The Geelong Club Tour began like most tours do, the night before, you smash a much pasta as you can, fixing whatever is wrong with your bike and watching Jack Ass late into the night at your good mates.
Started out fairly poorly, it was pouring rain and it was cold and you just wanted to go back to bed and question why I keep doing this to myself, and there is one answer:
STAGE 1: 45min Kermesse.
Ned Volk, his dad Paul and myself managed to pull B Grade for the weekend the weekend of racing, pfft yet another mistake from the handy capers. The race began fairly steadily and to serious until about 5 minutes in when attacks came left right and centre and were shut down fairly quickly. 15 minutes in coming down the downhill *flat back tyre*.
I was at the furthest point the start finish line and by the time I got there I had lost a lap already and I had another lap to get back in, with the quickest tube change of my life I had it fixed and was waiting for the group to swing back through to get on. I got back in to be confronted to another flurry of attacks that were again shut down right away. The tempo was being set by Ned, some two other blokes and myself, we were dishing you the pain and it was evident with most of the stragglers dropping off.
|Re-entering the kermesse after the puncture|
Bell lap. I had the dream position, 3 back at the front of the group, 500m to go I was just following the wheel of whoever stuck their nose into the wind. One guy managed to slip off the front and had a gap on us, with Ned stuck on my wheel (he knows I can sprint) it was up to me. Into the head wind and on an uphill drag that was taking its toll on the legs I got onto the rider, around him turning an uphill hair pin with 75m, and started the final sprint to the line.*looks under left arm* clear sailing, *under right arm* Ned's on my hip. Crossed the line to Ned saying "YEAH BUDDY"
One-two finish was awesome, and then the realisation that Paul let us down and rolled in 6th instead of 3rd. Ah well dream was alive with me in top spot in the GC. The drive to stage two Ned and I look at each other and said "Maccas?"...smashed a double cheese burger and a chicken and cheese burger for our lunch time feed, only 4 bucks each and its dairy, meat, carbs and sugars in it..the whole food pyramid!
This was held at the purpose built criterium track in Belmont. It was only 4km/ two laps so no excuse not to be in 53 11. The start list was reverse order of the GC but riders were going off every 30 seconds so we didn't have to wait long. Those who have ridden on that track will know that is tight, and cornering means the difference between winning and losing. Thank god that cornering is one thing that I'm good at!
With one exception due to the fact I was cutting a corner to tight and I needed to break to not hit gravel and stack I did not touch the brakes once! To come through and post the stage winning time of 6:21min averaging 41- not even kidding
Yes it was short but best TT I have ever done! 1 second up on Ned who ran wide on the last corner loosing 2 or 3 seconds which proves my statement "cornering means the difference between winning and loosing"
So at the end of day one I was for the first time ever the leader of the GC at any tour..even though it was still anyone's race as all the contenders were within 30sec to a minute.
STAGE 3: The deciding stage. 60km road race through Steiglitz Historical Park/ Brisbane Rangers National Park...
Yes that's right - Brisbane has a park in Victoria...
The race was under control for the first 3km but after that the groups split fairly quickly and I found myself in a breakaway group of 7 or 8 riders. Some fresher than others as some didn't race the day before. I couldn't hack the pace much longer through the hill, there was this kid that as absolutely driving it up the hills! *curses* And I'm being deadly serious when I say- I can't climb like I used to!
The long and the short the cold I woke up with and my efforts the in stage one and two had taken its toll on me and I dropped off the break away, and later the main group after doing most of the work as none else was willing to try. I had lost the tour that day, I crossed the line ten minutes down from the first rider which was fairly disappointing, but I can't really complain with two stage wins.
Over and out