All posts by Gregory Murray

Winter woolies and Retro Riders – Saturday 30th June, 07:00

 

Molteni, Brooklyn, Bianchi, Faema, Campagnolo – Delicious.

As part of the lead up to The Beverley Heroic weekend in October, SPR is hosting Mr Vesparazzi, Toby Hodgson, on a Retro-tastic roll. Pull out your Retro jersey or retro bike and ride Retro with the Rouleurs.

When: Saturday 30 June, 7am.                                                               Where: as normal at Coode St carpark, South Perth

More details on the FaceBook event page.

SPR Ride Leaders will take the group over a 40-ish km ride, finishing as ever, at Dome Westralia Square.

There you can display your bike, parade your jersey and #bheroic.

Tour of Margaret River 2018 – EOI’s closing 29th June

This is it. We are closing the EOI’s for Tour of Margaret River Friday 29th June at midnight AWST. To be specific.

This EOI list is the base for our final numbers for Team registration and accommodation bookings for the SPR contingent this year. The SPR package for Race Registration and Accommodation is looking to be approximately $650, including four nights’ Busselton based accommodation (Thursday 8th to Monday 12th November). This is about $200 less than last year, as housing is a little simpler but 25 minutes closer to the Nannup Event Village.

Be aware – once we register our teams, we’ll not have options to pick up additional teams or accommodation. If you haven’t emailed, you’re not on the list.

We currently have enough EOI’s for filling four teams – one women’s team and three men’s teams. Or potentially a mixed team, if el Prez gets his big wish! The racers so far are matching up nicely in regards to selecting similar speed teams, which is very positive.

In so far are Check 1-2, The Bonner Train, Hanno, Poodle, el Prez, Mouth, More Moore and the Cadence Queen, DJ Spindarella (KDines).

Read through the previous post here and get your EOI in by email to race@southperthrouleurs.com.au with your contact details and current SPR Saturday riding group.

Any questions you have, email them through or catch up with Jon Hanson or Greg Murray at Dome after Saturday Main rides. As MUSE would sing, “Time is Running Out”.

el Prez: And then I said “just leave me and I’ll finish at my own pace”. But they made me stick with the group all the way through the Team Time Trial and they hurt me.
AvV: Oh, those crazy #FTS guys!

Tour of Margaret River 2018 EOI’s – Get Cracking

The Tour of Margaret River Event Team have released more information on this years’ Tour. The ToMR website is updated with details on stages and courses you can read up on here. Racing is three stages over three days, Friday through Sunday.

The SPR package for Race Registration and Accommodation is looking to be approximately $650, including four nights’ Busselton based accommodation (Thursday 8th to Monday 12th November). This is about $200 less than last year, as housing is a little simpler but 25 minutes closer to the Nannup Event Village.

After a couple of huge years and a record breaking number of women racers coming out for SPR, this year is looking like a much leaner year for us at the Tour. We currently have enough EOI’s for filling three to four teams, and insufficient numbers for a women’s team. Although, the racers we have are matching up nicely in regards to splitting into similar speed teams.

Once we nominate the number of teams and register them, we’ll not have options to pick up additional teams or additional accommodation. We will close out our EOI’s on Friday 29th June and base our final numbers for Team registration and accommodation booking from that.

SO!

The time is nigh. Read through the previous post here and get your EOI in by email to race@southperthrouleurs.com with your contact details and current SPR Saturday riding group. Any questions you have, email them through or catch up with Jon Hanson or Greg Murray at Dome after Saturday Main rides this Saturday.

Tour of Margaret River 2018 is coming

The preliminary organising of SPR’s trip to Tour of Margaret River is underway for 2018. To assess how many teams and accommodation may be required for this year, Race@SPR are seeking Expressions of Interest for SPR Members to be a part of the event with SPR for 2018 prior to opening nominations.

Coupla fans, can’t leave the current day star alone.

The event is scheduled as a four stage, three day race event based on teams of six racers including Team Time Trials, Road Race, and in previous years Individual TT as well! All staged in the stunning South West area of Nannup over the dates 8-11 November 2018, it is a true Pro-Am event, with Current and Past World Tour Pro’s amongst the peloton. In fact, last November SPR were blessed with the current World ITT Champion and all ’round Legend, Dutchie Extraordinaire Annemiek van Vlueten as a Team member. It was 4 days of amazing.

