I only competed in two races, but what a massive weekend. For Bathurst, the weather was spectacular. Compared to the temperatures of earlier this week, it was really quite warm. I started off my Saturday spectating the NSW Hillclimb championships. I had two team mates competing, and I had some friends who were in the race as well, so me, my girlfriend and a mate spent the morning watching riders suffer on the steep gradient, while we enjoyed the view.
As the afternoon approached, it was time to focus, get ready for the criterium, and switch my mindset into race-mode. I always find that riding out to a race with team mates is a good way to really switch on the team mentality and a good way to discuss the race ahead in a reasonably relaxed environment. After we arrived at the Mount Panorma Pit Complex, we devised our race plan with Subaru NSWIS and MS Directeur Sportiff Ben Kersten and after a bit more warm up, we were ready to race. The race had an incredibly dynamic start, with constant attacks for the first 4 laps of the circuit, and the pace never slowed down a great deal until the finish. There were many breakaway attempts during the race, however they were all reeled in by the strong bunch. As the business end of the race approached, the pace hadn’t slowed at all. Strong attacks and breakaway attempts kept the pace very high. Myself and the other Subaru NSWIS and MS riders managed to come together as a group for the last five laps or so, with Ayden and Sam pulling incredible turns in the last two laps. Toovey was still on the front exiting the last bend when it was time for Jackson, Nick and Chris too shine. They did just that. No one could come around Jackson, so he rode away with the victory in a very fast sprint, with Chris taking second and Nick rounding out the podium third. One, two and three; we couldn’t have hoped for a better result! A very pleasing win for the team, and a great way to start off the season.
Sunday began with a team breakfast in Bathurst, shortly followed by the drive to Blayney. It was a sunny day in Blayney, but it was still a cool morning, so the jackets and arm warmers came out. I was really excited to race on sunday morning, so I was in a great head space before the start. We came up with our race plan, lined up, and off we went. The race started with some big attacks, some from us, and some from other NRS teams. About 18 kilometres into the race a big move went up the road, and we had no riders in the move. It was orchestrated by Budget Forklifts and St George Merida, who has been making some big attacks since the start of the race. We soon made our way to the front, and sorted out our positions as team members and we began the chase. Our team spent around 60 kilometres of the bike race on the front, in the wind. With 4 and then 5 of us chasing, and the others remaining fresh. It was hard work on the front, but we were committed to the team, and committed to the race plan, so we pushed on. We learnt so much as a team from these decisions, we realised how organised we can be, and how mentally and physically strong we can be when committed to a team plan. In the end, we didn’t quite get the result we were hoping for, but Sam finished 5th, a great result for an u19, and Ayden also finished inside the top 10.
All in all, it was a successful weekend for Subaru NSWIS and MS, and we all learnt invaluable racing lessons. Once again, the B2B was a great race, and from my personal experience, very safe and well organised.
Next weekend is the Tolland open. I’m a massive fan of country handicaps and I love supporting the country clubs. I always have fun at country handicaps and they’re always a great hit out. The Tolland weekend is a new one for me and many others, so I’m very excited to see how it goes!
Keep it real,