Pemberton Classic – B Grade Race Reports

I grew as a person this weekend, i lost and grieved for my cycling ego…the Pemberton Classic Criterium taught me a lesson.

John, Rich & I arrived in Pemberton, two hours prior to the crits, walked over to the registration table and started to spot people collecting the blue B grade numbers…

Are those guys in B grade, they are part of proper cycling teams… Eddy Hollands, KD cycles, Cyclemania…they cant be in my grade.


I saw the cones, I assumed they were for traffic, not for the race, I followed them, climbed the other half of the course, over the summit and peered down the other side..that cannot be the course, thats just hills intervals…


The course map doesn’t tell the full story… so ive placed an elevation map below as well.

Looks flat on a map
This is pretty much to scale, you may be able to see John finding the whole affair hilarous

I was wrong.


I'll be fine...


We started the race with ~twenty riders, we were pointed straight down the hill with a 180 degree turn at the bottom over potholled roads, right in front of the spectators at the pub, the other SPR guys had, quite smartly, decided not to contest the B grade race, so it was just me.

The first corner was sketchy, by the time we were all around safely, the front runners were back up past the start line just as the last guys cleared the cone…this wasn’t going to be good.

2 min in – Heart rate 95%

There is no way those guys should be able to ride with us, arent they a sponsored team, this is shit, why dont they control who enters what grade…sandbagging….all of them!


Another lap, another stack, i think someone dropped their bike each lap just in front or right behind me as we all rode through the bends a little faster than we ought to in an effort to keep in touch with the (diminishing) front bunch.

3 min in – Heart rate 98%

What sort of moron would would design a hotdog, hillclimb crit?..thats retarded, dont they know what crits are in the country??


4 min in – Heart rate 98%

This – is – horseshit!

I was not fine.

Half the field had retired, if you were not with the first 5, you were not going to catch back on…most were deciding to withdraw rather than wear themselves out before the Sunday morning road race… good idea i decided

6 min, and 5 laps in – cooked


Retire – I pulled out, 5 laps was all i could manage, short & depressing strava log –

Tomorrow should be better, the start will be slower and ill have a couple of SPR guys with me. Ben can tow me around all morning.


 I hope i last longer than 6 minutes tomorrow, i don’t want to ride 70k’s by myself.


I thought i was riding well, I’ve been training, ive got Strava KOM’s….i couldnt even last 5 laps!


John looks worried, he’s not laughing now…he’s an adventure racer, if he’s worried, im dead.


The road race saw Ben, John & I line up for B grade (B had two and a half laps) after being told we couldn’t move down a grade (was worth a try John!). The start was much more sedate and we settled into a nice rythm.

If I can finish, I’ll be happy

Acceptance & Hope

Lap 1 – Ben spent much of the race on the front with most happy to let someone else work, (someone needs to explain to Ben the difference between a training ride, and a race!) there were a couple of surges and half hearted breakaways. The road out of town is rolling hills where the route gradually ascends enough to give a nice downhill roll back into town, the riders regrouped at the top of pump hill as some of the stronger riders slowed down for a rest.

Lap 2 – was nice and steady, we had one rider off the front and he spent most of that lap holding a good pace riding by himself. The second trip over pump hill saw us loose a few more riders and my heart rate really picked up, I spent a little time on the front leading to the…

Lap 2 1/2 – Third and final time up pump hill where the lone rider in the break was caught. John and Ben were riding really well up the climb sitting toward the front, the Eddy Hollands boys were yelling encouragement at them so they could continue to sit in.

The finish – involved a long downhill were we got stuck behind the tail car for C grade…. than a bunch sprint to the finish, which i didn’t couldn’t contest, happy to reach my goal and roll across the line finishing with the front bunch.

Strava Log –

The course was fantastic, smooth tarmac, quiet roads, lots of shade and well marshalled.

SPR did really well;

C Grade – 1st (wes) & 2nd (des)
B Grade – 10th, 11th 12th (i think)
A Grade – Jono finished with a strong sprint and Bonner crossed the line looking annoyingly fresh

It was great weekend down south, it was cheap and the racing (not the crit, stupid course) was great, hopefully there are more takers next year.

