Race Report - Sunbury CC Trophy Race - Kyneton/Pastoria - C grade
TDR lads Watson, Hogan and Duggan along with sole Hell Krew representative Kent, rolled up to Kyneton on a cracking morning for racing. Sunny with a little wind which built throughout the day making for interesting racing. 3 laps of the Pastoria circuit. A day for the climbers surely?
Leisurely pace initially before Paddy Mc (SBY) decided to stretch the legs and go off the front. With a long way to go the reaction from the bunch was not immediate, allowing Paddy to remain out front. When Col Bell (SBY) went across the gap up one of the short sharp climbs, those willing to work came forward and some turns were swapped. The chasers included TDR's very own Hogan, who was showing good form early in the race along with Kent. Watson had a focused look on his face, preparing himself for the inevitable onslaught of the Bald Hill climb.
Eventually reeled in, Paddy became immediately itchy in the face of the dramatically reduce pace of the peloton and attacked once again. Again willing to give him a bit of distance before starting the chase in earnest, the peloton set the cruise control and kept the lone rider in sight.
On the first ascent of the notorious Bald Hill, several riders pushed the pace presumably in an effort to test the legs and the resolve of those just swinging around the back. As the heavy breathing would attest, the pace testing everyone. Duggan, Hogan and Kent went over the top with the front bunch, with Watson only a few metres off the back, soon to get back on.
The pressure was continued on the downhill to make it difficult for shelled riders to get back on right the way down to the sharp left-hander go restart the loop. The pace slowed and Duggan and Hogan were just having a chat about how the pace always slows at this point and it being a pretty good time to feed.
Pulls Winners Bar out. Loud *Click* *Clack* *Click*. Lads on the front smack it.
"Oh you smft..." *Stuffs unopened bar in mouth and puts head down*
With building cross-winds, the back straight turned into a bit of a gutter-fest with several of the big diesels testing the smaller guys on the undulating course. Watson, Hogan and Kent were caught out by the accelerations and dropped off the back just at the end of the back straight, continuing a hard chase keeping the peloton in sight for the remainder of the lap.
Duggan managing to hang on moved to the front after finally consuming the slobbery bar he had shoved in his mouth to endure the cross-wind pain. Second ascent of the major climb saw Michael Read (Preston) go clear with a gradual but well timed attack up the hill. With few pure climbers left, the remainder of the bunch looked around and was resolved to pace each other up the hill.
Cresting the climb, the chase was on in earnest with Read holding a 500 m advantage. Flying down the front straight, and over the start-finish line which was moved a considerable way down the descent from the usual location, the chase was on in earnest with several of the 10 or so remaining riders contributing.
Staying away for the remainder of the race was always going to be a tall task for Read, and he was eventually reeled in. Despite a few attacks and efforts to form a larger break, the pace typically settled in as everyone recognised that the final climb, and indeed descent, would be telling.
As the final ascent commenced, Read intelligently set a high pace and pulled away from the chasing group of heavier riders. The group was whittled down to about 6 by the top of the climb and the chase for Read and the win began in earnest. With one of the strongest in the bunch leading the way down the hill, the fight was on for the following wheel.
With Read still 100 m in front, the strong rider recognising that leading the chase was not the place to be, and only 500 m to go (?), Duggan had to go. Attacking up the inside and going full-noise across the gap to Read, Duggan got out of the saddle and wound it up as much as he could past Read to minimise the chance of him getting a wheel.
Rounding the final corner.... wait... this isn't the final corner? Sh#t...
Duggan deep in the hurt box looked back once to see a freight-train coming down the hill after him. Keep going...
Duggan looked back once more to see a Kings Men rider coming across the gap only 25 m behind. Get out of the saddle to kick to try to break his resolve. It works. He sits up. Relief.
2nd Peter Markey
3rd Cam McKimm
Great day with Sunbury CC. Not to mention the bubbly!