The Battle of the Bridge has been completed for another year and once again Manly Warringah have been the highlight of the series. While Sydney Uni Velo may have been crowned the ultimate overall victors and are now forced to store a ridiculously over the top medieval battle helmet for a year, the performance parameters that we internally set for ourselves will show excellent returns for our shareholders. We provide full granularity of our results in the following report.
At MWCC it is important to look past the black and white ‘wins and losses‘ table and instead we are focused on individual performances and how the riders as a whole measured their performance on the wellness index. It is on these measurement scales that we notice a trend towards above expectation performances and our metrics for success being achieved. At MWCC we have an inclusive environment for all riders and riders failing to podium and collect points can often provide a vital role for the club and ensures that we are maintaining a well rounded club without the unconscious bias towards winners.
Many may ponder how Sydney Uni Velo managed to pull off an overall victory, to this we would offer that for MWCC with the rise of the multi-polar world, the task of finding and managing talent has become more complex, turbulent and contradictory. As a result finding the appropriate riders has been complicated by a number of outside influences that will require us to deep dive further into, when we look upstream to our 2018 goal setting vision. This is not to say that MWCC didn’t achieve its goals, if one is to peel the layers off the onion and look at the B Grade race from the SUVelo round, the race met all KPIs.
The field was a sell out, which was heavily weighted towards SUVelo who had more troops on the ground. That of course did not stop MWCC being one of the main early aggressors, as they set the pace and sent riders up the road, to tease out some activity within the peloton. For the first 30 minutes it was a frantic pace, with MWCC being well represented at the front of the race, a marvelous achievement.
Jack Hawkins of NSCC and Daniele Vanolini (RBCC) managed to escape an early mistimed corner which sent them sprawling, they both managed to recover and reenter the race however with the missing bark on Jack Hawkins he wouldn’t make it to the finish line which would be a fatal blow to an under-strength Northern Sydney who came into the final round on top of the points table.
After 30 minutes of the race, the race winning break was created by MWCC riders of Chris Evans (yes of Captain America fame, we have all the superheroes on board) and Mitch Dixon as they raced ahead after coming over the pimple. So MWCC were aggressive early in the race and created the race winning moves – all vital measures of performance and all met. The size of the group slowly increased with a number of riders bridging up until SUVelo decided that the size was big enough and they closed down the remaining peloton and the hope of any other riders getting across.
With the reduced bunch going to the finish line, it would be appropriate that MWCC Mitch Dixon would lead the sprint out of the corner after initiating the break. Mitch is not a renowned sprinter and yet he held off highly regarded fast finisher Andy Matthews until the final 3 inches of the race. Perhaps it was the extra leg hair that reduced Mitch’s aerodynamics in the lunge for the line. So while Andy Matthews would take the victory, the post race analysis, would say that he was predicted to have a good sprint and therefore met expectations and thus we would remove his performance from the results of the race. Mitch Dixon however exceeded expectations and it would be reported with that milestone achieved, MWCC would consider that a victory. So well done to Mitch and the MWCC riders for their victory in this division.
Initial B Grade Podium
- Andy Matthews (SUVelo) Remove due to meeting expectation
- Mitch Dixon (MWCC) Exceeded Expectations
- Jason Douglas (RBCC)
Final Result: Manly Win.
The C Grade division was another full house that on face value may be viewed as another SUVelo victory, that would be a misunderstanding of how the race panned out and it is important to drill down further into the multiple milestones that were noted by MWCC which created a road map to future success.
The C Grade race was filled with promise and as is standard with many C Grade races, there was a large bunch of riders at the front and no one was keen or able to get away from the peloton for any sustained period. The race ebbed and flowed with Manly always well represented at the front through riders such as Matthew Robinson, Alex Henderson and Greg Barnes.
A special call out to Dan Jones who was ensuring that Manly picked up the maximum points in the reverse race, where he ensured that he was the fastest of the riders going around at the rear of the race, approximately half a lap behind everyone else. It was this consideration of various scenarios and the positioning of riders all over the course which showed the precise preparations that went into this race. So a first place to Manly in that category which is often ignored by many who do not consider it as illustrious as first over the line.
As the bell rang, the bunch was very much all together except for Dan Jones (MWCC) who had made the early attack for the reverse victory. As the bunch came into the finishing straight, it appears that there has been some movement within the peloton and two riders from RBCC have come together and Declan Jones of RBCC has come off the worst in this situation, with a bit of time off the bike now with a broken collarbone and the need for a new jersey- Declan there is plenty of time to put in a transfer to MWCC and purchase yourself a sky blue jersey.
