Report by Simon Veitch
For today’s race the KOM point was the top of Wickhams Hill only about 6km into the race. The pace was sedate in the run to the turn onto the climb, which suited me fine as a chance to get into the ride as my warm up had felt a bit lethargic. In the run up to the climb I had considered my strategy and briefly thought about using a more conservative strategy for the climb but let’s face it subtlety is not my strong point so instead I attacked as soon as we turned onto Wickhams road and went as hard as I could for the whole climb. At the top I had a pretty good gap over two chasers with another guy just behind them, the other 3 in the field where not to be seen.
At the top I thought briefly about waiting for the chasers before putting my head down and making them chase me with the vain hope that they would not organise a chase and glory could be mine. Optimistic huh! Across the top of The Range and down Pottery Rd I could not see any pursuers and hope surged a bit. A couple of K’s along the road to Meadows I spotted a couple of guys chasing me and with a pretty stiff headwind I decided to back off and join them. Graeme King and Neil Thompson were the pursuers and we immediately got a good rhythm going with Neil hurting and skipping a few turns but doing what he could.
We stayed together across Peters Creek Rd and through McLaren Flat with Graeme showing real strength on the flat sections of the course. We turned up Chapmans Ave and I went as hard as I could to split the group up. Neil was dropped straight away but Graeme hung in until cracking about 50m from the top, not enough gap for me to go on with into the inevitable headwind along McMurtrie Rd to the finish. Graeme and I worked together to ensure Neil did not get back on and rolled turns until 200m from the finish where I started the sprint, hoping to catch Graeme napping. Not to be, he was on me and too quick for this skinny white man and I finished second.
This was a great race series and a fitting tribute to Ron Williams, a sorely missed member of the racing community. I won all 5 KOM points during the series and secured the valuable Gold medal. Of the races I got 4 seconds (Mat Miller, really need that sprint training buddy) and a third, all in sprint finishes.