Tour of the South West
A short 12.7 km Time Trial kicked off the Tour of the South West. Windy conditions saw the fastest times of the day almost a whole minute down on the previous year’s edition. The team all rode well, with Iven the highest placed finisher, covering the course in 16 minutes 30.
By Callum Pearce
Stage 2 of the Tour of the South West was a great day for bike racing – wet, windy and tough. Despite the whole team being in high spirits, things didn’t start off as well as we had hoped. Iven got a flat in the first 2 km, and with no convoy and a tail wind seeing the bunch moving at 60km/h, he was never going to see the race again. Matt and Tom followed suite shortly after when they were caught up in a crash, also being left behind.
The whole race it was crucial to ride good position and at the halfway mark Ben and I were left in what was a 30 rider bunch.
Towards the pointy end of the race Ben was a in number of moves that looked like going to the finish but the dynamics of the group weren’t quite right.
The race split again with under 10 kilometres to go, and with only two of us left there was not much we could do. Due to a lapse in concentration I was in a group hovering 10 seconds off what was now the front bunch of 15. The gap started to grow and somehow Ben made his way back to our group of 10 solo. I had one last ditch effort to bridge but there wasn’t enough fire power to get across. I finished just down on the front bunch which was disappointing, but once again I gained valuable lessons for future races
By Jason Thomason
The final stage of the VRS Tour of the South West was based out of Peterborough, a small sea side town located at the entrance of the iconic Great Ocean Road. After the carnage of Saturdays wind swept stage there seemed to be a lot of nervousness around the exposed sections of the course, especially the first 10km which headed along the scenic Great Ocean Road. With Callum and Ben still in the mix overall, the plan set out was to protect them for a potential select bunch sprint finish. As the racing initiated, it almost immediately seemed like the wind wasn’t strong enough to cause splits and to me seemed obvious that an early break could be let go, and with the right teams represented it would go the distance. After some strong early moves, and one that looked extremely likely with Iven present, I managed to sneak into a group of 6 that went clear.
While 4 of us lapped out for the following 80km, Isowhey had Neil Van Der Ploeg marking the move protecting their overall GC lead, and Drapac Pats Veg also had a rider sitting on not contributing. With a large gap the last lap was extremely tactical and being a little down on fitness I had limited cards to play, and with a bit of inexperience played them at the wrong times in hindsight, only managing a 6th place. A big thank you to our team manager Lachie, and the ongoing support from the teams sponsors which make all this possible.
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