It's Tour of Flanders Day.
No... really! It's Tour of Flanders Day. One of the best pro races races of the season is on SBS Viceland tonight from 9.30. In the meantime, here's what's been happening at MMBCC Towers, starting with the last two road races. (MTB details to come soon-ish.)
By Joop Van Hosterberg
Club racing focused on the short sharp climb of the Coombesberg on Old Tolmie Road with a “long tail” to a finish outside the showgrounds on Mt Battery Rd.
At this point of the year it has become very difficult for the fast ones in Scratch and 'Block to catch the outliers in the Limit groups, as they seem to have learned how to ride in a group! Smooth is fast folks!
This being the second last race of the Summer season, intense interest is focused at the top of the leader board and a good result from any of the top three will all but secure the aggregate trophy; Club President Craig “Wil” Wilson now well and truly out of the picture.
Talia Appleton, riding very strongly since her overall win at the Victorian Schools Cycling Competition, was looking to post a strong result as was Dan Purcell, resplendent in his Mansfield Tour ‘Sprint Leader’ jersey. Vice president Bruce, alas, was away for this race and this may prove telling in the final wash-up.
Handicapper Eisner would be happy with the way the race came together in the finish, but not so close that a bunch sprint was required.
The youngsters stayed away, mostly, with the exception of a very strong ride from Cam Dobson, who pulled away from his group to secure his first win.
An avalanche of junior talent followed Cam over the line with Matilda Reeve in second place, Elise Empey rounding out the podium, closely followed by Bella Green for fourth place.
Talia Appleton arrived in 9th place picking up a couple of valuable points in the aggregate race.
In late news the club “raced” up the Col du Tolmielet on Sunday morning in warm but wet conditions.
Damian Grundy prevailed, over Steve Duke and Judi Duke with the rest of the small field in age order, oldest coming in last!
Next Thursday is the last race of the summer series with a finish on Whitfield Road near the Botanic Park, the outcome of this race could determine the names on the coveted “Wooden Crank”.
Thanks to all our volunteers over the season and especially during the Mansfield Tour last weekend.
Down to the wire
By John Eisner
A strong field of thirty three cyclists fronted up for the final Thursday night race of the 2017/18 Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club’s Summer Road Series. The stakes were high for several riders with club championship points (and all-important sponsorship contracts) at stake.
Courtney Lynch, Bella Green and Elise Empey led the charge as Limit followed by the smooth and improved bunch of Di Condie, Judi Duke, Kieren Payne, Matilda Reeve, Rod Manning and Dave Bock.
Peter Ellett, John Eisner, Talia Appleton and Craig Wilson were next, followed by Alex Green, Kody and Janine Appleton, Allan Gerrans and the Steves (Flew and Curnow).
Dave Moore, Andrew Stephenson, Rob Skinner and Cam Dobson were next then Jock Brega, Jarrod Appleton, Darren Bakker, Steve Duke and 'rolling start' Aaron Peterson.
Bruce Halket and Damian Grundy made up the Chopping Block while Dan Purcell and Kian Lerch-MacKinnon were off Scratch.
As predicted it was a fast 25km out to Sawpit Gully Road and back. Wilson was energetic and rode off the front of his bunch but was unable to bridge the gap to the well organised Condie group. Similarly, Empey rode well, in her restricted gears, off her bunch to mix it well in the final ten. With lots of hard work most of the faster groups merged by the return to the Barwite hill leaving a few casualties along the way.
Up front Di’s group continued to ride smoothly and in a close finish managed to hold off the pursuing Scratch group by 24 seconds with Di taking out a good win.
Payne placed second with Manning third, Judi Duke fourth and Reeve fifth.
A big thanks over the whole season to our crew of helpers and to the Delatite Hotel.
Speaking of the Delatite, that's where the club will be be hosting the Summer Presentations at 6pm on Thursday 19 April. Winners of the Summer Road Series, Womens’ Road Aggregate, Dirt Crits and the Alain Guerin Combined trophy will all be announced.
Invitations are cordially extended to all members, family, friends and miscellaneous hangers-on.
Summer Presentations and Strategic Plan
As mentioned briefly above, you're all invited to the Summer Presentations at the Delatite Hotel at 6pm on Thursday 19 April to find out who's won.
Also... as mentioned in a previous newsletter, the club is developing a strategic plan and would like members to be involved. Being a small club, the plan will be used promote membership and organise events, communicate to our local community and the broader cycling community and use in conversations with potential sponsors and agencies such as local government and state government.
You’re invited to a meeting at the Delatite Hotel, after the Summer Presentations, to discuss and develop the plan in more detail.
To get in the mood for the Tour of Flanders...
Cycling Tips Preview plus Cycling News Preview and Top 12 Contenders. And, most importantly, here is your invitation to view the race in comfort and style... in Alex's shed.
Hell of the North (cote)
Next weekend is another of the best races of the season, Paris-Roubaix, the Hell of the North.
However, the even better* Melburn-Roobaix, the cobbled cult classic is on Sunday 24 June. All event information for the 13th 'Hell of The Northcote' can be found here.
* This one we can actually ride ourselves!
We have two more road races left this season! We have our Autumn Gravel Series races (click here and scroll down a bit...) on 15 and 29 April.
Get inspired by the cobbled classics and get into it!
This isn't related to our local races, the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix. It's an interesting little film about Graeme Obree.