Again, soooo busy with work/racing/training that it's been hard to get time to write this stuff...
Coburg Criterium - 19/03/11
D'alfonso (B) - 4th
Duggan (B) - 7th-ish
A perfect day for racing greeted TDR riders D'alfonso, Duggan and D'alfonso (Justin) on Saturday morning. The 15 km ride out to the National Boulevard circuit flew by and after a quick warm-up, it was down to business.
Slight apprehension quickly became a significant feeling of doom as two A-graders down on form, smashed the peloton from the roll off and 1st lap. My stomach was in my boots as we ascended the small 'climb' at 49 km/h. It was going to be a long day...
Whilst the pace remained quite high (averaged 43 km/h for 55mins +3 laps), both TDR riders fortunately had good legs and were heavily involved in proceedings. D'alfonso mixed it up in a break early, only to be rounded up soon after. Several uneventful breaks later, cohort Peter Wilkie of Team Canard got off the front with another strong rider and looked like they could stay there with some help. Duggan led the peloton around a corner, and with D'alfonso on his weel, dragged TDR across to the break. Unfortunately for the group of 4, TDR got there too late, with the first two guys cooked. Despite staying off the front of peloton for a few more laps, the break was chased down.
In a series of counter attacks after the TDR break had been rounded up, another break finally went including another Canard rider. Fortunately for this break, the peloton was stopped by a race official for a truck entering the course. I would estimate that the stop was for at least a minute, not including the 'neutralised' race as we followed the slow truck up the back straight!
The group initially worked well together, united in an effort to chase down the break; driven by the disappointment of being unfairly interrupted. However it was to no avail and the group quickly started racing for 4th. D'alfonso rode a particularly intelligent final lap and sprint, grabbing the wheel of the Canard lead-out train and pinching 4th and $15 (BigM money).
Hope to see Justin in the D-grade bunch soon instead of on the sidelines!