As I was feeling a little second hand today I decided to trade in my bike for the camera.The weather was pretty cool with a stiff South Westerly wind making for tough racing conditions for the small field.Below are my favourite photos from today.
Yesterday morning as I was driving into Wangaratta the fog was thick enough to keep my speed to around 80kmh.Arriving at the Sale yards complex where the club rooms of the Wang Cycling Club are located it was pretty gloomy looking and cold.
As the trickle of competitors and volunteers arrived nobody was in a hurry to get their cycling kit on.The race was to start at 10 o'clock so we had around an hour.
Time to pay my entry,get my race number and have a look at the handicaps for the day. I was quite pleased with my handicap and had ridden with all the riders who would be in my group.Dr.Gav was in there as well as the ever young Laurie Lyster whom I spend lot's of my racing days with.Having a read through the start list I couldn't help but notice the calibre of the riders in the Scratch bunch.James Boal,Ashley Baines and Tully Lyster were local inclusions as well as some very strong visitors inclucing Drapac Professional Rhys Pollock who had recently won the Tour of Taiwan.
I was confident we had a decent chance to win the race as I knew all riders in my group would work well together which is the key to these handicap events.As luck would have it the fog was also pretty much gone by the time we started.We would have to ride well as those following would also be working well together and doing their best to catch us.
The Official Race Report
We had 36 starters for the 2012 Graeme Dawes memorial Handicap.
Limit were off at 10.10 am, with gaps as per start list above.
By Boweya Rd, the 10.5min group had made 30 sec on the 15min group, who were working a treat together.
Along the road to Thoona the limit group were already splintering and they looked like they had a tough 35km ahead.
In Thoona, the limit group had got together again but the 2nd limit were hot on their heals. The 15 min group were still looking strong working together. The gap to the next group had stretched out to 4 1/2 min (starting time) and this group looked to be swallowed up by the block and scratch group, who had formed one big group and were only 2 minutes behind.
At the foot of the Warby’s, some strong limit riders had driven ahead, but the rest had been swallowed by the 15 min group, who still looked strong. Scratch had by now caught both groups ahead of them and only the strong would survive.
At the top of the climb to the Warbys 5 riders had broken clear of the stragglers, they were Laurie Lyster, Gifford Crosthwaite, Tony Reeckman, Adam Cartwright and Gavin Frawley, then followed some remnants of the front groups followed 3 minutes later by scratchies Rhys Pollock, Ash Baines, James Boal a short distance to Trent Stevenson, then Tully Lyster, Heath Mullavey(block) and Tomarsh Loki(10.5min). Shortly after Boal flatted and day was done.
Descending Ryans the front group of 5 were strong and looked threatening. This group continued along Wangandary Road driving the front, with Pollock, Baines and Stevenson (who had bridged back on) in hot pursuit (to give you some idea of speed Tomarsh, who was well behind, was avging 45+kph in a group driven by Thrummy – so front group were even faster than that!!).
With 400 metres to go in a 68km race the scratch markers caught the front 5 and stole the chocolates from the hard workers, who filled the next 5 places with Dave Wohlers and Geoff Morley next, then a group of 3 and then another 3 (mostly scratch & block + John Myles & Tomarsh).
My embellishment of the last kilometer
Turning into Reith Road my bunch was 5 strong including Dr.Gav,Laurie,Gifford and Adam.We had been told scratch were coming hard and we had to ride at our limit if there was any chance of staying away.So head down and push hard working together with a little over a kilometer to ride, swallowed up by 3 scratch riders(Baines,Stevenson and Pollock) with around 500 metres to go I somehow managed to jump on the back along with Dr Gav and Adam.The group then seemed to bunch up a little and I noticed Ashley Baines drift to the back of the group,I was pretty comfortable if not a little amazed to be in with a pretty strong bunch of riders.When Ash jumped into the slipstream of a vehicle that was overtaking the bunch, I tried to go with him.He was too strong and I had waited just a second before responding to his attack.I did however find myself second on the road with about 350metres to go.All I could do was try and ride as hard as I could to the finnish but I could feel the effort taking it's toll.Caught again by the rest of the bunch with Ash Baines surging clear for the win.Trent Stevenson jumped for second followed by Rhys Pollock third.Dr Gav came through in 4th followed by myself then Adam Cartwright.
