Friday, February 17, 2012

Race Report - SKCC Crits 12th Feb

Words by Dingus Dave

After Coburg was washed out on Saturday, TDR split up on Sunday with Duggan heading to the track to do some fine tuning for the upcoming Victorian Club Teams Track Championships, whilst Hogan and Kent ventured south of the river once again to have a crack at St. Kilda crits. Team time trials for A & B Grade meant a long wait before the C Grade race fired up at close to 11.30am.

Before rolling out the boys were given a rundown of St.Kilda’s new handicapping system. Good to see a local club doing something to formalise grading. Here’s hoping it’s the start of something that can be extended across all clubs (it should also be noted that Hawthorn do a pretty good job at their crits as well). However, by essentially locking the grades in their current form, the C Grade group included Ned “Strava King” Powell. That’s not his nickname, I just made that up. Dude’s a diesel, and Hogan and Kent knew they were going to be in for some pain trying to hold that wheel.

Sure enough, three laps in and Powell was driving a three man breakaway off the front. The chase couldn’t get organised, so Kent jumped out of the saddle to bridge across, and managed to drag the rest of the bunch with him.

Sharing the track with an A Grade field that was ridiculously large didn’t help the chances for a breakaway , as long stretches of neutralised racing were the norm. After 20 minutes, Hogan nearly lost his shit (literally), as a slowly deflating rear tire led to a few nervous corners. Nothing like your rear wheel sliding out round a corner at 45km/hr. He managed to stay upright, and rolled back to the start line happy to still be on two wheels. Race over.

Kent stayed in decent position for the remainder of the race, mostly in the front third of the bunch which stayed together for the rest of the race, albeit typically strung out in single file. Kent was sitting around 7th-8th wheel going into the final lap. Powell made a decisive kick up the back straight to lead out one of his teammates. Kent jumped across to his wheel (no easy task!), and rounded the final bend perfectly placed in third position. He couldn’t quite get around for first, but got up for a closely-fought second place. A mighty fine effort.

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