RR Balliang

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by essendon93, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. essendon93

    essendon93 New Member

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    Ok my quick ride report!

    This was my second road race, after making my debut last week.

    Conditions were cold and windy, well not too cold, it's not like you need arm warmers when its 13.5 deg ;)
    As we were registering it started to pour, luckily it was only a brief shower with cloudy conditions prevailing...oh yeah did I mention it was windy.

    C-grade was to complete 3 laps of what we were told was a 20km circuit, which would equal 60km.

    Good field, I'm shocking with numbers but I reckon about 20 odd. We roll off at a quickish pace, which soon settles into a very easy pace of 22km/hr into a head mind. One bloke was off the front, so I figured I'll go and say hello to him, unfortunately he didn't want a bar of it and didn't want to work with me or wheelsuck. This left myself out at the front as I waited for the bunch to catch up. Just after the short sharp hill, the attacks came, and ripped C-grade apart. It didn't help my cause on the downhill that I was nearly run off the road, forcing me to jump on the brakes. I was dead last and off the back now, managed to catch up with Laurie who had lost touch, yelling to him to jump on, unfortuately looked like the pace was a bit too much.

    Turned the corner to hit a gravel road..WTF...this went on for the next 1.5k's. I didn't ride this at all well, and it didn't take long for Laurie and Andres to fly past me.

    Spent the next 6-7k's trying to get back on to a group of 5 riders. Didn't seem to be gaining much ground, so had to put in lots of quick spurts to try and gain ground...safe to say I was shagged by the time I got on. Eventually we had some nice rolling turns happening. I didn't mean to drop the group up the hill, but that's what happened, so off I went on my lonesome. Saw Jono on the side of the road, figured he must have had a puncture or a mechanical...tough luck.

    Through Paris-Roubaix again, if thats not an advertisement for GP-4000's I don't know what is, they looked puncture city in the eye and just kept on plugging on.

    Saw a rider just after the start line, so decided to try and catch him and make the last lap a little easier. We worked well together, passing another rider on the way, but unfortuately I dropped him on the hill. Lucky there was someone just up on the crest, so set my sights on him, but he seemed cactus, worked a little, but I ended up pulling away from him also.

    The guy who I was riding with before the hill, flew past me on the gravel section, and was out to a 250m lead...this irked me somewhat...so the chase was on. With the wind behind my back I was rocking a long at 50+ km/hr, touching about 55. He saw me chasing him down, jumped out of the saddle trying to drop me...not going to happen, I was a little pissed off, more because of the gravel section...but had to take my frustration out on someone. Job done as I passed him 100m from the line.

    Certainly got a wake up call to this road race thing...yikes. I think I ended up about midfield.....well I'm pretty sure I did.

    Stats

    Distance 76km (so much for the 60km!)
    Av speed 32.9
    Total time 2.18.39

    Approx
    Lap 1 45min
    Lap 2 47min
    Lap 3 46min

    PS I think thats the longest I've ridden without stopping for lights, toilet, or whatever.
     
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  2. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    RR: Balliang Northern Combine 1/04/2006. Long report, recalled as best I could.


    I entered B grade in my second road race. I was expecting to race around 75kms maybe a little more... We were told it was 4 laps of around 20kms, but they weren't sure of the exact distance, along with 1.5kms of dirt road.. The circuit ended up being around 25.7kms, so it was going to be a long afternoon.

    There was a good showing of familiar HCCers in B grade: MatM, Paulie, TimW, CamC, Stew, Jono. We were started with a small field of A graders (5?). I expected to see A grade and maybe some B graders sail off into the distance, and surely enough within the first 5kms the bunch split. There were a few looks around to see if there was to be any reaction, I asked Paulie if we wanted them back. I think I heard something in the positive, so I went to work pulling them in. No time to look around, I think we were all there on the small climbs heading south into the wind. Knowing Jono was saving himself for Coleraine, I kept him out of the wind up one of the short climbs. Looking around to see if I was in the right spot, he thought I wanted the wheel he was on, and called it mine (cheers!).

