Date(s) - 19/07/2014
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: This course uses the roads between Lookout Hill and the entrance to Tidbinbilla Nature Park.
Timing: Course set up will commence at 9.00 am with racing to commence at 10.00am. Racing is expected to conclude by approx. 12.00pm and pack up completed by 1.30pm.
Race overview: The course starts and finishes at Lookout Hill on Tidbinbilla Road. Riders will head north on Tidbinbilla Road and turn just after the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to return to the start/finish at Lookout Hill. The race will be 2 laps of the 25km course for 50km total.
Car Parking: Competitors will park in the carpark at Lookout Hill and in the overflow carpark.
Clear blue skies with sunshine and 8ºC greeted riders for the graded scratch race on Saturday at Lookout Hill. What wasn’t immediately obvious was the blustery 35 km/h southerly that was buffeting the racecourse. Although, with only 33 racers, perhaps that wind was indeed on the forecast with the implications understood by many other potential racers – plenty of head and cross winds.
There isn’t much flat road on the course between the start at Lookout Hill and the far turn 12.5 km away just after Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Some testing power climbs on the way out, starting just after the Point Hut and Tidbinbilla Roads intersection, and also going past Corin Road T-intersection. On the return leg, Berg Birrigai is always steeper than it looks, as is the rise up past the last creek crossing before the fast descent towards Point Hut/Tidbinbilla Roads intersection. Course Technical Director Extraordinaire Peter Gough decided to make the course especially tough by placing the finish line at the crest of Lookout Hill, so there was a final kick up to the line – thanks, Peter! Smart riders would save a little in the tank for the finish, to judge carefully their sprint uphill and into the headwind.
To the racing! Numbers were down across all grades. Men’s A grade got away first with six riders. However, one additional rider, David Parker, started late and joined that race as the bunch made its return towards Birrigai from the turn beyond Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.
The other grades started their races on two minute delays from the Men’s A grade race. Men’s B grade with four riders; Men’s C grade with eight riders, the largest single graded bunch of the day; and Men’s D and Women’s B combined with Men’s E and Women’s C grade and all went away together when the flag dropped with 12 riders; and there was no Women’s A grade.
With a strong tailwind, all bunches got away cleanly. However, at that time the Junior race was also getting underway from the far point of the course. From there it was a tough 12.5 km slog into a headwind over a lumpy course. A strong ride saw Josh Bates first across the line, and Audrey Nelson was not far behind.
In the senior grades, on the climb going up past Corin Road the first time there were reports from the roving Skywhale blimp that Men’s A grade was splitting up. Samuel Hill and Nicholas Wilson were leaving the others behind. Michael Tolhurst bridged across soon after and that’s how that race went across the start/finish line to complete their first lap; breakaway of three away and four chasing.
At the end of their first lap, Men’s B was altogether. It was altogether but one in Men’s C, including a storming Zachary Zala in the bunch, riding with strength well above his age group. The combined MD/WB/ME/WC was next to complete lap one, with Edward Hilly, Stuart Roesler and another ahead of a larger bunch. That bunch had left some riders behind to face the headwind on the return leg alone, or in small groups of twos and threes. All were very focussed as they commenced lap two. George Nelson was first across the finish line in Men’s E, and went home the winner of that race. Great ride, George! In Women’s C grade, Samantha Nicholls showed courage and determination by soldiering on to complete the two testing laps.
All grades battled the headwind on the run in towards the finish. Men’s A grade nearly came back together at the foot of Lookout Hill, before Sam Hill stomped away to win in a sprint over Jordan Louis and Nick Wilson.
The result in Men’s B grade was decided after a two-up sprint from the bottom of Lookout Hill. Michael Rosser skipped away from Charles Nicoll. Brandon Bardsley rounded out the podium.
A blanket could have covered the first finishers in Men’s C grade. Dominic Vigar claimed the tightest bunch sprint of the day ahead of Paul Frankcom and Zachary Zala.
In Men’s D grade, Stuart Roesler edged out James Steen, with Edward Hilly third. In the Women’s grades, Michelle Burns (WB) sprinted away from Amy Woods (WC) to win their respective races.
The course and weather did take their toll. Many grades had DNFs, most due to mechanicals, however. Thankfully there was no need to call on the first aid officer, Michael Campbell, for any misadventures out on course. Yet Michael did provide some words of advice to ease the leg cramps of some finishers.
The race would not have been possible without the marshals who volunteered their valuable time. And it was cold all day out there! So thanks to the marshals Jemma O’Brien, Gayleen Bourke, Steve Crispin, Elizabeth Da Silva and Jay Fradkin. Special thanks to Chris Short and Peter Gough, without whom the marshalling team would have struggled to run the event, including advising the required professional traffic marshals.
Finally, huge thanks to the Canberra Cycling Club for hosting the race!
|1||898||HILL, Samuel||MA||50||33.8||1:28:50||Hunter CC|
|7||1080||PARKER, David||MA||50||33.5||1:29:35||ANU CC|