Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Track - 28/06/11

There's a Nonna in all of us. Action shot of D'alfonso trying to stay warm at DISC.

All the lads rode well in their respective grades and races.
Can't beat a mid-week blast in winter!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dandenong 4 Sides...

Chasing Matt Gray up and down Mt Dandenong for training (fun).
150-160km. 2500m climbing. Great crew. Massive day.


Friday, June 24, 2011

In all seriousness...

Duggan looks like he'd eat your grandmother to get that riders wheel... What a psycho...

And again, this time scaring the children...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mud, sweat, and a lack of gears...

Once again TDR sent out a lone rider to battle the mud, barriers and partially inebriated crowd at the first round of the Dirty Deeds CX series.

Whilst cold but dry conditions met competitors, wet and muddy conditions had met the course. Several low lying areas coupled with a week of rainfall had created several sizeable mud pits which had to be traversed. With the mud typically over a harder compacted clay base, the conditions were very dicey indeed with not many riders getting away without falling at least once.

Duggan, the single-speed masochist that he is, entered in CX B-grade. A decent ride saw him end up just off the podium in 4th. Some selected pics below.

A full write up of the event and links to the full picture sets will be available on the Dirty Deeds CX blog. Kudos to the DDCX guys who continue to run excellent events! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Three Day Tour - D grade Race Reports

Are in!!! Well done to Watson who raced intelligently for 3rd overall on GC. Excellent effort mate. The C-grade crosswind gutters are calling...


Back to the Newham circuit after a long month, Mills, Perrin and Watson rolled out at the back of the D grade bunch to get a feel for their opposition. Fortunately conditions were more suitable to racing than t
heir previous venture to Newham, although the lack of a hilltop finish was a concern for the only three members of D grade to weigh under 80kg.

After 10km of "racing", one enthusiastic gent broke away, only to be caught 10km later on the first hill of the day. This was the last that D grade saw of the unknown escapee, who burnt 3 days of candles in their attack, causing them to get caught, fall out the back and DNF. After testing the legs up the hills, the bunch was forgiven for thinking that the KOM was not being contested this year, until they past the checkpoint in the big ring on the only downhill of the course.

On the last lap, Mills and Watson moved to the front, while a concerned Perrin slid out the back. Despite being in a good position initially in the final kms, poor positioning and an errant wheel chop from Sunbury put Mills and Watson on the back foot, missing out in the bunch sprint.

Stage: Mills 13th (1:49:38), Perrin 24th (1:56:15), Watson 11th (1:49:28)
GC: Mills 13th (+0:14), Perrin 24th (+6:51), Watson 11th (+0:04).


With TT bars ready to go, Mills, Perrin and Watson were ready to go. Mills' downtube shifters proved to be a huge tactical advantage, as he never shifted gears and powered first of the block to a strong time.

Perrin lost a significant portion of time after forgetting that he was in fact in Kyneton to race. With little to no urgency, he rolled to the start only to realise that his time had in fact already started.

Last of the bunch, Watson posted a strong time over the first 3km, before his impressive upper body strength wrenched the clip on TT bars from their position in his cockpit, rendering him a blubbering mess.

Stage: Mills 8th (7:54:80), Perrin 23rd (8:35:21), Watson 10th (7:59:58)
GC: Mills 13th (+46.3), Perrin 24th (8:03:07), Watson 11th (+41.1).


Keen to build on their experiences from the TT, Mills Perrin and Watson rolled out on a new circuit determined to make amends for yesterday's poor showings. The highlight of Perrin's day unfortunately came early, when he was snapped at the front of the bunch holding hands with the excitable Mills. This was all that was seen of Perrin by the bunch until the end, after he rolled through behind the bunch after a long solo effort into the wind.
Watson, feeling left out of the photographic love, decided to show the field that KOM was up his ally. Unfortunately, it was up the ally of two others who he dragged up the hill and subsequently reached the checkpoint first. Mills and Watson drove the bunch home into the headwind, splitting the bunch into two. Although Mills couldn't hold on to the bunch as the speeds picked up over the last 10kms, Watson was able to hold onto a wheel to sprint to a satisfying third and receiving a time bonus in the process.

Stage: Mills 15th (2:08:34), Perrin 22nd (2:20:04), Watson 3rd (2:07:12)
GC: Mills 15th (2:24:06), Perrin 22nd (21:16), Watson 6th (+0:57:1).


Keen to build on his 6th place, Watson started the 3 laps on the front of the bunch, keen to test the legs of the other riders in the bunch. Unfortunately for Mills a flat on the first corner ended his day and his tour, while Perrin sat on the back of the bunch trying to conserve energy in light of the first climb. The bunch was content to let breaks go, with the overall GC leader seemingly unaware that it was his job to manage the breakaway. With the rider in 5th place in the GC contesting KOM, Watson had to be alert on every pass of Baldy Hill to make sure that they did not attack after winning KOM points.

