With temperatures again hitting 30+ degrees it could have been a sparsely contested team time trial on Saturday, but this was not the case and judging by the show of force huddled in the shade at the start of Dangarsleigh Road, new year resolutions are still very much alive and well. The completely random selection process might have thrown up some inequalities but as luck would have it the teams drawn out of the hat in the secrecy of Swanny’s car boot were incredibly well balanced and we looked set for an even contest – amazing!
Teams were instructed to complete the course together, with no lambs (or mutton) to be sacrificed, although no rules were mentioned on the topic of ‘rider assistance’, and going back to team vehicles for gels during the last 5K’s was deemed acceptable given the conditions. The 22 riders were split into 5 teams consisting of 4 or 5 riders, started at 1 minute intervals with Team 5 – The Harris Effect – looking the most dangerous on paper.
Karlee, Wilko and Swanny had already ridden at the track with the juniors the hour before so were well warmed up to lead their team (which included Lauchie) off first, resplendent in full Armidale Cycling Club Kit (another amazing selection coincidence). Sartorially at least, things went downhill from here with The Misfits, The Heavy Breathers, Team Awesome and The Harris Effect giving chase without incident.
Just before the turn, Team ACC had been overcome by The Misfits and Team Awesome and quite possibly by The Harris Effect, but their close riding formation was truly a sight to behold for those fortunate to have witnessed it first hand on the road. Kirky decided to play a game of chicken with Team Awesome just after the turn, docking his Misfits team 5 points in the process (didn’t I mention the points thing?) but all teams were following instructions and sticking together.
Covert rider assistance was obviously and laughably being provided throughout, generally just after a turn or over a rise and was immediately halted when another group came into view. This made it quite amusing when the assisted group caught another group and had to hold their helping hand in reserve until they could get out of sight again!
Congratulations to The Harris Effect for an excellent piece of teamwork and a very respectable 35.93kph average speed and to all the teams and riders who turned up. In the end the positions were irrelevant but the sense of fun and enjoyment was clear to see, summed up by Jo Wauch who said “I’ve never done that ride so quickly before!”. Thanks Dene for doing the signs and turning the results round so quickly on the day. It looks like the light-hearted early season fun will continue next week with the Surprise Team Handicap. See you all then.
|1||The Harris Effect||BOURKE Clint||4:00||54:06||50:06||35.93|
|2||The Misfits||COLE Brendon||1:00||51:21||50:21||35.75|
|3||Team Awesome||HALE Rob||3:00||53:25||50:25||35.70|
|4||The Heavy Breathers||HARRIS Dave||2:00||53:43||51:43||34.81|
|5||Team ACC||McMILLAN Karlee||0:00||56:34||56:34||31.82|