Another Dutchie of relative note!
Starstruck. Annemiek couldn’t believe she actually met Tim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year SPR has fielded a Club and ToMR event record of seven teams, comprising Women’s, men’s and mixed teams and we are expecting to do the same this year. As previously, we stay in team houses, based in the same area – last year was Dunsborough, with Prevelly previously – and package the accommodation, event registration and subsidy for SPR Volunteers as a set price for participating SPR racers. Last years’ cost was around $770 which was including 4 nights’ accommodation; 2016 was around $680 including 3 nights’ as a guide.

Class of 2016.

The event website has a load of general info here which will give you an idea. There are updates coming regularly and we will look to keep the SPRouleurs updated through the Blog pposts here, and the FaceBook pages as well.

 

 

Furthermore, here is a list of links to previous ToMR Race reports on the SPR Blog for your reading pleasure:

So before you move, please understand there are a few “non-negotiables” when nominating:

  • You must be a current member of SPR.
  • You must have or be prepared to have an SPR Race License (your Recreational License can be upgraded to Race).
  • You should be expecting to train and race through the year with the SPR Team(s) to prepare.
  • You must volunteer for at least one event for SPR through the year – if you’re not on the Volunteer Register as yet, read up here.
One of these needed if you want to win……………….
……….. one of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There will be some more information released and a Q&A Information Session prior to nominations officially opening. Nominations this year will require a deposit and an acceptance of the SPR ToMR Guidelines. Think of them as Terms and Conditions, Expectations, “The Rule Book” – they have become a necessary documented guide for us and will be published when nominations open.

If you have any questions, have a chat with Jon Hanson or Greg Murray post-ride on Saturday’s at Dome.

Most importantly, to Express Your Interest:

Email race@southperthrouleurs.com.au with your name, contact details and current Saturday Group you are riding with.

SPR Social Committee – we want YOU!

Grand Tour Dinner 2017 – awaiting us on arrival at Petit Mort, or not.

With the very Social Belinda Evans being slightly un-social (well, without edit access to the website!), we are putting out a call for all potentially interested members to join the Social Sub-Committee. The SPR Annual General Meeting saw the Committee Members nominated and voted upon, and now the call for Sub-Committee members starts.

The King of Socialz past – Graham Hoskins.

The Socialz (with a Z) are the Crew that organise our Grand Tour Do’s (think Tour de France outing to Petit Mort, oh yes!), the annual Xmas ride and our big Dome Buffet Breakfast mornings. AND the awards. AAAAND ……. dare I hint at it……. a special something for SPR’s 10th Anniversary. Socialz have even helped the Race Committee with events like The Beverley and ToMR (many historical thanks!).

We’d love to have a new crew to the Social Sub-Committee,  so to tell us you’re interested,  or have a few questions before offering your own Social Skillz,  email race@southperthrouleurs.com.au.

Tour de Bintan 2018 – Race Reports

A few weeks ago our Social Media feed was clogged with the heroics and shenanigans of the Tour de Bintan. A group of SPRouleurs (in Strive Cycle Training mode) headed across SE Asia in pursuit of a UCI Gran Fondo World Championships qualification for Varese, Italy later this year. Here are the Race Reports from Vanessa Johnson and Cameron Dawson.

Vanessa Johnson – Tour de Bintan, de Force, de Silver

Stage 1: 16km. ITT

Only two items of interest from Stage 1 (because ITTs are painful and boring even when they are hilly) – Amanda had a rear wheel flat on the way to the race which required some sharp teamwork to leave us both time for a warm up, and there were monkeys on the side of the road (not changing tyres). I finished 3rd in my 50-54 age category – Perth rider Alison Dyson had a magnificent win, only just shy of the fastest female time.

