The rain, cold and flooded road ways all greeted the riders at the battle front of the West Head Condottieri. If riders thought this was going to be an easy day in the saddle, then they hadn’t previewed the course or weren’t aware of the reputation of the pain that West Head can dish out. It wasn’t just the elements that were going to test those who braved the elements to sign on.
The sell out field to this new Open race on the calendar brought a number of new riders to the start line and promised that it would throw up some deserving winners from across the State.
The days leading into the event, the Sydney weather decided to play its part to decimate the field, with continued rain and cold lashing the coastline. The weak would take the easier option of staying in doors, even with the race promoters stating days out – we are racing.
With the race being held well above sea level, we hadn’t factored into our pre race assessment the potential for flooding on the course. It wasn’t going to stop us.
Come race morning, riders knew that it was going to be a race like many had never raced before. It would be safe to say, most other events would have been called off under these conditions, but MWCC aren’t known for doing things by the book.
Decision was made – couldn’t ride through this
An early morning recon of the course, found one section of road way completely under water and essentially leaving about a one metre gap to safely pass through over two lanes of road. Given the out and back nature of the course this was not ideal, with the southerly direction, not even safe to drive through.
Some last minute discussions resulted in a shortened course, with additional laps being added to the course. It meant a race, with a very different parcours than expected.
The first and final berg
The longer flatter sections of the course were removed and instead the riders faced constant rollers for the entire race. The constant change in elevation had riders grimacing in pain every lap and a number of rider were having an early end to the race, with the frentic pace proving too hot.
The shortened course lead to aggressive racing in all grades, with a number of riders looking to take advantage of the new course, which suited the puncheur type riders.
Attacks were coming thick and fast in all the grades, with the reduced distances meaning that from the roll out, it was on. With the weather a balmy Belgium summer day.
The riders disappearing into battle
A thick fog would blanket the course for the entirety of the race, for many it was the fog of war. The gates of hell opened for these riders and they rode straight into it.
In the Elite race it would be Jesse Coyle of Mobius Future Racing who would take line honours ahead of Marcus Culey of St George Continental with Chris Miller of Nero Racing rounding out the Elite podium. Anyone who read the pre race crystal ball knew that these riders would be animating the race, but that didn’t stop them getting away with fellow escapee Luke Cridland (St George CC).
Post race Coyle described his victory as that of one of a complete rider.
Congratulations to the 200+ riders who entered this event. Special thanks to all our volunteers who stood around in the cold and wet all morning, they helped put on this classic event.
Day time racing at its Sydney best
Road Racing returns August 13 and we hope to have your patronage.
The podiums for all grades were as follows:
Marcus too shattered to look at the right camera
- Jesse Coyle (Mobius Future Racing)
- Marcus Culey (St George Continental)
- Chris Miller (Nero Racing)
Masters Group 1
John Peppard looks so happy with his victory
- John Peppard ( Rauland / Easts)
- Michael Cupitt (NSCC)
- David Blom (Team Ultra)
Masters Group 2
Irish National Dave Lavery considered the conditions a warm summers day.
- Gerald Peterson (Manning Valley)
- David Lavery (MWCC)
- Anthony Graf (SXCC)
First Female: Deborah Hennessey (Port Macquarie CC)
B Grade Group 1
Proving hairy legs can get you first and third
- Andrew O’Neill ( MWCC)
- John Pham (Bankstown)
- Anthony Colantonio (Bicisport)
B Grade Group 2
Georgia is smiling because she just released a can of whoop ass on a bunch of guys. Matt Taylor is thinking – geez these riders are the same age as my kids.
- Jarrod Williams (Illawarra)
- Matt Taylor (MWCC)
- Georgia Whitehouse (NSWIS/ SUVelo)
C Grade Group 1
Walter White collects third place??
- Matthew Robinson (MWCC)
- Richard Bull (DHBC)
- Paul Mower (NSCC)
C Grade Group 2
Peter Chen shows the stylish why to pull off the all black kit rather than wear RBCC
- Ben Edols (MWCC)
- Peter Chen (RBCC)
- Mark Steele (CCCC)
Bill Williams shows the panache with the old school Bianchi Cap on the podium. No doubt the most stylish guy in Dubbo.
- Bill Williams (Dubbo)
- John Hatt MWCC
- Ben Dawtrey (Peloton)