The relaxed start to the season continued on Saturday over the hilly Long Swamp course with a 30K Surprise Team Handicap race. The surprise was that no one had any idea what that meant, but as with last week and with our handicapper very much back in evidence, the 24 riders were quickly allocated in 5 teams and were sent off up the road at short intervals, with the ‘scratch team’ leaving at 3:30s.
Jo’s Giants demonstrated an impressive lack of attention to the start order resulting in some early mutiny after watching Wilful Damage head off in their spot, only to return after 50M following much yelling and waving of arms. They then spent the entire race without Paul Williams who bolstered the ranks of Wilful Damage having been rejected by his team mates.
Meanwhile, Diesel Jennerator were going well – nice and steady up the hills and flat out down them with Dave Jenner demonstrating excellent drafting technique courtesy of smooth pacing from his teammates allowing them to turn with a lead of almost a minute and a half on the next group (Youth & Experience) who had come from the back and demolished the rest of the field with a 25:07s averaging 35.83kph into the wind. Rubie on Rails decided that they had an unfair advantage at the turn and Dave very generously elected to sit out the second leg to even things out a bit and make his team work a bit harder.
The main field was together on the third leg with a big bunch climbing the gentle side of Imbota led by Youth & Experience and with Diesel Jennerator still some distance ahead. The pace picked up here and the odd helping hand ensured everyone got over the top together despite Wilf’s protests that “I can do it myself” although unfortunately for Wilful Damage it was at this point that Col’s rear tyre decided to give up the game. And so into the final turn, executed by a bunch of about 20 riders which proved to be an interesting demonstration of low-speed bike handling (note to council to increase road width substantially here).
With Rubie on Rails on their way to the fastest second leg and bearing down hard into the turn, the exit woke up Jo’s Giants who performed a dramatic slingshot move from last spot, past the entire field and to the front of the bunch with Jo tucked in behind her team-mates in full aero mode. This went ok until the climb up Imbota when basic physics came into play again, coinciding with the collection of Diesel Jennerator and the whole thing ground to a virtual halt nearing the top of the climb.
From here on in it was a bit of a blur, aside from a wonderful moment on the final climb up Dump Hill when Kirky setting up his teammate Wilko for a little assistance called out “move over Wilko, I’m coming alongside mate”, only to steam through with all the assistance being given to the captain of Jo’s Giants, leaving his own teammate in his wake.
Thanks to Bob for doing the signs and running the race, complete with sophisticated sign-on table, and to Phil Thomas for snapping the pics to give us our lap times. And thanks to everyone else for coming along and joining in for some pre-season fun. Next week it’s time for serious racing business and the first round of the Club Racer 2014…
|Place||Team||Rider||Start||Finish||Elapsed||Lap 1||Lap 1 Place||Lap 2||Speed|
|1||Youth & Experience||MUNDAY Sam||03:30||54:21||50:51||25:07||2||25:44||35.40|
|2||Wilful Damage||KELLER Wilfried||03:00||54:51||51:51||25:47||3||26:04||34.72|
|3||Jo's Giants||WAUCH Jo||02:00||54:23||52:23||26:51||4||25:32||34.36|
|4||Rubie on Rails||RUBIE Dave||01:00||54:40||53:40||28:11||5||25:29||33.54|
|5||Diesel Jennerator||JENNER Dave||00:00||56:07||56:07||27:11||1||28:56||32.08|