The first round of the club championships took place in questionable weather, with the final riders coming home in torrential rain. Thanks must go to the guys at ATTA who put on a top quality event every month.
The final rider to head out of the start house in the first round of the MWCC Club Championships was Oli ‘T-Rex’ Dharme-Ratne and he was chasing the time set by early starter Danny ‘Fixed Wheel’ Wright who had set the benchmark of 1:02:51 for the day over the undulating 43 kilometre course. By the time T-Rex would have reached the turn around point, the heavens had opened and the rain that had threatened all morning came down in a torrent that had Noah gathering the animals two by two. With nearly everyone having hurriedly packed up and headed back down the F3, it was only a small bunch of hardy individuals that witnessed him come floating by in a time of 1:02:39 and therefore stopping the clock with the fastest time of the day.
Garett Paton warming up before his 4th place
On the Saturday evening, a number of messages and responses were going out – was the time trial going to go ahead with near apocalyptic weather forecast for the region? The call that was made early and consistently was – it is ON. So anyone who thought they were in with a chance, set the alarm and everyone else gave themselves the morning off. The committed souls who arrived at 7am for sign on were actually fairly positive about the weather, only a small amount of drizzle and the weather actually looked to be improving and so at 8:01 the first rider out of the gates was Mitch Dixon off on the 43km course.
A rider awaits the roll out
The early riders had to deal with some wet roads, but overall the conditions weren’t that bad, minimal rain and very little wind. Ed Shilland was second out of the gate and he was riding for 25km glory in the C Grade division, we was soon riding with Mitch Dixon in his sights after about 6 kilometres but Eddie would take the early turn around. His time at the end of the 25km was 40:50 and it would stand until rider number 19 Gavin Peacock would stop the clock at 40:21. Gavin Peacock came into this round with little fanfare in fact speaking with the media after the event Gavin stated “I came out here with a point to prove, I was amazed at the complete lack of respect I had been given before this round, even my wife thought I was crazy to head up here today” and yet rider after rider continued to fall short of the standard he had set.
Martinette charges out of the blocks
Andrew Vize was looking strong but he lost valuable time on Blood Hill and he would finish 5 seconds back at 40:26, Andrew would consider his lack of experience at the TT worthy of a 6 second handicap. Nathan Crump would finish third in a time of 40:39, Ed Shilland was fourth with 40:50 and fifth place was Peter Livanes at 41:11. Just over 30 seconds separating all five riders in C Grade. Peter Livanes ‘a triathlete’ – if he hadn’t mentioned it in the 30 second conversation you may have had with him was quoted as saying ‘I probably could have finished higher up the table, but I was just thinking about the 10km run I had planned to do off the bike, so I was conserving myself for that’ – It was only pointed out to him later that in cycling events – there is no run off the bike, nor the need to carry 6 water bottles on a 25km bike ride or walk around in the car park with some compression socks on.
Back in the long course, Danny Wright was the perfect advertisement for his bike store ‘The Fixed Wheel’ because he set the standard early with a blistering 1:02:51 which is a time of 41.2km/hr and with Jake Kauffman last years champion and Calga record holder on international duties this looked like this was going to get Danny the golden fleece for the day. Speaking of golden fleeces, last years B Grade champion Billy Sykes was certainly out to psych his opponents out – when he turned up in his champions jersey and he was seen warming up in a converted torture chamber however with the step up to A, Billy would have to be content with the sixth quickest time of the day in 1:07:14. New club member Nick Gatland looked to make himself known within the club community, not only by his very well organised campervan that would impress any travelling gypsy but also by his time of 1:05:59 which would be the third fastest on the day and also have him leading the Masters over 40 competition.
Bjorkmann warms up – note the MWCC blue Oakleys – pro!
Richard Bjorkmann made the wise investment when he approached the Fixed Wheel about the Giant trinity hanging in the window and while he didn’t have any odds on him coming into the round, he soon found himself in first place in B Grade and like the fellow country men Thor Hushovd he will be like a warrior defending his title now. Bjork was over a minute thirty in front of B Grade front runner Lucas Laxale who was enjoying his new ride out on course. After basking in the glory of victory Bjork told the assembled rain clouds that the weather was just like his homeland in Norway and that this was actually just like a summer day in Bergen Norway – he was very happy. Jonathan ‘KFC’ Herb was another surprise packet and we just have to hope that he isn’t on the Farnese Vini diet. While KFC did well in last year in C and I was hearing some murmurs about his performance online prior to the ride, many didn’t expect him to be on the podium come race day. However he is now in third position ahead of Garett Paton 1:11:22 and Chris Taylor 1:12:01.
Billy Sykes warms up in the torture chamber
The biggest contender to lose time in round one was Portugese climber Graham De Carvalho who showed his Andy Schleck time trialling skills on the 43km course and as a result the freshly shaven legs were only good enough for a participation point, as he finished outside of the top 5 in B Grade. Graham will now be looking to go on the attack in round two as the race heads into the mountains for stage 2. David Adcock was also another rider who has been peaking for this championship, however a wrong turn on course resulted in him receiving a DNF for his efforts – Dave is just use to following Pilu buddies and so he just got lost when he had to do the race by himself.
Lynne Clarke was the fastest female rider on the day when she crossed the line in 42:32 for a new PB and also positively trounced a number of other riders egos in the process. Her only other challenger on the day was Martinette ‘Vroom Vroom’ Van Vuuren who would have to settle for second in a time of 46:01. Will Lynne be able to capitalise on the early lead given to her by series favourite Cat Haines?
Results for the Day
1. Oliver Dharme-Ratne 1:02:39 41.4
2. Daniel Wright 1:02:51 41.2
3. Nick Gatland 1:05:59 39.3
4. Stuart Harrington 1:06:09 39.2
5. Jonathon Hazelton 1:06:47 38.8
6. William Richard Sykes 1:07:14 38.6
7. Chris Miller 1:07:44 38.3
1. Richard Bjorkmann 1:08:37 37.8
2. Lucas Laxale 1:10:17 36.9
3. Jonathan Herb 1:10:51 36.6
4. Garett Paton 1:11:22 36.3
5. Chris Taylor 1:12:01 36.0
6. Graham De Carvalho 1:12:50 35.6
7. Luke Harvey-Palmer 1:13:15
8. Evan Snow 1:13:24 35.3
9. Mitchell Dixon 1:14:23 34.8
10. Peter Moore 1:16:37 33.8
11. David Adcock 0 0.0 – 15 DNF
25.0 km option
1. Gavin Peacock 0:40:21 37.2
2. Andrew Vize 0:40:26 37.1
3. Nathan Crump 0:40:39 36.9
4. Edward Shilland 0:40:50 36.7
5. Peter Livanes 0:41:11 36.4
6. Toby Molineaux 0:41:45 35.9
7. John Hutchison 0:41:59 35.7
8. Mark Greenwood 0:42:07 35.6
9. John Ward 0:42:07 35.6
10. Oliver Conick 0:43:14 34.7
11. Ken Hedges 0:44:19 33.8
1. Cameron Laird 0:44:34 33.7
2. Simon Welfare 0:45:46 32.8
1. Lynne Clarke 0:42:32 35.3
2. Martinette Van Vuuren 0:46:01 32.6
Stage 2 continues this weekend.