Stage 2: 144km. UCI Grand Fondo (Queen Stage)

The women were first off and it was clear that the tactic was to ride easy and wait for the first group of men (18-34). A group of strong Perth riders tried to lift the pace on the front, enthusiastically contesting the first sprint point, but there was little enthusiasm for work from the rest of the bunch. I was relieved to get through last year’s ‘crash corner’ without incident. Despite the lackluster pace (~32km/hr), the catch didn’t happen until after 50km. SPR Chicks Amanda, Laurensia & myself were comfortable in the group – this was a doddle compared to SPR Thursday! Kath had unfortunately punctured at 10km and despite a quick wheel change had not ridden across to us with the men.

My main focus was to stay in the front third of the pack and draft wherever possible, and I was managing to do this, sitting comfortably in the mixed bunch and staying with the lead women at the second sprint point. By now we were riding through villages on tight, winding roads, hemmed in on either side by cheering children. The peloton was being squeezed like a tube of toothpaste and there was a crash a few riders ahead of me – I eyed the gravel ditch on my right nervously, thanked my lucky stars we had practiced ‘slow racing’ and was forced to almost track stand to snake through a tiny gap. I had been shuffled to the back half of the bunch and the fight for position was becoming desperate: riders were dropping in on corners and shouts of “hold your line” punctuated the clamour of sirens. It was difficult to eat and drink in the tight and unpredictable pack. The back of the bunch is no place to be on an undulating course and I was dropped around 107km. Low on water, I grabbed a bottle from the commissaire’s car which kept me going until the feed at 112km. With stomach cramps and dead legs I loaded myself with gels and water.

By 120km I had company and by 10km to go we were a small group. At 5km to go the reliable wheel I had been clinging to unfortunately and spectacularly put his derailleur through his rear spokes: I dodged right and avoided the debris – the rider on my left was not so fortunate. I had just enough legs left to sprint under the finishing arch for 2nd in my age category.

Stage 3: 110km. Wet & crashtastic

With a large time gap between 1st and 2nd in my age category, an overall win for the tour was not likely, but my legs felt good and I was keen to try for a stage win. It had rained steadily through the night and the peloton was twitchy. The tactic again was to wait for the 18-34 men, and this time the catch happened sooner, just after 20km. The bunch was moving faster than on Stage 2, and the speed increased further as the lead 35-40 men made the catch. There was jostling for position and it was a treat to see one rider shoot out to the gravel on the left and go CX style at 45+km/hr, then pop back into the bunch without so much as a squeak of surprise.

I was sitting comfortably near the front of the bunch, finding time to talk to Amanda, and Laurensia was close by too. As the 46km feed station approached I tried to position myself for a pick-up, but there was no chivalry in the pack and a solid wall of men blocked me (no-one wants to follow a small wheel). I made the mistake of drifting back in search of a gap, but alas, I was too slow at the pick-up: the pack was gone, and so was the top step. The air turned blue around me as I fought to bridge the gap for a few kilometres, but it was futile. I cycled lonely as a cloud, only interrupted by locals on mopeds making the most of an opportunity to practice their English – making small talk really was the last thing I felt like doing. I was relieved to be joined by another rider at 61km as we approached the hilly jungle section – a smooth wheel who was happy for me to tag along and I gladly sucked his wheel spray. We dodged stray dogs, saw the aftermath of quite a few crashes, and the village children were still enthusiastically chasing discarded bottles despite the rain. From 90km we could hear the sirens of the 40-44 men’s convoy, but managed to stay clear to reach the next sprint point at 94km without interference. The 40-44 men gathered us up with shouts of “stay left” but when they smacked it through the technical check point zone into the hills at 15km out I was dropped, despite my new buddy’s shouts of encouragement.

I rolled across the finish line without a group, not caught by any women after I was dropped at 46km, and happy to have survived unscathed through the slippery conditions. Done. Second both on the final stage and overall for my age category.

 

Cameron Dawson – Tour de Bintan, de First-Timer, de Birthday

A multi stage race is a wonderful thing. Months of lead up training, too many early mornings, too much time away from the family, all in the allusive pursuit of ‘doing your best’, with only your fantastic training buddies to keep you going when it gets tough, and at some point it will.

When in an ITT, go to your happy place.

