Thunder, lightning and a few random spots of rain during the early afternoon didn’t deter 8 hardy souls who were rewarded for their bravery with an enjoyable spin around the TEC (at least it looked fun from beside the car). Even the fire brigade training exercise which spewed huge clouds of smoke over the track couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the field decimated by the strong Armidale contingent rubbing shoulders with Chris Froome in the Snowy Mountains at L’Etape Australia.
After much debate it was resolved to send everyone off together for 30 mins plus 3 laps but Mick Harris and David Cook seemed determined to spit the pack in two with some strong surges on the climb. Kirky, Josh and Johnny managed to stay with them which left Wilko and the Bourke sisters to fight it out in B grade. Having already shed the B graders, Josh was looking to do more damage and upped the pace and went off the front by himself. The young guns showed wisdom beyond their years (or one of the old blokes whispered in their ears) and they left him out to dry before reeling him back in. After a few unsuccessful attempts Mick Harris upped the watts and rode everyone off his wheel in an impressive display of power.
Inspired by the efforts of the A-graders Wilko decided to follow suit and attacked the Bourkies on several occasions. After each attack he took some chasing down but was eventually reunited with his colleagues to complete the race as a threesome.
Meanwhile Kirky was discretely hatching a plan to get Cookie to take him back up to Mick. In truth, he wasn’t too discrete as we heard him on the sideline and I suspect the firies next door could hear him too. He must have been convincing though as they worked together to slowly close the gap and get back on Mick’s wheel leaving Drs John and Josh to scrap it out for 4th and 5th.
Dave Harris’ injuries didn’t prevent him from helpfully shouting strategic encouragement (some call it sledging) and counting down the minutes and then the laps to the bewildered riders. Surely the highlight of the afternoon was his phone app which he proudly rang like a bell for the final lap. In the meantime, it was all too much for B-grade who ran their own race and sprinted for the line one lap early. A courageous effort from Dene saw him just edge out Wilko for the win with Clint close behind.
Mick’s sustained solo effort must have taken its toll as David outsprinted Kirky in the spint finish, relagating Mick to third. I think the battle of the docs was won by Johnny (but I’m sure they will correct me if I’m wrong).
Many thanks to Paul Williams for not only navigating the TEC’s very own high security random gate entry system and running the race but also providing this week’s write-up.