State Titles from the Back by Owen Macphillamy
NSW State Titles
Tale from the back of the bunch.
The states were hard!
Darryl Grant Cycles lent Mick, Joe and I the van for the trip to Kurrajong. We hit the road at 5am on Sunday and it was a balmy -5. It was a tough bunch we had 1/4 of the bunch having returned from either racing in Europe or the tour of Gppsland. So it was quick!
On the first lap all was good just the normal abuse from motorists as we hit the base of the climb. I got through the climb ok in the bunch (2km climb ave 1st lap 22k/h) then we rolled around while a few guys trying to get off the front. About 5km from the start finish we all stopped for a piss. (the other grades weren't happy as we held up all the other races).
The 2nd time up the climb I was off the back a little bit in the last 500m (2km climb ave 25k/h) got through the feed and rolled back onto the back. There were varying degrees of rider of the back both quality and weekend warrior.
This point established the brake and Mick made the brake. Rolled around the back of the course with some flat out bits and some slow bits. Feeling ok at this point though starting to heat up ( stomach was a bit funny before the start now feeling like I need a good vomit, you know that hot feeling you get before an upchuck), while this was happening I was policing the back end of the bunch and watching as riders rolled off the back. We rolled back through the start finish and down the hill again. This time I struggled a bit more up the climb (2km ave23k/h) but not the first to go off the back. Through the feed a small bunch caught me and we rolled through and got the bunch back in sight and then they all (the group I was on) held the bunch at 200m but they wouldn't close the gap so myself and another rider rolled off the front and through the commissars (that was shit as they would not hold a line or let us sit on the back for a second, then they flicked up rocks) then got back on the back. By this point the bunch was a lot smaller and the brake was still up the road. We then rolled through the start finish and back to the hill and this was were the man with the hammer hit me and while I was going as fast as my busted legs would go I could not stay with the back of the bunch. I watched as the disappeared up the road round the corner and I was on my own.
I found a rider up the road and so rolled off turns with Josh Carlson a freak on the MTB but we were both rooted and got back to the
start finish and that was it, 1 more lap to go and 4min off the back I stopped. Mick blew the last time up the climb and lost a heap of time
in the 2km and went through 2 bunches so he pulled out as well at the feed. The brake was made up of the guys that have been racing full time then
a group of 10 rolled across the line of guys that work and race all up about 20 finished.
I would like to thank Joe “the Monkey” Szpytko the king of feeding for feeding us and taking turns with driving. Thank you to Darryl at Darryl Grant Cycles for the loan of the best van.