Note added on 9-5-2012
I realise the above embellishment of the finnish created some controversy. I wanted to clarify that when I said "Ash jumped into the slipstream of a vehicle that was overtaking the bunch".What I believe happened was he jumped just as the vehicle passed us and may have got a small advantage momentarily but was not motorpacing behind the vehicle.The vehicle quickly accelerated away from us.
Special thanks also to the ladies in the kitchen who prepared the after race refreshments.Everybody that I spoke to really enjoyed the event and in my opinion this was country racing at it's best.
I've also added the Strava file or my ride below.
The first race of the weekend was a 20km Time Trial held by Wangaratta Cycling Club consisting 2 x 10 km circuits of Reith's Estate.
We again had some visitors to the club, Shane Miller,Australian Masters 1 Time Trial Champion,who would make sure the A Graders,including Wangaratta's Tully Lyster, who is the Victorian Masters 2 Time Trial Champion would have their work cut out.
But the race I was interested in was in B Grade.It seemed there was in fact,a race within a race.Now I'm not exactly sure when the Time Trial gauntlet was officially thrown down,but it appeared Dr. Gav was hunting the B Grade TT and I was in the way.After our last TT at Glenrowan,which I managed to get the win in C Grade and besting the good Dr. by around 2 minutes.
Gav had purchased a shiny new (second hand) machine in the shape of a Cervelo TT bike from Rhys Lyster.Well, maybe purchasing would be the correct way to put it, as Rhys said to me before the start."If you beat Gav in the TT I'm going to unfollow you on Twitter"as he is test riding the bike.But with honour,and beer,on the line there would be no holding back.
I was even threatened with a drug test,handed a sample pot and surgical gloves as well.But it was obvious to me who would have access to the best gear.Time to get down to business and the starters left in 1 minute intervals and I was in the slightly fortunate position to start 1 minute behind Dr Gav.By no means did we have B Grade to ourselves with Laurie Lyster easily capable of winning B Grade and also Heath Mullavey from Rutherglen who is a very strong rider.I reckoned after the first lap I'd made up some distance on my minute man, but after being passed by Allan Thrum like I was standing still, I was not so sure. Comfortable I could hold my pace for the next lap, and hopefully go a little harder, especially into the head wind across the top of the course,I could gradually see Dr. Gav getting closer.I was hoping that I might overtake him but I couldn't quite achieve that one.Riding TT's hurt big time,my average heart rate was 173bpm or 93%hr max for the full ride,crossing the finnish line was a great relief and I'd managed to achieve one of my goals for the day.I'll keep the other one to myself for now.
Just received this flyer via email. I've never done this race before so this year will be my first. Hope to see you there.
Thanks to Frank Loki for forwarding me his race report.I have copied it as written into the blog.I was going to change a few things but decided being Big Tony for the day might be quite interesting.It's got a Sopranos type feel to it.I did take the photos below and I've also included my Strava file for the race.I'm really quite happy to only lose 4 1/2 mins to the winners.I rode from the Boweya Rd/Taminick Rd intersection alone. It was a very tough race and I've got plenty of work to do if I ever want to be competitive in B Grade.
Had 20 starters today for the race over the U17 States course – 57km. 3 riders in A grade, 13 B grade and 2 each C & D. Including 2 riders from Albury Wodonga CC, 3 from Mansfield Mt Buller CC & John Kent from Alpine CC.
A & B rode together as a bunch of 16 as did C & D in a bunch of 4.
First time up Shanley St Thomas McDonald flatted, for the 2nd time, and his day was over. The bunch was together at the cross roads, but this had split significantly first time over Taminick Gap, where the fast boys had split the bunch in 2. The front consisted of Tully & Rhys Lyster, John Kent (all A grade), Heath Mullavey(AWCC), James Fox, Ryan Allen (AWCC), Tomarsh Loki & Gavin Frawley, closely followed by Tony Reeckman and Jason Desailley with the rest scattered..
This bunch got together not long after turning R at the crossroads for their 2nd loop.
Meanwhile C& D Grade got together at the top of Taminick Gap for the their 2nd loop.
Up Taminick the 2nd time Tully Lyster held a slight advantage over Rhys, John Kent, Heath Mullavey & Tomarsh Loki, with the others in order being Frawley, Allen, Fox, Desailley and Big Tony all dropping off and the gaps increasing.
