Well it was a sea of green at the recent BWA Swan Valley Cyclo Sportif with SPR dominating on the day… having a record number of 66 riders across 8 teams…yee ha! Many thanks to the Ride Leaders, particularly Cowboy Ryan who set a new standard in team leadership…see the previous post to get an idea of how seriously he took his role :-).
Have a read and enjoy a chuckle as you look through some of the ride reports below:
SPR 3 ‘The Chasers’
Chasers by name. Chasers by nature…
Having been taunted incessantly by The Princesses (SPR 4) in the weeks leading up the Swan Valley “It’s Not A Race” Cyclo, The Chasers (SPR 3) decided our main goal for the day was therefore going to be “not to get chicked!” and thereby put pay to their promise to blitz us from behind & race past us while chanting their all too well practised war cry “Chick, chick… BOOM!”
Fortunately we ended up scheduled to start 30 seconds before the girls but to insure against the very possibility that we may get “chicked” we decided early on that lying to them was a perfectly valid race tactic & so I communicated to them (as sincerely as possible) at the start line that our ride strategy for the day was going to be “start slow and take the first lap really easy…” & added that we would be “happy to hang back… in case you girls need a hand”. The goading had the desired effect as they hissed back “Chick chick BOOM” in unison suggesting in no uncertain terms that they still had every intention of raging past us at the very first opportunity.
Worried that our condescending comments might have actually supplied the sufficient incentive they needed for them to well & truly blitz us, when the “gun” sounded, we scrambled like rabbits & disappeared as fast as we possibly could up the road to get as great a lead as possible & settled into our pre-race tactic which was to “do a Greenedge” & ride in a tight paceline. Another decision was made when the question was belatedly asked “So what do we do if someone gets a flat?”. I will never forget the look of horror that appeared on the faces of our team when I explained that Cyclo Protocols dictate that we should all stop & help. Shocked at the mere suggestion, a united exclamation came straight back at me “We’re not stopping!! Or we’ll get chicked!” followed quickly by the more magnanimous consideration “And besides, if someone flats we can always pick them up on the next lap?”. Fortunately no flats ensued.
As it happened, the closest we came to such an alarming fate becoming reality was at the very outset when one of our elite & apparently far more fashion conscious team members had a slight wardrobe malfunction. Nirvan (aka Ivan Basso), knowing we were riding directly in front of the Princesses, became concerned the seams of his leg warmers were not quite straight enough so he dropped back worryingly on the first leg to try & sort it out… which subsequently sent temporary panic through the rest of The Chasers who were trying to suppress the fear & suspicion welling within us that he may have been in cahoots with girls? I guess we’ll never know though to his credit, but he did get back on & was a great contributor through the rest of the ride… as was everyone.
Regardless, everything went swimmingly & the pace was solid throughout… at least until the final lap when El Capitan Hoskins, perhaps knowing that his wife was one of the Princesses, also started showing signs of a possible nefarious collusion & seemed to be pretending to struggle up the final false flat on Oakover Road… a phony belief I assure you. Fortunately the team rallied & propelled Graham at light speed across the finish line with an overall average speed of 36.6kmh.
And… not a whisper was to be heard from the girls.
But seriously, well done to all the teams from SPR. It was an awesome Sea of Green on the day.
SPR 5 – ‘The Princesses’ point of view
Our team consisted of Anna M, Anna S, Alison, Anke, Amanda, Emma, Lorraine, Lennie and me (Meg). I had originally tried to recruit Carlos the Mexican to be our mobile mechanic, but sadly he got a “better” offer to go and ride with a group of fast boys wearing see-through skin suits…enough said.
The aim of our ride was to have fun, chat, and see if we could overtake a few boys. Tick, tick, BOOM. We thought we would set ourselves a challenge of doing a roll-through for as much of the course as we could manage, changing the drive train with the wind direction. Happy to report that it worked really well for us; everyone contributed, we could still talk enough that according to one source he could hear us before he could see us, Lennie managed to be on the front whenever we went past Johnny with his camera and cow bell. SPR has some incredibly strong women riders and it was a great to have them all working together. New to our little gang was Anke, who has steadily been moving her way up through the SPR group rides. She made the cyclo look easy, and following an exciting lead out train, she brought us home with a fantastic sprint across the line.
Other highlights included: everyone in matching kit, Lennie putting her mountain bike skills in practice after nearly missing a corner, Ben, Pete and Johnny on the course cheering us on, the other SPR groups waiting at the finish line to say congrats (minus the ones who had already headed off for lunch), the random boy that passed us/joined us/passed us/joined us, and I got to borrow a pair of Carlos’ wheels – damn they are good!
SPR 6 – ‘The Jets’
My second time round as team leader for the Swan Valley Cyclo and this year I was determined to stay up right. We had a great team of Leigh, Jeremy, Owen, Mat, Justin, Greg, Travis and Lee.
