My first week of racing in the New Year has so far been marred by bad misfortune and ill circumstance, and yesterday was no exception. It marked the fifth and final day of racing and with an evening start time of 6:30pm, Chloe and I had a whole day to waste. Our predicted long morning ride turned into one hour plus an iced chocolate and pastries, followed by what turned out to be an epic excursion to the car wash. After an hour of driving we resorted to calling locals, bound for a car wash (pictured below) that we had already driven past, where I spent $20 and two hours vacuuming dog hair off my back seat, scrubbing the bugs off the bonnet of my car and subsequently flooding the globes in my front head lights! When it finally came time to race my arms were beginning to feel the effects of the car wash…not the best mental edge when you have to accelerate from a stand-still a predicted 80 times.
It was stifling hot when racing kicked off, and after a few laps around the 800m hot-dog circuit I remembered why this wasn’t my most loved course; crashes. Butterfield was the first casualty on the crash list with Broun also suffering some down time. The bunch propped while they enjoyed two laps out and remained that way until the first of two sprints. After the first intermediate sprint I hit through the finish line, into the corner, and glided through the exit…on my arse, with Broun once again in tow. After two laps out, dusting off dirt and bloody grazes I felt just fine, so it was back on the attack, once again solo (pictured below) as I struggled to find anyone keen to be a breakaway companion. This time I was away for 15 minutes gaining an advantage of 15 seconds and feeling strong. When GC threats were becoming obvious, the chase began.
As the bunch started to thin from behind another crash took place, bringing Broun’s tally to six laps out. With many re-joined riders entering the race ahead of the peloton, my time gap was bought back to mere seconds and any break-away hopes crushed. I hung on to the girls for the seven minutes that remained, grovelling in for 8th, leaving me with 4th on GC and 3rd in the points classification. Honestly, I had no hopes for a GC placing and was simply out to win the final stage. Any entertainment provided to the crowd was a bonus, and any result gained an extra. After a late dinner I drove the four hours home to Traralgon returning at 1am…without headlights after my flooding incident! I’m starting to think that my luck is due to change soon, so I’m hoping it does so in the next two days, because Friday I am bound for Buninyong, on the outskirts of Ballarat in Victoria, to suffer through the Australian Road Race Championships, key word…“suffer”.
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 5, Ritchie Blvd
Results: General Classification, Points Classification
* Images courtesy of WomensCycling.net