Saturday, 9 July 2011


Cecil Shore Memorial 120km:
As I drove in to Hamilton it was not a lovely day, far better than the last time, but still cold and windy. On the line I had 17 other blokes, I was reassured to see some faces I recognised from racing in Melbourne.

The wind was westerly, a cross wind that pushed us into an echelon that petered out to a line of guys single file against the centre line. I knew that was a bad place to be so kept myself in the front pulling turns. By the time we reached the turn around at Cavendish many of those on the back had fallen off. A few minutes later as we passed the point where we'd seen limit going the other way, we got a big mental lift (well I did anyway). We'd taken minutes out of the leaders into the head wind, there was an air of excitement... well there would have been if the wind wasn't driving it sideways off the road.

We whipped through Hamilton and headed towards Macarthur, the lowest point of the race. I'd never seen this road before, I wrongly assumed it to be much like the trip to Cavendish. I was wrong, it was hilly and those hills were starting to hurt my legs. I was also greatly irritated by riders who I hadn't seen pulling turns coming out of nowhere to take sprint points. I called several people "cocks" and kept pulling turns because by the time we reached the cone in the middle of the road in Macarthur (the final turn around point) we were in the lead with a 5 minute gap on scratch. Despite my body slowly deteriorating under the strain it was exhilarating to be in the lead, I kept an ear out for updates from the commisaire's car behind and it seemed like we might even stay away. I turned to one of the stronger guys who'd been putting in more turns than anyone else and swore that if we made it I'd bury myself to put him over the line.


What now seems like mere moments later, we hit another sprint, this time the stronger riders cracked the shits and contested it to show those sitting on what they were messing with. I tried to go with the surge, but the immediate turn up into the long climb out of town had me cooked in seconds and I let the wheel go. 20km from home.

From what I understand, the guy I'd promised my efforts to, David Kelly, attacked the bunch and went solo to the line for the win. Me? I'd estimate I came in somewhere in the top 50, I found a few others out on the road and we dragged ourselves home together. 300m out from the line one turned and asked "We're not really going to sprint are we?". My only response was to grin and kick hard.

I believe my form in pacelines is a bit off. I'm never sure how much to ease off when i pull across (I was asked to ease back once or twice) and I still dont have a great judgement for where their front wheel is in relation to mine. A small thing that I'll get better at, it will help keep my cohorts alive and even better, it'll save a touch more of my own fitness so I can finish off races.

D: 121.5km
A: 730m

PMPW: 93kg

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