But we got there. With a quick stop over in Singapore to celebrate my 40th birthday (and a new age group) we were on the ferry to Bin Tan. Its always important to have a good roomie (thanks Jeremy) but just as important to volunteer for the small bed. How can you pass up waking to a view like this?

After a short recee for the ITT route (should have taken a photo of the monkeys), what followed was three days of sweat. The first was a time trial, where I witnessed what I think was a squirrel, perish in an oncoming riders spokes. The second was the main event, the UCI qualifier. I didn’t qualify but couldn’t have done more.

What’s your excuse?

Then, an hour or two after I arrived when we’re just about to leave and this guy turns up. I don’t know how long it took him, or even who he is, but kudos to finishing 144km missing half a leg.

 

 

Don’t talk to me…….. just yet.

The final day was fun, but then it was over. All accept the return trip. Clearing customs in Singapore someone (from Perth!!) took my bike bag by mistake and didn’t realise until he had reached the airport. Happily, just as I was starting to panic (and pick which new bike the insurance money would cover) he returned with my bike unharmed. Next time my name will be across the top of the Scicon back in BIG letters.

A multi stage race is a wonderful thing – once you’re home again!

The Ring Summer Crit Series Wrap

Summer is done, the March Equinox has come, and Crit racing has finished for the season. And what a season it has been. The Ring Summer Crit Series finished up last Sunday with the Leederville round. The Series itself was another success story, and whilst numbers were higher in some rounds compared to others, the overall patronage of the series was strong.

For SPR, hot on the heels of two Second in Division places at ToMR for our Women’s 2 and Men’s 1 teams, the SPR racers kept momentum going and pulled some huge results. For a little comparo, two years ago we would have been doing well to grab a single podium position on a race day, more than likely from A Women with Amanda Nabi in a team kit. At the Pemberton Classic weekend this year, SPR took away 11 podium places. ELEVEN. The last round at Tech Park we nabbed a win, a second and a third place over all the grades. We’ve had at least one racer on the podium every round of The Ring Series across the first 9 rounds. And this is SPR racers in SPR kit – not team racers in team kits, but with SPR membership – SPR Green!

Many of them were newer racers – The Frequent Flyer, Express Service, Dizzy, Green Jersey Pending/Locked and Loaded and More MOORE. Some of them returning to regular racing – Walker Texas Ranger, PoppySocks, Eastwood. Others had never left – Check 1-2 with the BossMan and Nowhere Man. And while Midland CC and Peel District CC took the top Club Championship places over SPR , it looks like the strike rate for podiums per racer is waaaay in SPR’s favour! Not bad for a Perth Club that has not traditionally been known for it’s race focus.

The number of SPR Chicks racing this year was a veritable explosion of green talent. Some new to racing, some new to SPR, but all making an impact on race days at various times. There were a number of the SPR Chicks stepping up grades this year, and mid-year, and still showing themselves to be competitive. The striving to learn, improve, support each other and celebrate the wins big and small was one of my highlights. I think it shows that the support structure for the women – as much amongst yourselves, as from the Club Committees – has a real kick to it. And we hope it is able to continue into Road Race season, and beyond.

The other highlight for me was Men’s B grade. Two blokes made for a giant killing team! Check 1-2. BossMan and Nowhere Man. Elar and Craig. After teaming up in the ToMR in SPR Men’s 1, and working together for the season, we saw some of the best racing of all the grades from these two. Spectacular animated racing – attacks, chases, bridges, sprints. All of this in the same realm as wunderkind James Derrick, a young up and comer that may well be a superstar of the future. But the old blokes were stellar, week in week out. That consistency saw Craig take 3rd overall in the The Ring Series for B grade. We can see a Men’s B grade team around these guys in the future……. just sayin’.

For me, C grade racing with the Numbers Man most weeks, and having Hanno, The Crumpet, Y-Vo and a few guest cast members was a blast. We didn’t see the podium, but we animated, we stayed safe (not always a given in C Men’s!) and had a ball. And got a 4th. And we ALL know that 4th is so hot right now. Cheers Gentlemen.

