I could probably write a novel on the last few weeks,but I will spare you from that, which included a trip to the Goulburn area to compete in the Australian Masters Time Trial Championships.Whilst reasonably pleased with my ride from a personal point of view there is plenty of work to be done if I'm going to be competitive at the pointy end of that competition. I placed 15th from the 23 riders who started in my category, Masters 4. Special thanks to Tully Lyster who was my travel companion and competed strongly to finish 6th in Masters 2.We also were given help and support by Shane Miller ,who blitzed Masters 1 and also claimed fastest time of the day,his Fiance Von Micich who finished 3rd in WMasters 1 and Stephen Lane ,2nd in Masters 1.
Returning from the Masters the dust had hardly settled and it was time to line up for the Keith Esson Memorial Road Race.This race is run by Shepparton Cycling Club is 147km long, starting and finishing in Dookie.Riding well in the C Grade bunch I was involved in a crash on the second major climb and came down heavily on my LHS.I was pretty gutted afterwards and without the help of Laurie Lyster, who towed me most of the way back to Dookie I would probably have abandoned the race.
So last week I couldn't get interested in riding and decided, with the advice of others, to have a few days off the bike.
Coming into the weekend I could feel the urge to jump back into it and with the Tour of Bright on the horizon,I didn't want to miss a weekends racing. On Saturday. the Wangaratta Cycling Club's Spring series continued and was a great hit out with 2 climbs over Taminick Gap.I was unable to sprint past Dr. Gav on the line and had to be content with second place in B Grade.
Hume Veterans Handicap
Before the completion of the large loop scratch has lost Grealy due to a mechanical which reduced their fire power but the group had reduced the 5 minutes deficit to just over 2.
My Block group managed to catch the 15 min group just nearing the end of the first lap, which increased our strength, but were still 8 minutes behind the leaders with just 22 kms to go.
Next to be caught, the 20 minutes group as they turned into Emu Bridge road, but scratch were making no impression on us now, with our reinforced strong, 11 man/woman bunch.
Turning back onto Kilfeera Road with 8 kms to the finish we were still 4 minutes down from the limit group and the race was really on, trying to hold scratch at bay and also catching the limit pair who were travelling strongly.
I put my head down and pulled some really solid turns along Kilfeera Road nearly popping myself in the process.I knew the pace had to be lifted if there was any chance of catching limit.We could see them in the distance but were starting to run out of road.
The freeway overpass is about 600 metres from the finish and it was just after this when limit succumbed and had to watch the race lead get snatched from them.I'd found myself on the front with around 300 metres left in the race with no other choice than to lead out the sprint.At around 150m to go I hit out for the line with every ounce of energy that was left in my body, expecting to be swamped on the line by the following riders.It seemed to take an eternity to ride that last 50 metres and Dr Gav came through right on the line.Neither of us could be sure of the verdict, with the line judges initially giving Dr Gav the victory.However the camera revealed that it was 15 cms that separated us and getting the judges verdict was me with Morley a bike length back for 3rd in one the most trilling sprint finishes the Club has seen for a while. Strang sprinted in well for 4th just ahead of Davison with limit man Lea home in 6th place and the other limit rider Cathie held on for 8th spot.
Scratch, who’s firepower was reduced still did exceptionally well but didn’t make any more ground on the eventual winning group in the last 12 kms finishing just on 2 minutes down with visiting Northern Vets rider Simon Welsh (Team Kosdown) taking out the Fastest Time honours at an average speed just under 40kph.