The dark overcast clouds which were hovering round the Akuna West Head location may have been seen by many pre race as the coming of the Apocalypse with all riders being forced to wear the club kits of the clubs they chose to join, many feared that there would be no racing at all. However with a sell out field in all grades from A to D, once the flag dropped there was plenty of competition out on the roads and no rain.
Riders still managed to pedal their bikes, recognise their riding buddies, there were tactics and collusion amongst friends, riders attacked on the hills, some riders chose to respond while others sat back. The racing was happening out on the roads with the riders facing not only the rolling hills but quite a windy surface across the tops and a stiff headwind when coming back towards the finish line.
A real positive for racing and rider development is the number of ladies who are now using this course to improve and learn their race craft for open road races, with many grades featuring a number of ladies doing battle and Camilla Larsen of Peloton Sports was on the podium in D Grade after a gutsy ride which saw her attack the field on a number of occasions.
In the Elite race it looked like the race as going to be a battle of Brickell versus Jaeger when they attacked a few kilometres from the finish and managed to get clear as they come past the viewing area at the finish. However a select group managed to work together to bridge the gap and managed to bring it back together on the final berg. Coming into the finish it was the unheralded Chris Miller of SuVelo who would burst out of the bunch to record his first A Elite victory on the roads of West Head and he was followed home by Jaeger of Peloton and first time podium getter Marcus Culey of NSCC.
The only grade that had issues and this is the first time I can recall this happening is the B Shimano race which got held up by a number of vehicles at the finish line when a band of bush walkers were deciding which track to walk. Only first place was able to be awarded to a rider who had gone solo and all other places were neutralised.
The next race is on April 12.
If you are looking for more racing throughout the month – Randwick Botany host criterium racing around Heffron Park every Saturday at 3pm. Northern Sydney Cycling Club having criterium racing at Beaumont Road on the 29th March and Easter Monday – 6th April. Hunter District are also launching a road racing series with the first round on the 28 March at HEZ Industrial Estate. More details on these races can be found on the various club websites. We thank all of the clubs who host races and events throughout the year. Without these clubs who host these races there would be no racing.
For a full gallery of photos from the race check out www.ridingfocus.com/blog
Full results below.
1. Chris Miller – SuVelo
2. Michael Jaeger – Peloton Sports
3. Marcus Culey – Northern Sydney
1. Mitchell Hayward – Sutherland
2. Connor Hughes – SuVelo
3.Francesco Piazzoni – MWCC
1. Harry Cleary – SuVelo
2/3 Neutralised due to cars
1. Adam Kimberley – Central Coast
2. Brian Tracey – MWCC
3. Georg Bienert – SuVelo
1. Bruce Potts – MWCC
2. Karl Treacher – MWCC
3. Lachlan Soper – MWCC
1. Warren Lee – Sydney
2. Simon Welfare – MWCC
3. Mark Long – Sydney
1. Alex Dircks – Dulwich Hill (promoted to C)
2. Phil Dunne – MWCC
3. Camilla Larsen – Peloton