2 laps in saw an aggressive attack (from the far right of the road) from a rider low down in the standings, which put the bunch on the front foot, much to the annoyance of Watson who was about to attack himself. After catching the breakaway rider 5km before the final climb of the last lap, Watson moved to the front of the neutralised bunch, to watch the other GC contenders. A final mexican standoff proved too frustrating for Watson, who jumped at the base of Mount Baldy after another rider asked "who has tired legs?". The attack proved to be pivotal to the GC, as only the leader and 5th overall were able to remain near Watson, who took the final KOM points on the way to the top of Mt Baldy.

Despite out climbing the other two riders, Watson was pipped at the line in the final sprint, finishing with third and opening up enough of a break over the straggling bunch to move into 3rd overall in the GC. Once again Perrin displayed great courage, completing the course behind the bunch, in the wind to finish the tour.

Stage: Mills dnf, Perrin 18th (2:10:30), Watson 3rd (1:58:15)
GC: Mills dnf, Perrin 19th 6:35:24 (+33:44), Watson 3rd 6:02:40 (+1:00).

(Photos courtesy of B. Mangano)

Three Day Tour - Stage 4

Warm(ish) but very windy conditions met riders again for the final stage of the of the tour.


The queen stage and the stage that would decide the podium. Having performed strongly in the previous day time trial and road stage Duggan and D'Alfonso started only a handful of seconds behind second and third places in the GC. With four laps of the Pastoria circuit on the menu for today, Baldy hill of Pastoria indicated that it would be a battle between the punchy climbers for the GC podium with big time gaps almost guaranteed.

As D'Alfonso was sitting 4th overall in GC, TDR decided to ride to protect his position. Straight away as soon as the flag came down to signal the commencment of racing the breaks went off searching for KOM points. The riders who were high in GC were all content to pass the first lap sitting in the bunch. The first GC hopeful went just after the first lap, taking a helper with him on an audacious attack. They worked well together building up a sizable lead on the bunch. The bunch continued to roll around content to ride tempo.

On the third ascent of Baldy hill, O'Callaghan attacked sharply increasing the pace and shelling a few of the fast sprinters with Duggan slowly poping off the back . One GC contender attempted to go with O'Callaghan to his detriment, going into the red zone and meekly returning to the pack. As the bunch rolled around for the final lap, Duggan was doing the time trial of his life trying to get back on, at one stage getting to within 20 meters of the pack. Sensing his 4th place slipping away, with 8 km to go to the finish, D'alfonso jumped from the pack and attacked.

The bunch reacted slowly, until two riders jumped across and joined D'alfonso. D'alfonso yelling 'come on, lets work and move up GC' saw the three work well together all the way to the line, putting 30 seconds on the bunch, and a minute on the rider who started the day in 2nd place in GC. Cementing 4th in GC for D'alfonso. Duggan fighting strongly all the way to the end 18th.

Duggan 18th (2:30:20), D'alfonso 6th (2:27:27)

Final General Classification:

GC: Duggan 17th 7:14:08 (+8:52), D'alfonso 4th 7:10:55 (+5:39)

(Photos courtesy of B. Mangano)

Three Day Tour - Stage 3

Stage 3 warm(ish) but very windy conditions met riders at the third stage of the tour. The legs felt ok but slightly heavy from the morning's efforts. Some nerves about how the afternoon would pan out with none of the TDR riders having raced the Sutton Grange course previously.


Stage 3 was the Reedesdale out-and-back circuit comprising lots of climbing and descending with a decent climb on the return leg up out of the Sutton Grange valley. Presumably again a day for a climbing sprinter with a very strong headwind to reduce the chances of a break getting away from an anxious peloton.

Rolling out. Flag from lead car comes in. Racing.

Two riders immediately attack up the road. Not given as much leeway today, the two were kept just in sight with the peloton keen to limit energy consumption. Sunbury riders, to their credit, had been very aggressive thus far in the tour and again took control of pace-making and attacking. Several riders went up the road only to be reeled in soon after. Duggan had decided to do some of the chasing around the mid-point of the race, and led the peloton around the u-turn jointly with the race leader. This however, was a poorly timed work effort as the road went immediately uphill.

Staying on the back once again by the skin of his teeth, Duggan clawed his way back in and moved to the front of the pack to recover. D'alfonso, as usual, was happy tapping away on the pedals up and down the rolling hills, spending alot of time up the front. With no one else willing to work, and no break, the pace reduced to a very leisurely 18km/h at times! We descend into the Sutton Grange valley and the racing starts again. The ascent starts and it's soon very clear the Duggan is in trouble. Just not able to produce the speed and power of the better climbers he slowly slides back.

Setting a sustainable pace, Duggan managed to round up a few of the other riders who had gone out two hard by the top of the climb. Looking up the road it's chaos. Two distinct bunches had formed from a major split and noone was hanging around to enjoy the scenery. Duggan immediately got on the gas in an effort to get back on. Rounding up another dropped rider, the two pulled turns and gained some ground before the other rider called it a day and was dropped. Duggan persisted, going way into the red and getting to within 30m of the group before being overtaken by a 5 strong freight train of big diesels that had been dropped on the climb.

