By the time we got to the bottom of that hill there were 4 of us left in the bunch, we had lost a couple of our women on the nasty little hill around the back of the course. I knew Colin Stokes in the bunch as we often ride together for training and he rides strongly. The other guy,John Tielen,I didn't know but I had thought for most of the race he was probably the rider in our bunch who would be the biggest threat. I wasn't certain about the remaining women,Wendy Bennett,as she'd pulled back the gap we put on her on the previous hill so was a very capable rider.
I accelerated as hard as I could up the hill and didn't look back. When I reached the top I still had the strong rider(John) with me. But we had gapped the others by quite a bit so it was time to put the hammer down for the last couple of kilometers. We worked really well together, retaining the gap we had opened up on the climb. As we got closer to the finnish and were not going to be caught,I asked the other rider,"do you want to go side by side and sprint it out?" to which he replied in a thick European accent ,"I don't care", which was said in a friendly tone. With the last little bend then about 150 metre to the finnish I pretty much just rode as hard as I could and managed enough of a sprint to win.
It is a wonderful feeling to win a race and the last time I had a win was nearly a year ago . John, who came second was very happy too and we had a very nice exchange after the race. The other 2 from our group crossed the line in 3rd,Wendy Bennett, and 4th,Colin Stokes, before the scratch bunch came flying through just behind.
Thanks to Richard Bailey for kindly supplying the photos of the racing action and to Raymond Jarratt for facilitating the exchange.Many thanks for all the support and congratulations,also for putting up with my self indulgence on the blog this week. And hopefully I've gotten over the phobia of having my new (second hand) Lightweight wheels on my bike. See full results below.
26/2/2012 G.V. Vets 52km Open.
1st Anthony Reeckman H 25min
2nd John Tielen G.V 25min
3rd Wendy Bennett C.V. 25min
4th Colin Stokes H 25min
5th Stephen Fairless G.V. scr
6th Neville Laffy G.V. 2min
7th Tom Leaper E scr
8th Darren Roberts N 2min
9th Mark Currie H 4min
10th Peter McDonough G 4min
Fastest Time Stephen Fairless
1st Unplaced lady Evelyn Keetelaar
1st Unplaced G.V.Vet rider Brad Scott
1st Unplaced G.V.Vet over 60 rider David Schier