Written by Max Osborne
Regular Readers of the Blotto Bugle will be aware 2 wins were had by Team Blotto on Saturday the 8th of September. It was in the Northern Combine Kyneton C & D Grade scratch races hosted by Sunbury. A relatively lumpy, exposed course where the wind was howling and the clouds were threatening. Race Reports below and official results here:
With two 3rd places in the Northern Combine season so far I was chasing the elusive D-grade win before moving up to C-grade (yes, insert sandbagging claims here). The main plan of attack was to not to make the same mistake as the last St Kilda cup race and singularly chase down every break and leave nothing in the tank. Given the wind and (I would have thought) slim chances of a successful break, most of the race was relatively uneventful – a brief solo soft breakaway (short lived), a two man breakaway for about ½ of the second lap until we reeled them back on the headwind stretch, and a very spirited but ultimately doomed solo which stuck all the way until the corner where the wind changed. The most entertaining part was a 16 year old kid who tried to jump the gap to the 2 man break no less than 3 times on the long back straight and each time couldn’t get there so would drift to the back only to attack again. The steep descents on the top of the course were pretty sketchy with a blustery cross wind but the pack stayed together on the rolling course except for a few early disappearances when you looked back and suddenly someone was gone.
Fast forwarding to the final climb on the last lap and the pack was together coming into the bottom of (not so) bald hill and I was about 6th wheel, starting to hurt and moderately concerned, but about half way up started to ease forward though the group and squeezed up to the lead about ¾ of the way up and then pushed hard to move off the front, splitting the bunch and bringing two other guys with me. I crested first and called the guys to work together to hold the break down the final 2k’s or so to the finish line. A 4th rider appeared from nowhere around this point and had obviously buried himself to catch us, so the four of us rolled a few turns and were doing 50kph with a semi tail-wind and a good lead into the final stretch. As we rounded the corner and the finish line was in sight I pulled to the front and buried myself seated and in the drops and drove for the line, crossing (by blurry eyed estimates) a few bike lengths in the lead (apparently they couldn’t split the two guys behind me and gave them equal second).
Glad to finally take home the trophy and champagne (which Adrian and I elected to save, unlike A-grade who sprayed the crowd). Look forward to mixing it up with the big boys in C-grade next time!