Pics by Andrew W
Andy WON! An awesome effort with an early launch form the end of the back straight sore Andy T smoke the field, easily winning the final sprint and taking his first victory and placing in E grade. Well done mate, I know Andy has been training hard, and is a quiet achiever (unlike myself!). Can't say how proud I am of Andy, he's come a long way with his riding, and took his victory in true BG style!! Andy was the only BG in E grade this week and represented well. Other BG racing - the Dan and Green-o in C's and Jason in D's. Not sure how these guys finished but photos suggest they raced hard in BG splendour!
This next bit is about my A/B Grade race, and goes on a bit and if you think it's excessive, don't read it, and f... .ff! If you want an insight into my potentially mad bicycle obsessed thoughts... read on.
It was decided that A & B was to be combined 10min before the race, Awesome! Grazing in a good paddock in perth, and not training much of late had me hating the idea. Even forgot my computer, but thanks to Steve I would have a machine to tell me yes you are going as F'n fast! Got to love Garmin, and the edge 500, fully interchangeable, twist and go, customised one of the screens field views to time and speed in less them a minute and away you go! Steve's computer even auto laps at the finish line off GPS - tricky little bugger, i might have to program this function!
Any hoo product plug over - the race was hard and fast with the pace early catching me and others out at the back and I should have known better and was punished for it. Took around 3 laps to get across the gap and settle back into the lead pack, here is where my domestique duties started dragging Shaun (honorary BG & all rnd nice guy) over the gap and back into the fold. It was hard and surreal at first racing @ A grade pace with 62 other cats, there was no letting up, thats for sure and I spent half the race on the threshold of my gag reflex! In the end the 62 rider field only dwindled slightly by the end and the pace became more, not comfortable, but doable, as I got settled.
Now the decision I made in the final chapter of the race may seem strange, and to an extent it was, but i fell no regrets and currently write this post feeling stoked at the result!
As we finished the 2nd to last lap I pulled up on the inside of Shaun moving down the pack on the main straight and with no premeditation, I decided in that moment, I'd offer a lead out form about 3/4 if not further down this mammoth pack. "Lead out", "Yes" what else was Shaun going to say!
We were a long way back and the pace was smoking hot but nailing the bottom corners and just winding the pace up along the inside edge of the pack keeping my acceleration smooth for Shaun. 1/2 way down the pack, 1/2 down the back straight, quick check, Shaun's there, hit the 'go' button, full throttle in saddle, smooth! Next thing I know I'm gaining on the leaders that have hit the head wind @ alarming pace, and picking the small gap between Sean Boyle and the curb becomes the issue but @ 20m before the final hair pin I/we hit the lead flying. Nailing the final corner, I even took some alu off the pedal but didn't dare let up and gave the exit of the corner and shaun all I had left.
Then 40 m from the line I'm done, "GO, GO, GO!" My game over, job done, Shaun streaking away from me at pace - I mean fast hitting 67km/hr in the sprint and leaving the ensuing A grader's in his wake! Me sat up with the box seat!
I finished 8th overall and 4th in B's, but none of this mattered as I'd succeeded at doing what I'd decided (90 sec earlier) I wanted to achieve, the perfect lead out and a mate's victory that felt as sweet as those of my own. I now understand why Mark Renshaw does what he does for a crust, so rewarding!
Congrats to Shaun as I didn't do all the work, he positioned him self well in the race and held my wheel perfectly in a tricky run to the final corner started long way out, his sprint to hold of the pack was phenomenally fast!
You might think Shaun isn't a team mate there is no team bonus for me, there are no photos or video that capture my efforts, no accolades, no points. But there is pride, mateship and a sense of accomplishment. If I'd ridden for my self, form that far back in the pack, I'd probably have finished in a similar position, burning out just before the line, but maybe a mate would not have won in an A grade race. 'BG'rade, mofo's! When the system screws u, f..k it up!
Domestique for hire!
Sorry MS, I won't be 'weak' and sit up before the line, next time u come to watch me race!! Gotta love'em!