Friday, August 04, 2006

Balliang race report

Seeing as people are always wondering what I'm doing always riding the bike, I thought I'd let you know what I get up to.

The short answer: racing glory!

So, my cycling exploits have taken me to balliang nestled at the base of the Brisbane Ranges midway between bacchus Marsh and Geelong- the scene of many a cycling tragedy. One of the most difficult courses in the Northern Combine, renowned for DNFs, stacks and sob stories.

The field was noticeably smaller at Balliang this time around after the epic slugfest that was Balliang I. and the dirt section was removed from the race after a bunch of sooky la-las complained.

I lined up in B grade, and A and B grade raced together. Representing Hawthorn were Aaron 'the atomic lion of hawthorn' Christiansen and Hawthorn cycling club's climbing lieutenant Jono lovelock.

Due to seasonal difficulties I didn't pack any hot cross buns this time, but i did manage to pack 6 fruit buns as a substitute. Two were consumed in the course of racing.

The first lap went by without incidient. A few B-graders were dropped.I sat in for the most part- only swapping turns at the front when I absolutely had too. The wind was blowing very strongly, and it seemed most riders had decided to stick together for as long as possible.

On the second lap I got dropped going up the short hill at the backend of the course. I had chinese the night before- and it wasn't doing me any favours every time the race went uphill. The Chilli Beef Sirchuan noodles causing my stomach to churn. Point to note: Don't eat something that is given a maximum chilli rating before you do a bikerace. You don't want to suffer from ring sting for 100km! Luckily there is a long downhill after the climb- so with the help of one of the officials vehicles I was able to reintegrate into the main bunch. It just wouldn't be a bike race without some blatant cheating.

Then on the third lap Jono attacked the bunch on a small hill before the major climb on the course. I wasn;t expecting that. He Managed to drop all but one B grader. I would argue that this was poor tactics because it was too far out from the line to cause the decisive break- and only succeeded in dropping me (bastard). It also left him at the mercy of his opponent from the 3 day tour- the lion of hawthorn, and two brunswick riders.

Anyway, the ride to the line was an absolute beast- by myself into a howling gale. But second in B-grade was a great consolation.

Next week- South Gisborne. Onward to cycling glory, and hopefully a finish in the Melbourne Warnambool


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