident, Mathiske was feeling the pinch. Upton's race experience on the final lap was on show, we were able to isolate Mathiske from my wheel (twice!) so I could kick clear to the line. Mathiske still managed to come over Upton and take the silver.
The salute was a combination of surprise, not wanting a fine for excitement-swearing (again), securing the overall jersey, and winning a national title for an event that was only meant to keep my legs ticking over for the road race.
Full Results (MetaRace)
Jo Upton Photos
MMAS2 Road Race 108km (4 laps)
Now, the road race. Held over 111km of an 108km course, they must have made up the missing km in the TT and added to the road race? :) 8:30am start after finishing the crit at 3pm the day before was just cruel.
Thankfully the pace up the hill on the first lap was manageable.... until Tom Leaper (Croydon Cycleworks) attacked 200m before the KOM. Only 3km into the race? The timing didn't matter. Everyone HAD to respond. I shot off from 3rd wheel and made it across. The two of us were soon on the quick run towards Yendon with the gap opening up.
As the kms ticked over, the moto-scout was providing time checks that were always increasing. I really didn't know if I was going to hold 'Leaper pace' through to the finishing line, but I was 100% committed to getting us both as close to that chequered flag as possible.
I had a few ups and downs on the final two laps with my leg power slowly fading away. Leaper didn't falter. He didn't miss a beat. Cool, calm, and powering on like he could have done another three laps.
We were given a final time check of 4:30 by our friendly moto-scout during the last lap. That was it. We just needed to get to the finish. Leaper ticking away, me in a world of hurt but still with a huge smile.
We dropped down off Fisken Ave for the last time, Leaper kicked with 2km to go and I could only watch as the legend that is Tom Leaper rolled into Buninyong, arms in the air, taking his first National Road Championship title.
Jo Upton Photos