Saturday, 13 August 2011

CCCC Les O’Mara Handicap

After having success at the last Modella handicap, I decided to give it another go. As always I wasn't highly confident as my legs were still store after ripping apart the Thursday night bunch ride in Sale. There was large numbers all round and my bunch off at 12min was exceptionally big. Conditions were great with no wind and for once it wasn't even that cold (Garmin showed 14degC). The group worked fairly well together given the size with large rest times between efforts which assisted recovery. It didn't take too long for us to catch the 16min group which had some strong riders including the infamous hard man Tommo from Warragul (Geoff Thomson) who won the Gippsland 3 Day Tour back in 1977. He was riding his stealth black Parlee which was easily one of the nicest bikes there. The now combined 12 & 16 min group continued on rolling consistent turns but it wasn't to the 2nd lap where we picked up the last remaining riders becoming the front of the race.

Entering the final 20km's we were told that there was only a 60sec gap on the bunch behind. A few k's down the road, the gap was down to 40secs and a majority of riders decided it was time to sit up and recover before being caught. Once caught, the large Lycra train of men (and one woman) steamed forward towards the finish line. With 5km's to go, the pace was high and the road was full riders making it hard to move towards the pointy end of the bunch. 1km to go, the pace had increased to near on 50km/h and was starting to turn into mayhem with a few riders slowing down mid bunch. I was too far back and content to roll though in the winning bunch. I had felt surprisingly strong and had made a big improvement over my race there previously. Overall the 12min bunch averaged just over 41km/h with Tommo taking out 2nd. Now time to focus on my recovery in preparation for another ITT tomorrow at Kew Boulevard.

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