Monday, 4 May 2015

Tour of the South West 2015 - MMASA

Stage 1 - 12.4km ITT

Standard fare for the opening stage at the ToSW - Nowhere to hide, no excuses, and only yourself to answer to when the clock starts ticking. The latter being a common demon we all have to answer to in the first km of a time trial, and who usually hangs around for the entire ride.

The wind was almost the opposite to last year, so a different pacing strategy was required. One that included having to overtake a commissaire's car on course that failed to see me coming at the 3km mark. No time lost, just something to distract me for a few seconds and take my mind off the effort.

There were no photos of me in the TT.
Here is an artist's impression of events.

16:06 at 46.3km/h on the Garmin. Fast enough to claim the stage win for the third year running in MMASA. Still, and like most of A Elite, nowhere near the fastest time of the day set by Callum Scotson (SASI) of 15:17. That was just phenomenal.

Stage 1 Masters A Grade Top 10:

Stage 2 - 85km Road Race

I was in the yellow leaders jersey with no team. Luckily I had help from a few others who were happy to see the race kept together, but it wasn't to be. A move slipped away, a few bridged, I gambled on the teams not represented to get up the front.... which didn't play out.

On the last lap there were four of us driving the pace to limit the losses to the 7 or so up the road. This only 1/2 paid off, we closed in on a few, but the lead group had put enough time into us to take the GC spots. That's racing when the race is a hybrid of teams and solo riders.

Stage 3 - Cemetery Crit

Ninja rain, wet roads, and another early start. I was a DNS. Unlikely to make up any time on GC, I just wasn't up to it. I'd have likely ended up in the cemetery if I tried to race it like last year. 

Gray (Kosdown) and Booth (CharterMason) were only 2 seconds apart and put on a good show. Boothy holding onto GC with some impressive powerhouse riding.

Full Results

Overall it was a pretty good weekend, apart from the weather. The racing was good, the competition was strong, and there were no issues with the time trial timing. Getting myself the TT stage win and a tour leader jersey was a nice bonus. Having to defend as a solo rider makes things more difficult, and takes a lot of the incentive of racing VRS away. Thankfully there are a few TTs coming up, and many other events on the cards to keep things interesting on the bike.

It was great having a few words to the Masters B and C winners after their crit. Ian Clark and James Timmer-Arends both put in some hard yards over the weekend to take their respective GC jerseys.

Next up, we're sneaking over to Perth for a few days with bikes. I hear the sun is still out over there! :)

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