Tuesday, 29 September 2015

West Coast Masters CC - Two Day Tour 2015 (Sept 27-28)

The thank-you section is usually at the bottom of my race reports, this time I'm turning it around. It goes first. I've raced with West Coast Masters CC since first coming to Perth in November last year with my bike, and I've always been impressed with their events. From traffic management, electronic timing, $1 cans of Coke, though to great race photos posted online. If you're ever in Perth with your bike (and you hold a vets license) pay them a visit. You won't be disappointed, and you'll likely have your legs torn off with the quality of the competition across all grades.

Last weekend was their annual Two Day Tour, a highlight of their road season consisting of four stages over a long weekend. Two new courses to race around and one I'm familiar with from last year in Kewdale. 

The tour is points based, with the lowest points at the end of the tour deciding the places.

Stage 1 Prologue ITT Herne Hill 9.5km

Road bikes only for the prologue ITT. Handy as the roadie is the only bike I have with me here in Perth. The course was square, windy, and only 9.5km long. It wasn't long enough to go out too hard, if you do, you'll be across the finish line in no time at all, so no problem! :)

I had a good ride on each section of the course and the numbers were good. 12:41 on the Garmin, 12:45 official, quick enough for the stage win. That was the stage I was targeting, the pressure was off and the next stages were bonus kms. :)

A Grade Top 10
1  24 Shane Miller 12:45.326
2  25 Sam Smith 13:10.153 24.827
3  4  Tom Ford 13:37.209 51.883
4  2  Carlos De Oliveira 13:50.398 01:05.072
5  9  Eddie Hollands 13:52.535 01:07.209
6  18 Doug Stewart 13:55.412 01:10.086
7  6  Chris Glasby 14:04.412 01:19.086
8  7  Kim Halliday 14:12.532 01:27.206
9  1  Brent Cochrane 14:15.633 01:30.307
10 22 Michael Tapscott 14:19.037 01:33.711

Full Results - All Grades
Lots of great photos by Rebecca Schultz

Stage 2 Graded Scratch Herne Hill 85km

The wind had died down and we were all set for 8 laps... that turned into 9 through some random act of cruelness by WCMCC. Sam Smith was the first to launch an attack at 6km that I latched onto with seven others making the split. With the lead bunch in A Grade down from 23 to nine, we were all in a good position for GC points.

Two more break carvings took place with attacks at 42km (down to four), and at 73km in which left Sam Smith and I off the front heading into the final lap. My turns on the last lap had less punch than a Freo Dockers supporter. I'd dug a hole committing to making the breaks stick and was more than happy to take 2nd when Smith rolled me convincingly to the line. He was looking strong all day and didn't look like he even broke a sweat. 

I only knew Smith from looking up race result sheets. It was good to spend some kms with someone so committed to ripping up the road and racing hard all day.

Full Results - A Grade
Lots of great photos by Rebecca Schultz 

Stage 3 Graded Scratch Pickering Brook 68km

Hills! Finally some hills! Von and I drove the course before we rolled out in our bunches for stage 3, and we liked what we saw.

The pace was either on or off on the first lap. Riders down on GC contention were trying their luck to get away. Doug Stewart spent some time off the front solo, before the they let me off the leash and hung me out for a lap on my own, hoping for company that never came across.

I eased up and waited for the counter attacks.... which went nowhere fast on the downhill. 30km in Sam Smith counters after another hill climb surge, I launch across and hear behind me "F*#K it boys, let them go, don't chase"... That's all I needed to hear to keep driving it across to Smith. I got across a few 100m later and let him know they'd let us go.... and off we went again on a two-up journey up the road.

Smith again showing his strengths on the pedals and commitment to the race by pulling solid turns. It was good to be back into the hills after months of flatland work around Perth.

Into the final few kms I couldn't take Smith to the line fresh, he had me covered yesterday in the sprint. I threw in a few attacks towards the line that didn't result in any gaps worth trying to hold to the line. The cat and mouse started 800m from the line, with Smith leaving me in front and initiating the final jump to the line. He had me by at least a bike length but I didn't want a repeat of yesterday and I didn't die wondering. We crossed the line side by side not sure who took it.

The expressions tell the story.
The throw won it with only 0.014 seconds in it. We were now 1-1 for head to head sprints. 

Stage 4 Graded Criterium Kewdale 45min + 2 laps

Into the final stage, Smith and I were well ahead on GC points. He just needed to put his wheel in front of mine to take the overall, so the crit was a tactical affair. I had a few numbers marked, turns out one of them wasn't the right number, but it kept things interesting. Chris Glasby and Magnus Rudisele lapped the field moving Glasby into 3rd overall.

I was expectedly worked over by the locals in the sprint with Eddy Hollands leading-out Smith and closing the door on my run back at him. Smith still had me covered regardless, so I guess if that's the only doing over I got this weekend, it was a pretty good few days. 2nd on GC and $200 to put towards more race entry fees. Happy days! :)

Full Results - All Grades

There's a hundred other race stories across all grades from the weekend. I've tried to keep this short and sweet, and I look forward to reading a few other war/race stories from the other grades.

Just over a week left for us in Perth, I'm hoping Melbourne can put on weather this good when we get back. 

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