    The only major climb was right after the left turn heading east. 500m @ 6.8%, which gradually got steeper. Made sure I was around the front and may have even done a turn on the front up the hill (all a blur now). The other HCCers pulled through near the top, looks like we were all still there. A side wind from hell down to the 'dirt road'. We all cautiously entered the gravel section. The road was hard pack with no potholes, small grey stones, and some BIG grey stones! There were two lines to take, left or right, with some nasty wash-up of stones that made 23mm tyres feel like they were 1mm wide! The bunch somehow kept the pace high, with some of us going off the back thinking "eeek, this'll be _really_ good for our $$+ carbon beauties!" I find a rhythm and catch Paulie and Mat, the rest of the bunch were 30m+ up the 'dirt'. While watching Paulies wheel my bike goes right.. Lesson quickly learnt, "my line" becomes "wherever the bike takes me" when not riding in one of the less-stoned lines. Paulie sees me sail into the grass.... After a few shouts of "ohhhhh shiteee I'm gone, I'm gone" things stabilise and I manage to MTB style the thing back onto into a hard pack line.

    Finally onto the road again... Race status - 40mins 24kms A/B bunch looks to be intact about 100m up the road, two chasers 50m off, Paulie and I 30m off the chasers, Mat somewhere just behind, and Jono punctured. Paulie and I work together to pull in the chasers. I try calling out to them to hold up as four chasing will be much better than two, no reply. The hammer was down and they probably didn't hear me anyways. We get them a few kms later and they are both spent.

    Lap 2: The main bunch is spitting riders off the back who are joining our little bunch. A quick health check of everyone, not looking good. The wind and the dirt road has taken its toll. Someone calls "short turns" which lasts a few 100m. I found myself on the front with a rider 200m up the road, and the front bunch another 200m from him. Move of the day, or what I'll call "this wont make me any friends", I make a break off the front. No plans of what I'll do, but given there were a few people hurting something is bound to happen. A few minutes later I bridge to our international trackie mate from Hong Kong, Chi Yin. I give him the thumbs up, and we worked on the "B grade bridge" to the front runners. We catch them at the start at the bottom of the small hills, three A graders, who were all watching our chase and knew we were on the way. They must have known we were both too honest to simply sit on for the ride.

    Chi and I started working with the bunch, pulling turns with the 'big guys'. A thought crossed my mind about the ethics of working with other grades, but I thought the worst they could do was disqualify us (the chase car was right on our wheel) and I'd simply end up getting some more racing time under my belt. Up the main climb, two of the A graders blast off. Chi, Phil Indivino, and I were left to gather our legs and work on pulling them back in. We work well in the side wind and get back on. A few short climbs later before the dirt road, Chi pops off the back. Onto the dirt and the three of them blast off on me.

    Race status - 1hr36min 44km, I'm 100m off the back of the front three and the chase car is chasing me! The dirt section was getting easier with the other grades/riders 'sweeping' it up. Cranking away for another 4-5kms I grab back onto the front three. I'm greeted with smiles and looks of 'hey, nice work!'.. Left turn onto the start/finish and third wheel lays his bike down on the road, we look at each other... I sit up and wait for him, the other two do the same. I was expecting A grade to be hard-core-sheep-station-racing-ice-cold attitude. But no, it was with a bunch who worked really well and had respect for each other. The case car pulls the rider back to us. No major injuries, but he was cursing how stupid he was for going down.

    Lap 3: 1km or so after the start/finish I'm loosing touch with the front two, I get an encouragement push from behind. I get back on, only to see the guy who pushed me, the same guy that came down, turn around and pull out. I didn't catch this guys name, but if I ever have the privilege of riding with him again, my wheel is his anytime.

