Congratulations to Col Maciver who has won another two NSW masters titles to go with his win in the hill climb in Bathurst in April. This time it was the road race and criterium championships held on 16 and 17 May in Eurobodalla.
Col will be looking to add another at the end of July when the individual time trial championships are held at Calga.
The following is Col’s report on the road race and criterium:
I am now in the MMAS 8 (65-70) category and we had a combined M8+ race with 10 M8s, 4 M9s and 1 M10 in the race.
Not having raced there before and just looking at a map of the course beforehand, the course appeared to be alongside the Moruya River and possibly flat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was an undulating course with some a hard uphill sections, particularly in the last kilometre of each lap and to the finish, fit to decide State championships. So, not only had the riders to beat their opponents, they also had to conquer the course which would test the riders whose preference is to draft and follow wheels and have a 200m bunch sprint at the end of the race.
The M8+ race involved 2 laps of the 17.8 km course. The pace was fairly brisk from the start and numbers were reduced by about half as we went over the first few hills of the first lap. By the time we came over the top of the uphill drag to the finish line at the end of the first lap, which I rode quite hard, the field had been reduced to five including one M9 rider from the North Sydney club, Richard Spinks whom I had not raced before and was looking pretty smooth and capable.
The second lap continued at a good pace with just a couple of us taking hard turns on the front until just before the last turn-around about 5 kms from the finish when Richard attacked and took off by himself. I let him go to see if others would respond with the plan to wait attack later myself and join Richard if they didn’t respond. This is exactly how it panned out and, after attacking hard myself after the turn-around and joining Richard, we worked well together until we came to the hills in the last km.
I rode hard on the front up these last hills with Richard following when he suddenly surprised me by attacking hard with about 500m to go. After gaining an initial gap before I could respond, he started to slow a bit so I gradually clawed my way back to him and was able to surge past him to win by a few seconds. It seems that he mistook the 500m marker for the 300m to go marker and ran out of steam. It was a good satisfying win for both of us as I won my age category by about 38 secs and Richard won the M9 category by a country mile – over 3 mins. To cap it off, it was nice to receive champion’s jerseys as well as medals at the presentation dinner in the evening.
The criteriums were held on a closed circuit within the Moruya Industrial Estate north of town. The course was wide with sweeping bends and a good surface which made for high speed yet safe racing. The M8, M9 and M10 categories raced together again but with M9 and M10 riders held back a bit so that we had two individual race groups on the course at the same time. The race consisted of 30 mins plus 3 laps.
There was a bit of an uphill drag from the 2nd corner to the finish line which would test riders if ridden hard enough. Not being a fan of big bunch sprint finishes which can be a bit of a lottery, I decided to use the uphill drag to make the race hard and to whittle the field down a bit. After the usual settling in laps, I started to ride hard up the drag to the finish and ease off down the back sometimes on consecutive laps, sometimes missing a lap or surging at different points of the circuit to keep them guessing.
It took many hard surges to reduce the numbers down to about 4 and to finally break clear by myself with about 10 mins to go. From there it was just hard time-trial style riding to the finish and I managed to win by about 3/4 of a lap as the others started to focus on the race for silver and bronze.