Saturday, 25 June 2011

CCCC Jack McGowan Handicap at Modella - 6th Overall

Today the weather was great with the sun making a rare appearance and temperature was up in the double digits. I was excited to be on the way to another race and finding my way to Modella Hall proved a challenged as I blindly followed the GPS. It took the Mazda 3 down a unsealed road which deteriorated the further we traveled, turning into a muddy 4wd track before finally disappearing into a swampy paddock. I decided to accept defeat turning back, choosing the safer but slightly more boring option. Overall it was probably lucky that we didn't get bogged which I put down to my driving abilities leaving the Mazda intact albeit being covered top to bottom in a thick layer of mud.

In total 100 riders made the drive to Modella. My bunch was the off at 16mins and was fairly large in size containing a couple of strong riders that I recognized from the Gippsland region. Straight from the get go it was on with a couple of the more experienced riders organizing the bunch from a collection of stray cats into a well oiled machine. Everyone was rolling turns and before we knew it we had caught the riders in the previous bunches. Overtime the bunch was slowly starting to whittle down but the pace was kept high and by the end of first lap, the existing 4min to the riders behind was unchanged and the bell spurred us on.

The legs were starting to feel tired and I could feel a number of cramps building but thankfully never eventuated. The group continued to work well together with everyone doing their bit to keep the dream alive. Throughout the lap, the time updates proved that the gap was slowly being whittled down but it was still possible. On the home stretch, only 10 riders remained and the closer the finish become the more disorganized the group became. Finally with the finish line in sight, a couple of the smarter riders sat back knowing the job had been completed and it was time to prepare for the final kick. I missed the initial jump but managed to pull a few places back coming 6th overall. Overall we had averaged 40km/h for the 96km and all riders looked glad to be of the bike and a number of us were already walking funny.

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