    Three of us left. Phil, me, and another guy who I didn't get the name of. 'Unnamed' was strong, _really_ strong. As soon as we hit the main climb he was gone. Phil and I ground away and started working on what was the impossible, he was 300m gone and still going. Having nothing to lose if Phil wanted to drop me, I was more than happy to work the cross wind with him. He returned the favour and while we didn't pull him back in, we didn't lose any more time to him. A few 100m from the dirt, Phil curses, his front wheel is going down. I join in the cursing, then ask him if he can make it back to the start to grab another wheel. He tells me to go.. I thank him for his work, and take off.

    Race status - 1hr42min 68.5kms done, 34.5kms to go, one rider off 300m up the road, no idea of time gaps of any chasers. Head down, crank away.

    Lap 4: Crossing the start/finish I get the 'one to go', and words of encouragement from BigMat who was now the official photographer for the day. With the final 8kms benefiting from a nice tail wind, I knew I only had to drive hard for another 30-35mins. The rider ahead was still visible, but there was no chance I'd make the gap alone. About 2kms into the south bound inclines, he pulls off to the side of the road. I meet him with "Phil punctured, you ok?", I get a head shake but he was still standing up, so it wasn't terminal. I ask if he is coming, no reply, off I head. Grinding into the wind I spot a baby llama having a munch on some grass on the side of the road. I have a chuckle... anything to take my mind off the wind and the final climb. Not knowing the time gaps I'm keeping a lookout from the top of the climb for any chasers, I cant see any, but I know they'll be there somewhere. Onto the dirt one last time, c'mon tyres don't puncture now. Back onto the road my speed is down, even with the tail wind. Rolling onto the home straight, I take a few more glances behind me, arh yes.. no bunch sprint!.. Greeted by some of the stayers and BigMat with his camera. I'm spent. $60 for the B win, Phil took the A grade 'win' ;) Not sure if any other A graders finished? Conditions and the course (and the distance) caught out everyone I think, and I was simply lucky.

    A few things to mention that I'll put in list form:

    - The HCC turn out! Awesome, and we cleaned up! :)
    - Corner marshals and officials - great work - I'll be out there on a Sat I'm not racing.
    - The speed of A grade - these guys literally blew me away, and I thought I was a climber!?
    - I was lucky through attrition, Chi's willingness/ability to work, and simply hanging on for the last lap. Not to mention the Baw Baw Classic and Coleraine next weekend that would have thinned out the numbers.
    - 20mins isn't really 20mins when the chasers had to stop and change a flat!

    Approx Lap times:

    Lap 1 - 42:20
    Lap 2 - 42:00
    Lap 3 - 43:15
    Lap 4 - 47:06
    Total time: 2hrs 54mins 41 secs.
    Average Speed: 35.4
    Distance: 103kms

    Backed up with a 90km BR today with max efforts on all TT and non TT sections... bring on the working week, these weekends are killing me! :eek:


    cheers,
    GPLama
     
  3. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

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    Yeh, I got a puncture, fixed it and raced on only to find out after another 20 k or so that my wheel was buckled, then i heard a spoke snap, F**K.

    You know it's tough race when only 5 A/B graders finish out of about 20 starters! THe biggest surprise for me was right after the gravel section (Which we didn't drop below 50 on, needless to say I'm glad I didn't wear my white nix) where i got my pucture. I looked and saw that Shane got dropped! I knew it wouldn't stay like that for long:cool:

    And great stuff Ess, all good prep for Coleraine.

    Jono
     
  4. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    Argh... when I saw you pull up after the first 'dirt' I was hoping it was only a chain off... but when I heard you say 'flat' we were back onto the task of 'getting back on'..

