Amy’s Otway Tour – Stage 2
By David Randall
Last year at Amy’s Otway Tour, I rode to 24th in the criterium and 12th in the road race, a result that I was really happy with and that must have impressed the team enough for Lachie to sign me for this year. After equalling my 2017 result with 24th in Saturday’s crit, I went into Sunday’s road race with a goal of cracking my first top 10 in a National Road Series event. Given my slow return to form after an enforced break over the winter, we kept our tactical approach quite open, with all the guys encouraged to take any opportunities that arose during the race. The first climb of Amy’s Gran Fondo is famously tough out of the blocks, and the whole team made it over the summit with the peloton, giving us plenty of tactical options.
Liam, Iven, Seb, and Jason were all involved in attempted breakaways, before Rylan motored across to (and flew past) a group of 2, and was eventually joined by Phoenix Cycling Collective’s Sam Hill. While the rest of the boys saved our energy for the meleé on the Great Ocean Road, Rylan won the intermediate sprint in Forrest and moved into the virtual leader’s jersey. The race blew apart on the challenging ascent and the wet and technical descent of the 2nd KOM of the day – I finally made use of being the heaviest rider in the team and was in the front group by the time we hit the coast.
Rylan was soon caught by our group and was able to finish strongly and take 6th overall, our best General Classification result as a team ever! Before we thought about celebrating, though, the boys got busy putting me into position for the bunch sprint into Lorne. In pretty challenging terrain, they did a great job, and Jason finished off the team’s good work, pulling off in the last kilometre, and I was able to sprint to 10th, a great result for me personally and another great result for the team.
Thanks to Lachie for taking a punt on signing me this year – I’ve been working hard for the team at a lot of races this year and we knew an opportunity to race for a result would come eventually. Thanks to the whole team as well for their support during what’s been a challenging few months – keep an eye on the Van D’am blog to hear that story soon!