Rich & Des in the C - Grade Crit
Jono - A Grade road race
Bonner, looking relaxed after 100k's at A grade pace

Picture’s courtesy of John Breed




17 thoughts on “Pemberton Classic – B Grade Race Reports”

  1. Nice write-up and pictures (and sense of self-deprecation) Luke. I’m only looking relaxed because I haven’t contested the sprint; no point really. Quite pleased to beat some Plan Bs, Eddie Hollands domestiques and some from another acronym team etc.
    2h04 is a very respectable time around that course by we do need to sit down and talk B grade tactics (i.e. not being intimidated by other teams, making sure they work, resisting the urge to go to the front if no-one else will, getting in a break to make them chase etc.)

  2. Thanks for the write up Luke. Us C grade lads were saying after the racing had finished we must do the crit as well next year. Maybe we’ll rethink that if it’s the same virtual Mt Ventoux course. The HRM doesn’t lie – big effort – glad you’re still with us!

    I don’t know how to get a blog post up so i’ll do a mini C grade report here (young bloke is waking up so i’ll be super brief):

    First Lap only 1 dropped heading back into Pemberton from northern loop. Chatting with a SWCC bloke at back of pack he assured me first break will be at pump hill. With that i made sure to get to front of pack early on pump hill so as not to get left behind.

    It broke to about 9 i guess including Des and another Rouleur (Richard?), and about 3 SWCC guys. After town climb it was about 7. Much nicer out on the skinny bumpy roads with only a few riders than the first lap, which i found a bit hairy.

    Des and i got a good roll through happening once we got on the highway, which the other fellas took up well – though a couple of them weren’t enjoying it too much, so everyone else kept it going even harder 🙂

    Second pump hill everyone stayed together then a couple popped so we were 5 on final run toward town, then after a bomb or two from some big dude, it was down to 4 including Des and I.

    Big dude in black and gold let fly with another solid effort which we had to cover. then another attack straight after from the other non SPR guy which Des was onto straight away whilst i remained back to keep an eye on the big fella as he had impressed so far. (I’m being kind to myself – i didn’t see latest attack coming and didn’t have a choice actually)

    The big dude then let me get in front – i was wary he hadn’t blew but when i glanced back he was fried. So i then had free licence to try and get over to Des and his duel and by the time we go to the line all 6 legs were pretty much crispy fried.

    It was a great weekend – so Laos, Hammer, Luke R and myself keen for another go next year to keep the SWCC boys honest.

    Great work all the SPR riders, it’s a tough course. We’d only be out numbered only by the SWCC crew at the start line is my guess.

    Bikecam footage should be up on youtube on the following link by about 9am today:

  3. Luke … great write-up and effort by yourself, John and Ben in B Grade.

    Wes … another great write up and video! Awesome work on the win, looked like you were gone with 100 to go and then hammer time!

    1. Rich well done to you too, was a very strong looking performance in the crit! I’m spewing you got the flat, so I can only imagine how you feel.

  4. cheers Rich. might be just my imagination but the ‘500m to go’ sign seemed to be much closer than 500m from the ‘1km to go’ sign – more like 200m. Just glad the finish wasn’t at the top where the crit finish was. ouch.

  5. nice drive to the line Wes! ….enjoyed the video and was yelling…”don’t leave your run to late you s@#t c#@k!”…

    well done to all

  6. Great write up Luke! Love the elevation pic, very accurate indeed. Thanks again Luke for arranging such a great weekend and to Ben and Rich for the good company on the road and at Villa Mundijong, I had a blast! Thanks also to our sponsor 😉 for the transport.

  7. Top of the Literature class Luke – it was just like being there….on the side lines. Only wish I could see more of that anguish on your face around Kings Park!!! Well done to all; clearly a fabulous time.

  8. Brilliant write up, draw up, and ride – up those hills!! Well done to all who gave it a go, flew the SPR flag, and lived to tell the story.

  9. Congratulations on the WIN Wes! Superb riding.. and Des for a close 2nd. Videos are great race reports (as are Lukes).
    Well done to the other SPR racers too.. sounded like a fun weekend of racing.

  10. Luke – was good to see you boys out there. The writeup is hillarious, because it’s so damn true. Good form and great banter made for a great weekend.

    Rich – I really enjoyed working with you in our C-grade battle. Thanks for the big pulls mate. Really enjoyed my first race:)

Comments are closed.