There were some low points, with a few crashes through the series. Faceplantix (ABallam), Dr (Dave) Manners, and Frequent Flyer had some big offs and got to spend some time with the Ambo’s. Thankfully all have or will make full recoveries.

The target for Race@SPR this season was to be present in support at all of the rounds where we had reasonable representation, and we did well to achieve this. SPR Van, tents and at some rounds volunteers on hand to assist in getting our racers ready and recovered made for a series of really fun days out. The manner in which the SPR crew came out to support each other was significantly more prominent than the other Clubs and teams. Community indeed. Thanks Everyone.

So, here are The Ring Summer Crit Series Winners….. and some of our own SPR grinners:

Mixed E grade Jordan Williams; SPR Ashley Brown and Peter Lander in mid-pack.

Women’s D grade Jasmyn Quick; SPR Debbie Bertolatti 2nd overall (including a lovely thank you from young Jasmyn’s mum for Deb’s support through the series!) and Belinda Evans mid-pack!

Men’s D grade Calum Milne

Women’s C grade Emily Wiggins; SPR Sam Flockart mid-pack

Men’s C grade young Matt Connan; SPR Daniel and Greg mid-pack

Women’s B grade Danica Wiggins; SPR Kirstie Moore, Caroline Crow, Kate Bonner, Rebecca Kelly and Olesya Alutina top half of the pack

Men’s B grade 1st Eddie Hollands, 2nd James Derrick and 3rd SPR’s Craig Denham; SPR Elar a HUGE 7th overall after working towards Craig’s points for a lot of the series.

Women’s A Natalie Britz

Men’s A Craig Wiggins

The Gallery below is but a selection, a portion of which are from the Cycliq FaceBook coverage of the series, and marked accordingly.

We want YOU for the Green Army – Volunteer Register Update 2018

SPR has an involvement in a number of events throughout the year – those we do from the ground up (the Beverley Handicap Road Race, SPR Water Tower Challenge, The Dirty Dozen 2) those we do in partnership (The Ring Crit Series) and those we swamp to reprazent the green! A lot of the time, it’s same people coming along to assist at every event and there’s no reason why we should keep all the fun to ourselves when there’s 400 odd SPRouleurs out there!

It must be said that the SPR Green Army this past year has been stellar. Race Support – both “Race” support for the SPR Van transfer and kit set up as well as general supporters – has been recognised by The Ring organisers for the size our entries, our cheering and noise and representation of Club. Our volunteers contribute because they want to  and are happy to give back. There’s no pay, no gifts, no freebies past a Coke or a water. But contribute they do. I wish we could thank you more, because it is this tireless assistance that makes it possible to do what Race@SPR set out to do. Kudos!

Long gone are the days when el Prez does everything. Now he’s out to meet the people and spread the charm as “The Face of SPR”. Dutchie approved.

We now seek to update our Volunteers Register for 2018 from our SPR member base – a chance for you all to be a part of what makes SPR awesome, and be better prepared in the long run for our events.

This will allow us to set up a roster ahead of time, plan around the events you may be participating in and just get you all involved. Also it will serve to have members engage outside of your own regular Saturday ride group and give you the chance to give back and contribute to the SPR activities.

What do we want from you?

ONE OR TWO VOLUNTEER ATTENDANCES A YEAR. That’s all.

Beverley Heroic 2017 volunteers, and some reprobate taking all the chocolate croissants off their hands.

If you plan to nominate for ToMR this year, you need to be on this list as a Vollie. A group of 30 SPRouleurs will cover our basic manning for SPR run and supported events. More SPRouleurs will mean we can assist actively with MORE CycleSport WA events and build the WA Cycling community even further.

We at Race@SPR aim to have support attending The Ring Series and The Element Series events, The Beverley Handicap and other major race and event days through the year on top of ToMR. We will generate a list to cover the following duties across the events we are involved with:

  • SPR Van duties; “The Driver” – cruise the van out to event days with the tents and assist the SPR crew participating;
  • Set up and pull down Crews; “The Muscle” – pitch the tents, ice up the esky’s, raise the flags;
  • Registration Desk; “The Lookers” – smile, laugh, get their license and get ’em racing;
  • Drivers; “The Stig” – Lead, Follow and support vehicle drivers, and some experience is needed for these;
  • Traffic controllers; “The Stop-Go-ers” – any ticketed traffic controllers out there in the membership?
  • Marshalls; “The Point and Smilers” – assist with ushering spectators and participants.

