CIC-Cervelo Series Round 2: Hell of the North

November 18, 2015


The peloton rolled out of Wallaroo on a sunny yet gusty day, we were all in for a pretty big day, or at least that’s what everyone thought. Every team had different plans most of them included staying close to the front with the days dirt sections set to decide the race. A few hopeful attacks moved off the front early on with no one of note willing to burn any bickies early on. Everything stayed pretty calm out through the first U-turn as we headed back towards the township the pace started to pick up, all the while I had at least two teammates with me at all times. Another left turn and the cross winds picked up as we headed north, Lightsview put four guys on the front and moved the whole race in to the gutter, everyone was single file right down the gutter just jumping around guys as they started to pop.  All of a sudden the moto scout drove beside the bunch and told everyone that we were 5 kilometres from the first dirt section, something that I didn’t actually know pre race as all we had talked about was the 8 kilometres in the final 10. The hand went up in the air and all of the guys moved to the front and started to get organised before the chaos. The peloton took a quick left turn and the first dirt section loomed large, a dead straight road rose up to meet the now galloping field. As we hit the dirt the pace rose again and no longer were guys trying to crowd the front, instead we committed to the single wheel in front and just crossed our fingers with hope. So many things could go wrong so very quickly; a puncture, a dropped chain or crashing, then again it could have been someone else suffering the same consequences. Eyes on the horizon for the first five minutes rolling around the first five wheels, I took one look over my shoulder and there was only a dozen or so riders left making up the front group. We all pushed on led predominantly by Tom Chapman, Harry Carpenter, Lachlan Glasspool and myself, dodging potholes where possible while trying to get a sit behind the guy in front. With most of the first dirt section done the front bunch settled into a rhythm before a few attacks just as we hit the bitumen again. After all of the juddering from the dirt, riding the bitumen felt like rolling in silk, Tom Kaesler attacked as soon as we hit the road with Leo Simmonds and Lachlan Glasspool, I took my opportunity to jump across expecting most of the front group to pursue me. Alas this wasn’t the case, I was partially excited about being let go and partially confused as to why no one showed any initiative in chasing as all the guys off the front had good legs. We quickly built a minutes gap before hitting the second and final dirt section of the day. It was in much better condition than the previous dusty traverse, a good line was much easier to pick and the four of us worked together until the final five kilometres where the chasing group was less than half a minute behind. One attack over the top of another kept the pace high, penultimately dropping Leo from the break and leaving just myself, Kaesler and Glasspool to fight out the finale.  As we made the last few corners, Glasspool led the group swinging side to side, I lay off the wheel a fair way as Kaesler hid out of sight but still in my mind. As we rounded the final left hand corner and headed into the last 500 metres we used the entirety of the closed road sitting in the left hand gutter, at around the 200 metre mark Kaesler and Glasspool kicked and swung to the left hand side of the road. As I’d been told ever since I started racing, “ride a straight line” and that’s what I did, as the others jostled while moving from one side of the road to the other I hot it in a straight line and took the shortest line possible and rolled over the line ahead of Kaesler and Glasspool.  In the end it was an awesome ride by the guys, I had a teammate for company every step of the way and barely had to touch the pedals until the penultimate stages and on top of everything a massive pleasure to take the win after all of their effort. A massive thanks to all of the guys on the team, coach Tim Clayton and the team sponsors in Butterfields, Red-Art Rojomoma, Brentnalls SA as well as Goodlife Health Clubs Mitcham. On to tomorrow and for me its a quiet night in recovering with the guys as were all stretching whilst playing Monopoly, this could get ugly.