Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bon voyage, Summer...

Words by Dingus Dave...

Race Reports - HCC Crits

It was the final round of Hawthorn's summer of crits at the Teardrop. Kent had been smashing it all summer, without ever getting that elusive C Grade win. Last week was the closest we came, with Hogan attempting leadout duties to the bottom of the final climb to the finish and depositing Kent at third wheel. As the front three hit the line, it was only the width of a tire that relegated Kent to third. Close, again.

But in this final week, Kent had the plan worked out, with the idea being to ease off the front after the intermediate sprint. This is typically when the majority of the pack catch their breath and wait for the bunch to come back together after the inevitable splits on the sprint lap, so it's possible to get a decent break before people realise what's going on.

15 minutes in to the 25 minute race, fellow Brunswick rider, Diesel McDougall, had taken out the sprint lap and was dangling off the front on his own down the back straight when Kent bridged across. Hogan watched from the pack as the two got away to a decent 20 second lead, with little chasing from the bunch. This was it - the plan was working perfectly. Kent had worked his butt off in the first two laps after breaking away, but was then able to recover and hit a nice tempo, with he and McDougall staying just in sight of the bunch on the back straight.

But strangely, without a massive effort from the bunch, Kent and McDougall started being reeled in. Down the back straight after 20 minutes of racing, and it looked like they were sitting up. Hogan came round the hairpin to see Kent rolling into the gutter with a flat rear tire. Faaaarrrrkk. Disaster for Kent.

And with the sun disappearing quickly, 3 laps were called early, only one lap after Kent had to retire.

WIth two laps to go, the pace was slow as folks eyed each other off. McDougall, having recovered from his breakaway, got impatient and smacked it down the back straight with 1.5 laps to go. Hogan was feeling pretty good, having sat in the whole race, and thought to grab McDougall's wheel, but was poorly placed about six back and couldn't find a gap. As the bunch rounded the fast left hander on the last lap, Hogan was in fourth wheel, with McDougall still out in front with a 50m gap. But the guys on the front weren't going fast enough to catch him. Hogan hesitated - it was probably too early to go out and try and catch McDougall on his own, but at this speed they might not catch him at all. He sat in another 100m until the inevitable kick came before the final hairpin corner. The legs felt good, and Hogan took the corner in second wheel, overtook the guy in front at the bottom of the hill and then took off after a tiring McDougall.

McDougall was dieing, and fast. Hogan was flying. McDougall looked back. Hogan put the head down for one last kick. He was catching. The line was coming up. Hogan was reeling him in. But it was too late. McDougall held on for a fantastic win, and TDR just missed the win. Again.

Huge thanks to the folks at Hawthorn for putting on another great summer of crit racing at the Teardrop!

Gene Mills - smashes all comers...

Words by Mills... 

On the outdoor track

As everybody should know by now the track world champs are only a week away (yep over the easter weekend!)

While this is awesome for us mediocre, pro cyclist, wanna be's, as we get to see the worlds best go head to head, it also means we've been booted out of what we have come to think of as our home of track racing, DISC so the pros can train and get ready for the big show...

So the last few weeks tuesday night track racing with brunswick has been back out doors where it all began for the club in 1916.

Now this by no means at all is a bad thing, in fact i think its a great thing, racing track out door is something special, sure the tall polished wooden boards of an indoor track are fast and smooth like nothing else, but an out door track has its quirks, it gives advantages to those who have more skill than speed, and makes tactics (probably the most fun thing about track racing) so much more vital.

Not one outdoor track is the same as another, excpet for on thing thye've all got in common:  theres no hiding from the wind! Brunswick's home track(HSV) is not actually flat, the back straight is a slight down hill and the front straight takes you back up, a true false flat if you've ever ridden one, there are smooth lines over the old worn concrete, but only if you know where they are..

Bendigo is another great example of a unique velodrome. More of a "D" shape with just the one straight, and a massive 400m with hardly any banking at all, a sprinters lane that only goes 2/3rds of the way round the track, and it's still home to some of the best track racing in Australia

Last night was the the third week we raced at the out door velo, Mills and Duggan represented the black and gold of TDR in a some what smaller field due to the cold of the night, but it was great to see the size of E and D and C grade all showing good numbers. A small B grade also there and it seemed Sean "the man" Hurley and our very own Duggan were the only 2 A graders not to precious to come outdoor this evening.

