SKCC criterium - Port Melbourne
The annual single speed carnival in conjunction with the rumored appearance of a TDR rider conspired to draw a big crowd to the Sunday St Kilda crits. Palfensa feeling a bit under the weather, and a little bit sore from the previous days racing sat this one out with representation duties falling on the shoulders of team captain Duggan. Spectacular day for racing, sunny and warm with a moderate headwind into the final corner.
The advice from Palfensa to Duggan was to sit back in the bunch, let the breaks go, and open up for a killer sprint. This is in stark contrast to Duggans usual tactics of work, suffer, then work some more. As the race unfolded it was heartening to see that, at least initially, Duggan took the advice and sat in the bunch, letting one or two breaks go until being dragged back to the bunch. However, inevitably, Duggan took over marshaling duties of the peloton, and with 10 mins to go, a two lurkers (who possibly heard Palfensa's advice) burst from the pack. Putting a good 300 m into the peloton down the front straight. So strong was the breakaway, that eventually one of the riders popped out of the race. This left Duggan to work, suffer, and work again.
Under Duggans guidance the peloton managed to bridge the gap and made the breakaway rider earn his victory, but Duggan, having spent all his cookies bridging the gap, finished mid field. Leaving us wondering what might have been........
Next time Stevo, next time.