    Me dropped!? Wasnt the first or last time it happend during the race! :eek:


    cheers,
    GPL
     
  5. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    bahahah. and now we find out Ess came 2nd!
    almost matched by the incredulous look you gave at start of BR when Lama mentioned you were in the money :D
     
  6. ritcho

    ritcho New Member

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    Maybe the others stopped after two laps, thinking they had done three? ;)

    Ritch

    - tongue in cheek of course, ess zoomed up to K'ground yesterday...
     
  7. Andres

    Andres Guest

    > Spent the next 6-7k's trying to get back on to a group of 5 riders.
    > Didn't seem to be gaining much ground, so had to put in lots of quick
    > spurts to try and gain ground...safe to say I was shagged by the time I
    > got on. Eventually we had some nice rolling turns happening. I didn't
    > mean to drop the group up the hill, but that's what happened, so off I
    > went on my lonesome.


    Your little attack up that hill split the remainder of us up - packs of
    2 or 3 were behind you. I made the mistake of letting a gap open on the
    crosswind section :1m, 5m, 10m, "oh - I don't think I can close that by
    myself". So I let go a bit to work with a guy that was close behind. We
    worked very well together for an entire lap passing a couple, maybe
    three, until, with 200m of gravel road left to go on the last lap - my
    back wheel hit 2 rocks in a row. Flat. Lucky it wasn't my front.

    > Certainly got a wake up call to this road race thing...yikes. I think
    > I ended up about midfield.....well I'm pretty sure I did.


    I reckon you did better than that. The way you attacked up those
    hills, stage 2 and 3 will suit you next week - lots of short and sharp
    ones.

    Hope it won't be as windy as on Saturday though.

    -Andres
     
  8. essendon93

    essendon93 New Member

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    Ritcho I was just cruising up Kangaroo ground yest :) , went hard at the start, but the legs were a tad weary

    ess" feeling like Steve Bradbury" 93
     
  9. adam85

    adam85 Guest

    "essendon93" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >
    > Ok my quick ride report!
    >
    > This was my second road race, after making my debut last week.


    [snip]

    good stuff and well done ess & lama. More fun than roundy-roundy crits hey!
    :) Maybe they should cobble that gravel bit and spray mud and cow shit all
    over it....

    Adam
     
  10. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-04-03, essendon93 (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >
    > ritcho Wrote:
    >> Maybe the others stopped after two laps, thinking they had done three?
    >> ;)
    >>
    >> - tongue in cheek of course, ess zoomed up to K'ground yesterday...

    > Ritcho I was just cruising up Kangaroo ground yest :) , went hard at
    > the start, but the legs were a tad weary


    Oh do stop bragging about how easy it was.

    After 75km B grade racing, you still slaughtered us 3 unfortunate C/D
    graders. Far oot!

    --
    TimC
    I was going to compile a list of innovations that could be
    attributed to Microsoft. Once I realized that Ctrl-Alt-Del
    was handled in the BIOS, I found that there aren't any. --unknown
     
  11. essendon93

    essendon93 New Member

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    C-grade, shite if I was riding B-grade for 103km I'd be totally and utterly stuffed :eek:
     
  12. mogulhead

    mogulhead New Member

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    So which club put on this road race and where do I find their calendar? Sounds like a really good circuit.
     
  13. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

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    They're run by club's in the northern combine- Hawthorn, Coburg, StKilda, Sunbury, Brunswick...

    here's the calender
    http://www.coburgcycling.com.au/calendar.htm

    Jono

    #Note if you're a member of a club in a different combine you need written permission (email) from the club president allowing you to race outside of your combine.
     
  14. Hitchy

    Hitchy New Member

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    ....Melton, Italo & Northcote. Theres talk that the " hell of the West" will run over this section of 'pave' this year to add a new dimension to that race. Personally, bloody Mt. wallace (2km @ 13%) is a hard enough 'dimension'. But running the 'pave' was something different, only 2 came off & no-one had more than superficial damage to body or bike. I thought it was worthwhile for a change. The problem this year was getting a police permit for the Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Rd

    cheers,

    Hitchy
     
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