With that crash sending riders all over the course, it is important to readjust expectations and given the distance to the line, all riders would be given the same time on GC. Thus many considered staying upright to be a victory in itself and with all riders from Manly staying upright – there is another victory right there.
While SUVelo rider Brendan Hancox may have crossed the line in first position, given the crash in the final straight, it is only appropriate to remove the podium positions from our overall pool of performances within the race. With that done, we see a Manly victory in the reverse race and victory in all riders finishing without injury. Fantastic performance be all Manly riders.
Initial C Grade Podium
- Brendan Hancox (SUVelo)
- Daniel Corbett (ESCC)
- Minh Dinh (NSCC)
Final Result: With the sprint neutralised due to the crash, early performance indicators signal a Manly Win.
The A Grade race was not considered a priority for MWCC within this reporting period due to the external factors of the National Road Series race at the Tour of South Coast, general weekend group rides and the King of Heffron Alex Naz not pinning on a number for this round. We would take a much more long term view within this division and with riders such as Alex Naz regularly winning on this course in various other races, it would only be appropriate to weigh these results into this particular Heffron race and dilute the overall podium and after this convergence of results, it would be weighted into a victory for Alex Naz and Manly even without his attendance at this round. This round is very considered an outlier and not representative of standard Heffron performances.
As for the race itself, the standard would have been below what many analysts would consider to be a strong Battle of the Bridge A Grade round, this created a paradigm shift in the usual standings and resulted in overall victory to second string sprinter Nate Bonarius of SUVelo who would be typically be as reliable as a Balinese Rolex. One would not look at this podium and consider it a flow chart towards future success. Rather in this instance historical data is considered more conclusive and therefore the win would be awarded to Manly.
Initial A Grade Podium
- Nate Bonarius (SUVelo)
- Ben Wray (SUVelo)
- John Peppard (Easts)
Final Result: Based on prior historical data, which is considered more conclusive – winner Alex Nazarewicz of Manly.
In the Women’s Grade it was a small field that would witness Georgia Whitehouse and Lisa Antill both of SUVelo ride away and lap the field. With Georgia later also lining up in the Men’s B Grade race, we would assess this double entry to be against the rules and therefore we would have to disqualify this result from the equation. Considering that Lisa Antill worked with Georgia throughout the race, it could be seen that she was complicit in this rule breaking and thus she should also be disqualified from the field in this blatant disrespect of the unwritten rules of racing.
This would then bring the third place ride by Sue Henry (RBCC) into the spotlight and we noted that while she is by far the more accomplished sprinter and racer than the rider from Northern Sydney who she was riding with, Sue was happy to tuck in behind her as they entered the sprint before coming around her and taking third place. What caught the Commissaires attention in the post race review was that she sprinted in a straight line and as a result she must be disqualified.
The reason for her removal from the results sheet, would be that everyone understands that any real sprinter must deviate at least 5 metres off their line in order to be considered a true sprinter. This lack of deviation is concerning and not considered to be in the spirit of local club racing and such safe behaviour can only result in disqualification. Hence all podium places can be nullified and thus with no negative reporting of any female Manly rider due to their lack of presence they have ensured no negative press and this is to be highly rewarded. Victory to Manly.
Initial Womens Podium
- Georgia Whitehouse (SUVelo) – DQ
- Lisa Antill (SUVelo) – DQ
- Sue Henry (RBCC) – DQ
Final Result: Manly WIN
So on an overall summation,when we manage the optics we witness numerous achievements and success by Manly in Grades A, B, C and Women’s on the day. These results have been contextualised by the MWCC Executive and we are confident that we have exceeded expectations and would report to the market that Manly was victorious in the Battle of the Bridge when a clearer picture of events was provided, as outlined within this report.
Ben Wray of SUVelo certainly happy with his second place
The lack of performance by Eastern Suburbs throughout the series highlights that they have under invested in the rider experience and will now be in reputational deficit for 2018. This may require them to look at their existing Executive and perhaps induce some cell renewal and expand their alumni network, while undertaking some blue sky thinking as how Sue Henry of RBCC scored more points for her club than the whole of Easts combined in the series.
The tyranny of distance has hurt Central Coast and this will no doubt have to solutionise this problem in future years as the paradigm shifts to the Sydney centric racing sphere and for them this could be a real game changer while they work on their strategic staircase.
MWCC celebrate their 2017 victory in the Battle of the Bridge and look forward to returning in 2018.
All action pictures within this report were taken by the distinguished Stu Baker.