Super Series Round 4
I think everyone can agree that Round 4 of the Cycling South Australia Super Series was on everyone’s mind since its announcement. This round featured an extended Victoria Park circuit which took the riders through challenging hairpins, off-camber turns, and the occasional crosswind gutter action. Due to the nature of the course, positioning and superior bike handling were vital if anyone wanted to contest the final, or keep themselves rubber side down!
Unfortunately, in the past couple of weeks, our team has had more than their fair share of bad luck with Liam still recovering from his nasty crash at Amy’s Otway Tour, and Ethan getting Tonsillitis, again, on top of his recovery from his crash at the Copper Coast Cup. With that being said, the team had 5 starters on the line who were more than ready to Make the most out of this brand new layout. Our starters included IB Driver (Iven), Mr. NRS (Jason), Van D’ad (Rylan), The Boss (Mark), and Gucci (Dan).
The race was not one to disappoint as the pace was fast and little furious right from the word go. As the course was still unfamiliar to the peloton, the sound of screeching brakes and the occasional verbal abuse was a warm welcome to many.
Rylan was our first rider to attempt to form a break:
- “With the hairpins and the sharp off-camber left-hander, riders with more superior bike handling skills were accelerating away out of the turns which caused an accordion effect and gaps begin to appear. During the race, I aimed to get off the front in the hopes of a breakaway forming and to avoid being pushed towards the back.”
Despite Mark doing his best in shutting down any bridging attempts to the breakaway, the other teams weren’t comfortable with the situation, and unfortunately for Rylan, they were reeled back in after a couple of laps.
It wasn’t long before the main group was decided as riders who were caught off guard by the blistering pace and the gnarly corners quickly lost contact. Dan was caught behind one of those splits despite his best efforts to move up the bunch:
- “It was an absolutely brutal course. It was a race for the front so before I knew it, I was going backwards and losing more places than gaining with every turn.”
With only a few laps to go, the rest of the team was getting organised as there were two riders who bravely snuck off the front in an attempt to catch an ‘on form’ Chris Harper. However, seeing what hands our competition had, the team decided to let the Leaders Jersey’s team do the work as they were under pressure in losing the overall lead.
As said from Jason:
- “The new race format really favoured riders that were willing to be more aggressive, everyone had to be very careful to stay upright, but remain in good position.”
The contenders started showing their elbows as they tried to fight for good positioning coming into the final lap. Mark put in a valiant effort to get off the front for a last lap flyer, but with a steaming peloton chasing hard behind and having cooked legs from all the sprinting out of corners, he was caught with just under 400m to the finish.
- “I was moving up on the back straight and found myself carrying a lot of momentum so I decided to give it some beans and went solo off the front. However, it wasn’t our day and I was brought back just short of the finishing straight”
The brutal course proved to be an honest one as it was the strongest and smartest riders who made it on the day. Van D’ad Rylan managed to bag a very deserving Top 10 against the big boys. The rest of the team was not far behind, rolling in mid-pack.
- “We had 4 finishers today which is a huge step in the right direction despite our recent luck. An incredibly fun but brutal race.”
It hasn’t even been a few days since the race and we are already missing it. Next round is the team time trial which will see the teams having to tackle yet another tough course. Thankfully the inclusion of a tough climb in the course should suit the team a lot more, so fingers crossed for a good result.
See you out there!