Sunday, October 05, 2008

Back to Reality

The last week has been slightly detached from the real world thanks to the Uni Games circus coming to Melbourne. Of course, my circus revolved mainly around some two wheeled antics.

Day one was four laps of the 30km Lancefield-Newham circuit. Monash managed to field a full six man contingent in the 50+ strong field heavily dominated by three Melbourne Uni teams, the first of which included the brothers Braunsteins as well as one Lachlan Norris. Fair to say that they were the wheels to follow along with a couple of other pairs of Drapac knicks hidden under CSU jersey's and two fellas wielding the ever dangerous Van Der Ploeg name.

The steed got new hoops for the day thanks to James Mowatt.

The opening km's were peppered by short lived breaks before a four man group finally got away. CSU, Melbourne and Monash were all represented which resulted in the next 70km's being very comfortable as weaker uni's buried themselves. However, being the defending champion Dan wasn't content to let brother Pete take over the crown from an easy break and jumped away. He succeeded in bridging the four minute gap and continued past to take the win from Neil VDP, brother Pete, Dean Windsor with the first Monash representitive crossing in fifth.

Post Dan attacking the rest of my race consisted of burying myself with another couple of the Monash boys in an attempt to both bring Dan back, and prevent any others jumping off the front. Objective A obviously failed, while objective B was a resounding success as we blew the bunch apart and came to the line with about 15 riders remaining. Five of those with Monash jersey's meant a good leadout and second and third in the bunch kick. No medals, but plenty of points.

Spent, but happy.

Following that effort the event schedulers were nice enough to give us a day off, so day three brought our second event the pairs time trial. I only live 20 minutes away from Kew Boulevard, and yet I detest it so much that I've only ever ridden one lap of it by choice (read outside of racing). Fair to say I was less than motivated to bury myself for four laps of it.

Apparently my legs weren't in the mood either and Hugh pracitcally towed me around before we stopped the clock at 1.09, five minutes down on B1 + B2. We snagged some points to stay at the pointy end of the teams classification with our other pair finishing sixth,

and the girls smashing their way around to a bronze medal.

Day four brought the ITT, three more laps of the boulevard, and I wasn't any more enthused.

Taking straight lines and smooth corners, avoiding the worst areas of road, doing all the one percenters meant even though the legs didn't play ball I stopped the clock five seconds under my goal time of 52 minutes, three minutes down on guess who...yep, Dan.

I was pooped. Our star for the day was James, stopping the clock in a blistering 49 minutes

to score another bronze medal for the team, definitely our best result for the whole week.

Day five and our final event, once again at Kew Boulevard but this time in crit form. Everyone just wanted to go par-tay, and so the hour + three was shortened to 45 + three...the gun went and it was on. With constant cornering everyone was expecting carnage.

Fair to say the one crash was expected, the unsuspected part was that there weren't more but we won't complain about that. Meterage was to be gained through the bottom hairpin and I used it to have a go myself.

I was perhaps a little optimistic though as the heart rate went through the roof and I reallised I didn't stand a chance, slinking back to the bunch. Once again a group eventually went up the road with Monash and Melbourne both represented. The pace settled a bit and they got a good gap, then Dan decided he wanted more medals and rode off the front.

I tried to follow, but he'd worder Peter up to the move who proceeded to put an end to that idea by putting me in the gutter. Meh, not like I was going to stay with him anyway, saved me lots of pain I think.

The pace instantly came back on as attack after attack went and was chased down. Then suddenly some familiar faces appeared back in the bunch. With the four up the road being Dean Windsor, Dan Braunsteins, Lachlan Norris and our star James Henry it wasn't really a surprise when they lapped the field with five minutes to go. Everyone was pulled leaving them to fight it out. Unfortunately for us James couldn't hack the pace and rode home solo to fourth, still a great ride.

That left Melbourne with a two to one advantage over CSU in the remaining three.

Norry was quite content to let Dan go for glory and took third, while Dean was able to spoil the party and come over Dan on the line to put him into an unfamiliar silver medal.

The racing over, it was all smiles. No surprise that Melbourne took the cycling prize overall with Dan's dominance (along with Chloe's dominance of the women), we were quite happy to hear we'd been able to pip CSU for second though. The best news was later that night at the closing ceremony though, overall uni games results were the reverse with Monash pipping Melbourne by 13 points. The party began, and I hit the hay at 5.30 the next morning. A good finish to my final uni games.

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