Shepparton Newspaper Article
GV Vets hosted the VVCC Open today at the beautiful little town of Dookie, just out of Shepparton. A glorious sunny Sunday greeted 69 riders, including 14 from Northern Cycling, a great turn out. Registration and race start seemed to be right in the town’s main street, at the local hall with full facilities and plenty of parking.
The 54km course was about 5km out, 3 loops of a roughly square and hilly course and 5km back. I rode with the limit group of 5 off 32 minutes. 3 There were 3 GV riders and Angelo & I from Northern. The pace was fast from the start and we soon dropped Angelo, whose day did not start off well with minor gear problems. I avoided doing turns early, hoping Angelo would get back on but it was not to be.
The remaining 4 of us worked quite well together, and just as we turned for our second loop, scratch appeared heading towards us from Dookie and soon overtook us, although we were a lap in front. I wondered whether that would be enough. Two of the CV guys in my group seemed to be struggling a bit, missing a turn here & there but they were hanging on tenaciously doing turns every time they could. As we came around for our third loop the corner marshals yelled out that we would not be caught if we kept working together, which we did.
As we headed back into Dookie, I was a little concerned that I might be out sprinted if we finished together, so I started thinking about a breakaway at about the 1-1.5km mark but I had miscalculated the distance left to go and before I knew it, there was the finish only 3-400m away. I took off as hard as I could as soon as I saw the finish and hoped I could grab enough of a break to win. But one of the CV guys, who was one of the ones who seemed to be struggling and who I later found out was a sprinter, was right on my wheel and made a really good finish of it, but I just managed to hang on for a narrow win.
CV Vets put on a great day with lunch after the race and I ended up with $300 prize money, a beaut trophy, a VVCC medal and a new pump in the raffle! I was really thrilled to win, both for myself and for our club, and it was great to see so many riders in Northern Kit out there. Congratulations to all placegetters, especially our first year member Scott Riddell, who finished 5th at the head of the second bunch sprint.
Tom Finning from the VVCC mentioned that it was the first time a club president has taken out an Open, perhaps it was a nice way of saying it’s the first time a club president has started off limit!!! Anyway, I had a great day and now thinking of trying for 2 from 2 at the next Open 🙂