To register as an SPR Volunteer, email the Race Sub-Committee at race@southperthrouleurs.com.au, reply to this post below, or come and catch up with Greg and/or Jon Hanson any Saturday morning post Main ride at Dome Westralia Plaza – the one with the ridiculous moustache and the loud bloke next to him.

You can trust these two.

Do you have a question about anything “racing”?

Have you ever wondered about giving Racing a try? Have you ever had a question about anything racing?

Why race? How do I race? What grade am I in? What do I eat? When do I eat? What kit do I take? How do I warm up? How the hell do you pin these numbers on properly?!?!!?

Dan, The Numbers Man – on race number pinning quality control duties.

There are a near infinite number of questions I could add here that you, I or anyone else who has considered giving racing a crack have asked themselves.

But why ask yourself if you don’t know the answer, eh?

The SPR Race Committee have been getting pretty active over the past few years with supporting events, staging events, and sourcing more cowbells – true story. And, more importantly, supporting new SPR racers!

Debbie B flying high.

One of our aims is to provide a pathway for those interested in racing. This website even says so:
“We also aim to develop pathways for those pursuing an interest in racing, with particular emphasis in developing women’s racing, and we have a number of female riders of varying ability from novice to semi-professional who can provide support for new members.”

Ashley Brown, quietly chuffed with self.

The last few weeks we have seen some of our newer racers Debbie Bertolatti and Ashley Brown nabbing podiums in The Ring Summer Crit Series. At Renae’s Race a few weeks ago SPR made up 50% of all entrants on the day – how good is that!?!?! We must be doing something right. But, rest we shan’t.

The SPR Members survey indicated there was an interest in racing, so Race@SPR are hosting a Q&A opportunity at Dome Westralia Plaza Post-Main rides from 09:00 am Saturday 10th March, 2018.

We invite you and ALL of your curious racing questions to come forth.

So what do YOU want to ask?

 

Pemberton Classic 2018

If you haven’t been to the Pemberton Classic for previous years, I would suggest this is the year to try. The Pemberton is a two-parter: Saturday afternoon Crit on a 1.5km course; and a graded Road Race through the hills around Pemberton on Sunday morning.

 

Pemberton Classic Crit course. Looks harmless enough……

For this year the Crit event will make up part of The Ring Criterium Series – and that 1.5km course is something special. Through the middle of town starting right near the pub (WIN!), starting down a nice hill (WIN), nice wide berth through the fast right hander (photo opportunity – WIN), flat section around the back of town (WIN) then a sharp kick upwards to the sky (um….), continuing up past the pub (oh, not stopping AT the pub….) and uuuuuup over the start finish. She giveth and she taketh away. It’s a course that rewards the punchy power climbers and not so much the sprinters.

Pemberton Classic Road Race course.

The Sunday Road Race sees a sharp hit up Pump Hill Rd in the first km – a hill similar to Oceanic and Reabold – and rolling country hills with a fast descent back into town for another lap, or a left hander to the short sprint finish depending on your grades’ distance. It is a picturesque, challenging and fun route.

What makes this special is the town – there are bike frames hanging up all over town and every single local business sponsors this event – really. We couldn’t find a business in town that wasn’t on the supporters list of the program. It’s quite something. The hospitality of the town is spectacular, with a cracking pub menu (exactly what you need after a hard day’s racing) and any number of wineries, breweries and local producers to visit after the legs have cooled down.

Happy Birthday Poodle!

Check out last year’s Race Report HERE which also saw the debut of the SPR Van. The Pemberton Classic 2018 is on the March Labour Day Long Weekend, you get to ride your bike, and there’s a brewery – I’m in.

Registrations are scheduled to open this week, and with accommodation starting to book out for the long weekend, you should get in quickly. The SPR Race Committee will be there with the Van and the support kit of tents, flags, Jon Hanson’s exceptional stories and Poodle’s squeaking turkey. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.