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Results and Reports for June 1-7, 2002
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Wagga Motors Open
June 1, 2002
Report courtesy of Shaun Hopkins
A nice fine sunny day greeted us for the start of the 2002 Wagga - Albury group handicap. Being graded in the C grade bunch, suited me down to the ground.. With 130km ahead of us, conservation was the name of the game for myself, given my lack of road racing and training.
We rolled out of town, and went up what I would call a climb after about 9km.. With the lack of road miles in mind, every time the road went up, I was getting worried about how long I would last, let alone whether I would get to the finish or not... A few flare ups occurred when some guys in the bunch decided to put there 2 bobs worth in about me not doing a turn, but they soon changed there tune when the B grade bunch caught us about the 60km mark...
With B & C grade now combined, it made for a very nice sized bunch to sit in. While watching the kilometres tick along, I was feeling very good and confident I would make it to the finish, until we hit the 100km mark... I decided to have a little stretch, and felt the start of a cramp. This had me a little scared, because with 35km still to go, the last thing I needed was to cramp up in the middle of nowhere.. While pedalling as softly as I could, and stopping the onset of the cramps, I continued on, and was hanging on for grim death.
After being informed of a short sharp climb 5km from the finish, and it being all downhill into the finish for 5km, I was constantly looking forward to the climb, simply so I knew I was nearly home. With it looming up the road, it was all or nothing.. I tried as much as I could to stay with the main group as we started the short climb, but with my legs cramping with every pedal stroke, it made it all the more difficult.
Upon cresting the climb, there was a small group about 50m in front of me, and upon investigating, found there was another group 50m behind me. So while stuck in no man's land, I decided to stick it in the 11 and chase the group in front and roll into the finish with the bunch. With not knowing how many men there were up the road, I was feeling ok and decided to have a go at the sprint.. Upon finding my lieutenant Campbell Kerr, he hit out about 500m out, only to leave me with about 300m to go.. With my legs now severely cramping with every pedal stroke, I crossed the line first from the main group, to find there were about 20 guys in front of the bunch...
With A grade not catching us, and self destructing along the road, left me to finish about 20th or so. So to all those people that said that I was mad for attempting such a feat, and those who said I couldn't do it, I have proved that with willpower anything can be achieved.
Now that I am a full fledged roadie, onto the Sydney Road Championships next week, and the NSW Criterium Championships the week after that...
Results. 120km handicap
1 Stephen Blair (Canberra Cycling Club) 3.03.09 2 Shaun Lewis (Southern Highlands CC) 3 Trent Stevenson (Shepparton Cycling Club) 4 Shane Dalton (Alpine Cycling Club) 5 Marcus Hayman (Canberra Cycling Club) 6 Bill Robertson (Wagga Wagga CC) 7 Carl Holleman, (Central Coast CC) 8 Peter Budd (Griffith CC) 12 Min 9 Ewin Williams (Brunswick Cycling Club) 10 Mathew Lucas (Randwick Botany CC) First Female - Jodie Till (Sutherland Shire CC) Fastest Time - Ashley Baines (Alpine Cycling Club) Sprint - Owen White (Tolland CC) KOM - Stephen Blair (Canberra Cycling Club) First Wagga CC rider - Bill Robertson Results courtesy of Neil J. Pinto