One last kick. Gets a wheel. Back on. Safety in the bunch. Recovery time.

10km to go. Duggan zips up the jersey only to get a "Oh-oh. Zipping up for the big sprint" sarcasm bullet come from one of the diesels dropped on the climb. A sly shake of the head. Actually, yes. That's exactly what I'm going to try! With D'alfonso safely ensconced in the first 5 wheels and presumably feeling fine for a sprint, Duggan found himself a good wheel for the upcoming sprint. The pace rose in the last kilometre which was straight as an arrow. Lots of chopping and fighting for wheels made it pretty hairy. One rider around the outside, over the white line. Comes back in. Shoulders D'alfonso, who subsequently moves drastically inside, right into the path of Duggan and his Brunswick wheel who were approaching very rapidly. Duggan and wheel lose some momentum. D'alfonso kicks. Get's 6th. Duggan bunch. Both riders happy with the day's efforts.

Glad to be home safe but pondering what might have been... again...

Stage: Duggan 12th (1:59.22), D'alfonso 6th (1:59.22)
GC: Duggan (+2:49), D'alfonso (+2: 28)

(Photos courtesy of B. Mangano)

Three Day Tour - Stage 2

Stage 2 saw the individual time trial take place over 5.85 km's. Neither Duggan or D'alfonso having ever ridden a time trial were eager and nervous at the start. 30 seconds was the starting time difference between D'Alfonso and Duggan. Both mindful of the afternoon stage 3 set out and performed respectable times.

Stage: Duggan 13th (7:41.93) 45.59 km/h, D'alfonso 4th (7:21.18) 47.74 km/h
GC: Duggan (+2:49), D'alfonso (+2: 28)

Three Day Tour - Stage 1

Bitterly cold, windy but dry conditions met riders at the first stage of the 53rd Annual Great Doherty's Three Day Tour. Spirits and nerves were high before the start, with TDR represented in both C and D grades.


Stage 1 was the Newham circuit comprising rolling hills with some short sharp climbs to sort out those not paying attention to which wheel they were following. Presumably a day for a climbing sprinter.

Rolling out. Flag from lead car comes in. Racing.

Two riders immediately attack up the road to an audible scoff from the peloton with 90 km and three days of racing to go. Needless to say they were given significant leeway. The two escapees managed to stay away for two of the three laps.

On the second KOM climb, O'Callagahan kicked and broke away leaving the bunch stunned. After several very difficult sections leading up to the KOM sprint line and one very strong rider remaining off the front, it was looking like a bunch kick. Duggan had managed to hold on to the bunch on the last climb by the skin of his teeth and now sat about 6th wheel trying to recover before the sprint. D'Alfonso was in the thick of the action near the front watching all moves.

With 1 km to go. Duggan moves to the front, placing D'alfonso on his wheel. Looking good for a leadout. 1st wheels into the dangerous chicane, 500m from the line and we're looking good. Duggan ramps up the pace, periodically checking to see if D'alfonso had a clear run. D'alfonso jumps with a good kick but unfortunately 100 too early, fades and has lead out 3-4 other riders for the sprint for second. Duggan finishes well, just behind the sprint for 9th. D'alfonso wasting the good lead out ended up 10th.

A respectable start.

Stage: Duggan 9th (2:36:45), D'alfonso 10th (2:36:45)
GC: Duggan (+1:44) , D'alfonso (+1:44)

(Photos courtesy of B. Mangano)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Track Tuesdays...

Bigger and stronger fields down at DISC on Tuesday meant for a hard nights racing. Duggan got dropped by his own attack in the B-grade scratch race, getting caught out high on the track and missing the last wheel.

Lesson learnt: Get that last wheel at all costs because riding the last two laps at full speed two lengths off the back is horrible.

Elimination was better with some good positioning until late in the race where Duggan got boxed in and only made a move on the last bend to get out and over the other rider. Too little too late. Pipped. 5th.

Combined A/B 80 lap motorpace was great training and the lungs and legs felt ok. Pulled out with 12ish to go for 4th in B. Have to flip my stem as the current sprint-style setup is really affecting my comfort and control in these endurance events.

Good showing from Watson and Perrin in C grade also. Watson picking up second in the Elimination race, going down to Matt Gray which is nothing to be ashamed of.

Three Day Tour this weekend. Everyone's nervous. Everyone's excited. Lots of pics and reports to come. Will put a preview up tomorrow.

Monday, June 6, 2011

You know what's awesome?


TDR sent a lone member to suffer, fall over, get heckled, then suffer some more in the name of fun at the first cross race of the season. The Dirty Deeds series kicked off with a prologue under lights at the prestigious Harrison Street Velodrome. Great night had by all involved, spectators and competitors alike!

Full write up here.

Some pics of pure singlespeed masochism...