Along Warby Range Rd the front group had splintered with Tomarsh riding off the front of the other 4. Turning into Shanley St Tully bridged to Tomarsh & these 2 fought out the finish with young Loki (B Grade) prevailing for a 2nd week with his mentor Tully (A Grade) close behind. The best of the rest was a sprint won by Rhys (A Grade)ahead of John and Heath following in 4th & 5th (or 3rd A grade & 2nd B Grade). Then followed Gavin (3rd B Grade), some time later with Ryan(4th B grade) close, a gap to James, Jason & BIG Tony rounding out the top 10.
The winning time was 1Hr 31.07 (faster than last years state U17 race)
C & D Grade rode in together with Nicci doing only one lap
Juniors, Alex Little, Aiden Corke, Riley Corke, XJ Loki & Nick Metcraft, did laps of the carpark and some straight line sprints and a secret handicap race all in prep for the Tour Of Wang in the 1st week of June.
On Sunday I decided to head down to Warragul for the "Baw Baw Classic", which incorporates Victoria's Mountain Climbers Championships.The race is run by the Warragul Cycling Club over a tough undulating 103km course starting in Warragul and finishing on top of Mt Baw Baw,which in itself is a reasonable challenge,the final 6km averages at a 13% gradient and peaks at 21%.As I was already in Melbourne, having driven down Saturday, and there were two local riders,Matt Clark and James Boal competing in A Grade, it was the perfect opportunity to check out this prestigious event.The A Grade honour roll includes names such as David McKenzie,Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke to name a few.
Geoff Clark asked me to photograph competitors at the start of Junior Mountain Climbing Championships Individual Time Trial yesterday.This isn't my usual style of photography,where I would move around the course and photograph what I choose,but rather to locate myself near the start and photograph each competitor on the start line and as they launched themselves into the race.I happily agreed to help out and the whole Clark family were on board helping too.It was a very different experience for me and quite full on,making sure I had enough memory cards,and also photographing the presentations,which were sometimes happening at the same time.Luckily Ros Clark was there to grab one of my cameras occasionally. I even had to synchronize natural breaks to coincide with race start times.
I really enjoyed the day and saw many local friends volunteering their time,from John (the missile) Myles,on parking duty. Allan (golden tonsils)Mills on the microphone and Aaron Smith(from Alpine Cycling Club) keeping an eye on the course on his Ducati.Many others were there helping and giving up their Saturday's to ensure the event ran like clock work.
But the day was really about the racing and the Juniors efforts against the clock on what would be a very demanding course. The race started near the Porpunkah roundabout and used the Mt Buffalo Rd with various distances depending on age. The Wangaratta Cycling Club, of which I am a member,had some excellent results on the day.Thomas McDonald won the under 15 mens Time Trial and Abby Gray came 3rd in the under 15 female event. A strong showing also by Tomarsh Loki finishing 14th out of about 50 competitors, in a very strong field in the Under 17 men's event.Nicole Clark finished 8 th in the under 17 women.I hope I haven't missed anybody but if so somebody let me know and I'll add their details to the post.
Image Galleries of the ITT are currently being added to my website as I get time to edit them. Keep checking here to see how I'm getting on. Also another photographer Mark Riley is putting photos on his website of the action too as I was unable to attend Sunday's Road Race Stage.
I've had a pretty big couple of weeks on the bike from a training point of view. Both in quantity and intensity,throw in a couple of races finishing of yesterday with a 20km Time Trial and I don't mind admitting to feeling a little weary.
During the week, Cycling Tips ,probably Australia's premier cycling website ran a story on one of my bikes. I took all the photos,which took quite a bit of time and planning,and wrote a bit of a story to go with them. If your interested in reading Cycling Tips blog on my bike click here
Yesterday I competed in Wangaratta Cycling Club's first Individual Time Trial of the year. Roughly 20 km out and back starting at Glenrowan out the Winton Road and return.It's a undulating course with the climb back up into Glenrowan at the end to make you work that bit harder.The conditions were cool with a pretty stiff southerly wind meaning a head wind out and tail wind home.
Shane Miller had made the trip up from Melbourne as well as a couple of his compatriots, which is great for our club to have some extra riders as well as somebody of Shane's calibre to compete with. Shane and Tully Lyster have a friendly rivalry in the TT's but at the moment Shane is pretty well unbeatable in this discipline.Shane won A Grade setting a course record in the process.
