Richard Bjorkmann has been a focused man of late. ‘The Viking’ has been out on the road and in the altitude chamber getting ready for his first big race of the season. For Richard this was the Kurrajong Classic where he lined up in Division 2, in this race report we get inside the peloton and inside the mind of a champion.

Richard was in Division 2 at the Kurrajong Classic which was 3 laps for a total of 99km. Division 1 was NRS (5 laps 166km), so Div 2 was a mix of Master A and B grade. On a side note MWCC rider Chris Jory won the Division 1 race.

The course starts at East Kurrajong and after a kilometre or so turns north onto the Putty Road. A couple of k’s along the Putty there is as big wide, fast, descent over a bridge and then a 2 k climb followed by a left turn off the Putty on a road which winds its way across a ridge to Kurrajong. It’s pretty much ‘rolly polly’ hills from the Putty exit back to the start/finish area.

There was a clear mindset within many MWCC Subaru riders before the start – “lets be aggressive and make sure we have one man in every move”. With a strong contingent including Brad Hamblett, Dave Munro, Jonathan Herb it looked like we could be in with a strong representation. The first lap was fairly run of the mill stuff, plenty of solo sling shots off the front but nothing really sticked. MWCC membr wannabe Aaron Dunford spent a good portion of the first lap off the front, hard to tell if it was an attack or the peloton letting him go off the front so it could have a bit of piece and quiet. The peloton was pretty much all together on the first run through the start finish line at kilometre 33 and we made our way onto the Putty for the second lap with Mitch Dixon regularly placed towards the front.

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As we hit the bottom of the climb for the second time, the pace lifted noticeably and two main groups formed with about 500 metres to go. Alex Gardner who has plenty of wins to his name took this opportunity to get into the big break early in lap 2 and there was some thoughts that with the strength of Alex in the breakaway that it could stay away. However like many before it, it all came back together again during the middle of lap two and now it was my turn.

A few guys had managed to get away including Pete Moore and I did my first big effort trying to gap the peloton and get up to the group to try and give some numbers to the group. I didn’t think that I would create too much concern because my Manly Kit was in the wash, so I was wearing my Fixed Wheel Kit, so it didn’t look like MWCC numbers going up the road. Luckily a rider from LACC jumped on my wheel so we could share the wind. Soon we managed to catch a few more riders, among them Peter Moore who was now starting to feel the effects of his efforts. I could see Peter was tired, but he did not some great work on the front before we lost him.

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At the beginning of lap 3 we finally managed to organise the breakaway group of 5 riders. 30s turns on the front each. For those interested in numbers we held 40kmh for the 38km (302w in normalised power with an average of 261w).

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Getting close to the finish it was clear that the winner would be found in the breakaway group with almost a 2 min gap on the peloton. Everyone took their turn until around 3km before the “cat & mouse” game started. I had a plan to stay 2nd or 3rd wheel before a big push towards the end, but it failed as I found myself in the front when we passed the 1km sign.

I knew I had to start the sprint early as sprinting has never been my strongest side. At 600m I went full throttle from the front (avg 800w for 22s). I was just waiting for someone to pass me. It felt like I was fainting as I closed in on the finish line. However with my extended lead out, no one had the legs to come around me and i felt the rush as i crossed the line in first place.

My first ever win! It also paid out $250, so i am almost starting to turn this hobby into a profit. It certainly made for a change from the previous year where I crashed out in DIV 3.

So a successful day for MWCC Subaru Active riders with Chris Jory winning Div 1, Bjorkmann winning Div 2 and Lynne Clarke third in the Women’s Elite race.