18 June 2016
I have not posted a race report for some time, it is not that I have not been racing, raced most weekends. Just ended up writing the reports for the local newspapers.
25 riders lined up in C grade, some familiar faces including a the juniors from Midland Cycling Club and a lot of new faces, a mix of triathletes and riders trying out racing.
I ended up sitting at the back for the first lap, to watch what was going on with another strong rider. We almost got caught out on the only real rise on the circuit. So I moved forward, out of next corner the leading rider snapped a spoke, locked the rear wheel and ended their race.
Next lap, I was in sixth wheel as we went up the rise, we got a split , tried driving the advantage with a couple of other riders. Half a lap and 5kms later, rolled to the back to see the damage, we had lost one junior.
Next couple of laps I drifted between the middle and back of the pack as a few riders drove the race. Final lap I was in about 8th as we hit the rise, A rider close to the front launched a savage attack, the two in front could not hold the wheel. So over the crest I was chasing at over 50kph for 800 metres. Could not close the last few metres, rolled off hoping the rider behind could do the job. To my surprise I had dragged most of the bunch back and we were all together.
Did not have much of a chance to recover, when the next attack came. Struggling in last wheel holding 50kph i wondered why I was racing and what I wanted out this race. Decided I wanted to finish top 10. Best chance would be stay left, as the road turns right with 400 metres to go, a line opens up on the left. I could follow Mike, the only rider in the race older than me. He is a good sprinter and just finds the holes. The next choice was Ol, the youngest rider in the race, he has a good turn of speed and tends to sprint earlier than most due to lack of top end speed on under 15 gearing.
I was running various tactics through my head as I moved slowly up the bunch. Another attack, another chase at 50kph. Was glad when we turned onto the narrow Young Road, the wind was now a crosswind and the pace eased. We turned onto Dog Hill Road and into a headwind, another attack and chasing at 50kph again. A few hundred metres and the bunch was back together. The next couple of kilometres were hectic as riders tried to move up. I was sitting on the far left, three riders back with Mike two riders in front of me. I would of liked to be on his wheel, but I was in an OK position. Just before the bend, Mike made his move, jumped onto the gravel to pass the tiring rider in front of him, back onto the road and launched his attack, Ol went with him. The attack caught everybody off guard or exhausted. The two riders in front of me could not go, the rider on my right disappeared, so I made it to Ol’s wheel. Quick check to the right again, the rider behind was losing ground. So I swung out and let it rip, probably 20 metres to early. Did not matter, surprised everyone including myself winning by three bike lengths.