C grade scratch 
Mills found an eager wheel and waited for the lead out jumping in to a sprint right on the bell and held it all the way to the end to claim 1st. A massive shout out to Tate from FOA, in his first C grade race stole 3rd to jump on the podium.

A&B combined scratch 
Duggan comes through with a solid first place showing that the Disc on the back of the bike isn't just for looks... Ed: Yes it is... 

C grade Win and Out 
3 sprints, the winner of the first sprint has won the race, every one else must continue riding and he/she gets to sit down, winner of the second sprint gets second, every one else must continue riding and he/she gets to sit down, winner of the last sprint claim's third.

An early attack saw a small group get away before the first sprint, mills stuck at the back tried to bridge but saw the sprint escaping him, and sat up to rest for the second sprint, seeing Scott a young and agressive brunswick rider miss the first sprint Mills jumped to his wheel, taking the lead out into the second sprint, to come past him in the final corner to claim 2nd for the race.

A&B combined Win and Out
The first sprint didn't take long to come around, and Sean let rip in true Hurley style sprinting 3/4 of the way out, Duggan boxed in wasn't able to get across to his wheel. Duggan saved his strength for for the second sprint, with another rider contesting and came through with 2nd in the end with a sprint from the back straight.

A,B&C combined 40 lap motor pace
It was declared before the start of the race that people could try to take a lap on the field if they wished, and that for either of the A graders to be able to contest the sprint they would in-fact have to take a lap as the were starting on 1 lap down in an attempt to even out the field.

16 riders from A B and C grade lined up behind the bike, Hurley was sitting on Duggans wheel and it was obvious to some that they were going to work together to get the lap they needed, Mills was 2 riders back and after a bit of hustling managed to jump up on to Hurleys wheel.

8 laps down and the three riders where near the front of the pace line behind the bike, Hurley kick's, Mills jumps to follow but looses the wheel, Duggan with very little notice manages to snap on to Hurleys wheel but it takes him just that second long enough that Mills can make the effort worth it and manages to stick to Duggans wheel.

Half lap turns and the pace off the front is high, Mills dosent pull his first turn to try and make Hurley and Duggan do a larger share of the work, but learns his lesson quick when Duggan and Hurley try to shake him with a couple of small sprints. Ed: I don't remember that mate...

Chewing of bar tape commences, half lap turns resume, Mills pulling his turns now. It's been about 4 laps they should be over half way, nope, 8 laps in still trying to get back on the pace line, only just half way across. Damn that bike is going fast.

A few smaller groups leap off the motor bike to try and bridge, they don't last long, and riders end up either off the back or back on the bike within a few laps.10 laps since the 2 A graders and C grader jumped, slowly closing in, but Hurley and Duggan have to shake Mills to be able to win this, and the attacks start again. Ed: Attacks? Perhaps you mis-spelt "pulling turns", Mills?

Duggan and Hurley attacking every time Mills rolls up into the banking (Ed: Wha???), 16 laps out and chasing and all three riders get back on the bike, all Mills has to do is hold on to the "gradually" speeding up bike and he's won, 4 laps to go Mills pops like a cherry on prom night, the bike tears away. Hurley and Duggan go with it, chasing Mills down trying to get thier lap back and the win.

Managing to work with one other rider off the back Mills just has to get to the finish line before they lap him.
With Duggan and Hurley only 100m behind, Mills he cross's the line with mouth full of bar tape and a hand in the air...

1st Mills
2nd Hurley
3rd Duggan

Track racing, it just plain good fun...

Mills have a celebratory post-race chunder...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Learning to ride rollers...

... only hours before the biggest race you've ever taken part in is a great idea!

Full report to come.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wheelrace Worries

Photo courtesy of Fame and Spear

The Austral Wheelrace. This weekend. The seating in the back straight certainly won't be looking like this.

Sold out and ready to go. Some big names among the local entries, let alone the national and international track stars signed up. Going to be a ripper.

The best bit: being wired after racing will be appreciated as we can stay up to watch Milan-San Remo.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Kent has been doing the business all over Melbourne during crit season. He's in striking distance of some cash at the Drapac Crit series, and we'll be there to help out in the final race this coming Wednesday. He also looks the most PRO out of any of us*.

March is going to be a big month with Duggan in the Austral and the other lads possibly getting up to the Mt Buller festival. Stay tuned.

*Sorry D'alfonso.