I had a decent ride and was quite satisfied with my time.I managed to win C Grade reasonably comfortably,I would have liked to have ridden in B grade but when I registered there were no starters in that grade.My legs felt quite heavy and I struggled to get a decent rhythm going.It's one of my goals in cycling to get better at Time Trials, as to me they are not called the "Race of Truth" for no reason.
Also it would be remiss of me not mention Matthew Clark winning the 2012 Mt Buller Road Race last weekend. Mathew won A Grade against some of the countries finest cyclists.If only we could get him up Mt Buffalo he might give the Challenge a nudge.
Glenrowan ITT 24th April 2012 - Results
Distance 18.8 km
Min Sec Avg Speed
Shane Miller 25 18 44.6 1st
Tully Lyster 26 59 41.8
Allan Thrum 27 23 41.2
Martin Lama 27 24 41.2
Jarod Hughes 28 0 40.3
Jason Desalli 31 52 35.4 1st
Adam Cartwright 32 7 35.1
Gavin Frawley 32 45 34.4
Tony Reeckman 30 46 36.7 1st
David Wohlers 33 27 33.7
Seamus Lane 34 1 33.2
Fergus Samon 34 52 32.4
Liz Randall 35 8 32.1
Paul Lane 34 46 32.4 1st
Jim Samon 35 35 31.7
Norm Gray 35 47 31.5
Distance (km) 10
Min Sec Avg Speed
Abby Gray 19 17 31.11 1st
Distance (km) 3.8
Min Sec Avg Speed
Alex Little 8 8 28.03 1st
Nick Metcraft 8 34 26.61
XJ Loki 9 1 25.29
Yesterday was a beautiful day at Wangaratta although maybe a little windy making bike racing pretty tough. I was a race marshall for the day and managed to take some photos as well.
1st. Tully Lyster
2nd. Heath Mullavey
3rd. Pete Gottschling
5th. Jason Desailly
Fastest Time. Tully Lyster 1hr 08min.( 41.3kmh av. I think???)
Yesterday was the first race of the season on the Wangaratta Cycling Club's Autumn calendar. I was expecting to see a few more people lining up for the first race of the season,although being a long weekend, I'm sure some were out of town. But my tally, looking at the results sheet, was 24 for all grades so that's reasonable.
A,B and C grades were all started together and it was suggested that we'd work our grading out as we went. I had been feeling unwell all morning (upset stomach) and thought of pulling out altogether. That's my excuse anyway for a pretty poor or should I say stupid performance. This is only my second serious year of racing (I entered in C grade) and I have so much to learn about pacing,tactics etc.
I found the pace too hot when we turned into Warby Range Road after James Boal went to the front and accelerated. I was following young Tomarsh Loki up the inside and really had to ride above my limit to get to the front. This happened again shortly after, I wasn't thinking about sitting on the back for a rest (the sensible option) and just went bang,off the back. Not a great feeling in any race.
At the same time I got dropped my Garmin 500 also died which was really disappointing as I was racing with my new powertap rear wheel and it would have been interesting to see the power data before the blow up occurred. Luckily I wasn't the only one who was dropped and I was joined by John Myles and together we hammered out the rest of the race.It was one of those beautiful North East Victorian days,late summer, early Autumn,sunny,hardly a cloud in the sky. But, I don't know about everyone else but the wind always seemed to be against us,was this just my mindset or real??
I managed to get my Garmin back online as we rode through Glenrowan on the out leg,turning right, out Boweya Road to the Lake Mokoan turn off before returning via the same course. I enjoyed riding with John and I thought we rode very well together and averaged about 35 kmh for the remainder of the race.I kept thinking I could see riders ahead and if we rode well maybe we could catch somebody. Always the eternal optimist as this was pretty unlikely but there is always the hope in the back of your mind. I remember saying to John at one stage, "why did I give up golf?", when I was feeling a little ordinary.
It's great to get that first club race under the belt and I learned plenty from the experience. Don't get your ability confused with your hopes for one( I know there is a good quote for what I'm trying to say). Below is the entry list which also includes the results. I'm leaving you all to work it out for yourselves. A little brain work is good for the mind. The only hint you'll get is Rhys Lyster won A grade and I think we'll be seeing Rhys' name on the results sheet quite a bit this year. Here is a link to Wangaratta Cycling Club for more club info.