We set off for the start line and joined in with SPR 9 for a nice stroll to the start. We had a quick 15 minutes to sort ourselves out, toilet break, remove the winter warmers before we set off at 9:18. We took off and got into an early rhythm and roll throughs, we were setting a pretty good pace and at the start of the last lap we were sitting on 36.5km average. Everyone was feeling good and was happy for a final push. On the back straight we were starting to single up due to some slow riders and after a great 3 and half laps flashbacks of last year flashed before my eyes. Leigh crashed heavily after hitting a slow rider, at the time we were doing about 40km/h. Matt also went down at the back and took a nasty chunk out of his elbow. We all stopped and organised the Ambulance, El prez came to our assistance and looked after Leigh, Jeremy and Matt until the Ambulance arrived. Leigh was determined to finish but as she found out later there was no way she would be able to ride with a severe concussion or broken ribs. (The new bike is ok)
We finished the ride with 6 of us in a time of 2:05.
I would also like to thank all the SPR riders that slowed after the crash to ensure we were all ok.
On the Fine Sunday Morning of 30th June, SPR 8 rode from Coode St onwards to Midvale SpeedDome to join the BWA Cyclosportif. It was the first cyclosportif in WA for all of us, and we departed in high spirits at a chilly 6:45am.
Even along the way, the festivities had already begun! Amanda Nabi, departing late (opting for a slight rouleur outfit amendment), TT’ed on to our tail, showing the minimal effort required to catch up to us slowpokes. Fellow riders shouted to us from within the warmth of their cars, while we sneered at them for taking the lazy option to the event. We were definitely living up our team leader’s motto – Laurensia “Never enough K’s” Rosana.
Adorned with our Green and White, we arrived at the SpeedDome to find a large contingent of SPR compatriots beneath our club tent. Senorita Capitano immediately jumped to her team captain duty and represented our team at the immediate briefings. On the other hand, I joined the rest of the team – Jay “The Dude” Richardson and Justin “Injuries are for Sissies” Tan for an organic breakfast (banana).
Soon enough, we departed the SpeedDome, with our final member joining us at the start line – Tommy “I got a new bike for this” Segoro.
Waiting at the start line – we immediately started sizing up the competition, sorting out the teams with granny gears, mudguards and front baskets from the Carbon Tubulars, Sidi Shoes and one piece speedsuits (you know who you are). Feeling confident all around, Senorita Capitano exclaimed our common thoughts – “lets head up in front and start early!”
In our attempt to leave before our assigned time, we were quickly spotted by El Presidente, who brilliantly demonstrated that pecking order is still important among Rouleurs.
Our El Presidente overruled Senorita Capitano decision. Chins down and moved back into our rightful places, it was not long before our own starts.
And boy did we start! Determined to make the day as interesting as possible, Justin “Injuries are for Sissies” Tan decided that he needed to give the rest of us a head-start, and with a “Let’s go!” turned left against the incoming traffic while all of us turned right onto the circuit.
Despite the initial fanfare, we quickly settled onto a stable rhythm, with all of us playing attempting to play domestique for our GC contender – Senorita Capitano.
Surely and Steadily, we left the groups on the hybrid bikes and mudguards in our wake. Then, it was the weekend warriors with their beer bellies. Building confidence, adrenaline surged through our veins, and we picked up the pace. We decided we would be chasing a hypothetical podium finish. We would be taking our GC contender to the finish line in glory!
With our thigh motors in full rev, we heard a shout from the back. “Ease Up!”, it was Senorita Capitano, and being incompetent domestiques, we almost left our GC behind. We shook our heads in shame. However, upon looking up, we see Senorita Capitano off the saddle, sprinting off in a burst of speed that left us all in her wake. Justin and I looked at each other – how dare we lose concentration at this critical moment!
With our focus aligned, we returned to our smooth and stable rolling turns and lightning quick turns around the bends. The weather could not get any better, and we were determined to make full use of this fine day. The turns flew by and we were soon staring down the final sprint to the finish.
“We’re almost there!” – someone exclaimed.
“We’re doing more laps!” – came the reply.
And so we did one more lap to show off our Spartan qualities. Freeloading (yes, we admit) and did one more lap while the roads were still managed.
Overall, it was a great event, it was well managed, and we could not ask for more with the food and simultaneous timing with the Track Cycling Grand Prix at Midvale SpeedDome.
Definitely a cyclosportif to remember. Watch out for us at future events!
Hubert “The Domestique” Fong
The Sunday morning provided a cool chilly start that saw a lot of the extra clothing removed before we got going around the course. Bright smiling faces for the photo shoot and a short ride out to the start point allowed for a brief warm up. SPR 9 managed to account for themselves well. The pace was well suited to the participants and allowed for all to practice their skills that they had been using on the Saturday morning Transitional group ride.
Rolling off from the front like the TDF TTT was different but everyone adapted well. It was a good safe ride at an average speed of 27kph with no spills, mechanicals or flats.
I wonder about Jenny who to her credit was the big improver on the day, I think she could smell the Maharva coffee out there.