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The Ring Criterium Series – Round 4, Subiaco

Criterium: a bike race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap or circuit ranging from about 800 m to 2,000 m.

Sounds simple enough. But, urrrrgh.

Cowbells. Photo: Jedsman

The Ring hit the streets of Subiaco for some good, down-home crit action. The course start/finish on Rokeby Rd at Barker Rd is on the peak of the 300m incline, so more people saw the true “simple” of Crits – start fast, go fast and keep going fast. Still sounding simple.  Sunday would show how far Perth crit racing has come in the past few years. Our SPR ranks started with C Grade women, finishing with A Grade Men with Elar in the Dome costume, but we’ll change it up, for dramatic effect……

Chillin’. Photo: Jedsman

Women’s C Grade, and once again FDJ and Nancy (The Technician, in all endeavours – seeeeerious precision in everything, people) rolled out onto course with a field of 12. Awesome numbers indeed. It was The Kids who got away with a small break in the second half. Kids that are half or a third of our SPRouleurs…… ouch. With nothing more than a few wheels gap required, a small split would grow quickly. FDJ and Technician finished 40 and 60 seconds off the winners for 6th and 8th places respectively – and respectfully. Oh yes, this was The Bizness. On this course, in this heat and with seriously strong whippet-up-and-comers to race against, Green more than held it’s own. Ring those cowbells. RING-A-DING DING DING!

Not on talking terms? 😉 Photo: Jedsman

Men’s D grade and Poodle copped and absolute sweat soaked spanking. With (again!!) a long list of up-and-comers, “Crit with big hill” is not what Poods ordered and not what Poods is best at. I mean, the pub is at the bottom of the hill. You’ve just removed the motivation to climb! Racing alongside Mr 1-2-3 and Dave Croft, Poods was last to finish on the lead lap in 19th place, and was within 16 seconds of the young victor – valiant as only Poods can be. Before retiring to a nice, cold, carbonated beverage.

Beverley 2016 Take 3. Neither took the bikkies this time. Photo: Jedsman

Mens’s A grade was a Monster Class. And that’s not auto-correct. Henry Pennell broke early, but once he was absorbed back in the bunch, and fresh new hell was unleashed.  And that hell started with Cam Meyer. It was on. Cam led solo for a bunch of laps, lapping consistently at 43km/hr. So quick we struggled to cheer and then have a sip of beer before he came past again. Then it was Kalma, then Meyer, Kalma AND Freiberg. Monster Class, I say. The three smashed the field to pieces for 20 odd laps before Kalma jumped and took the sprint win. Exciting? Yup.

Who’s got two thumbs and ain’t chasing these two today? Photo: Jedsman

Teneal again came out swinging (figuratively – not literally) for A Women. A field including Dome, Mascaro, some Hitter from the Melb-Warny (OK, so seriously, she took 4th there), as well as a Bonner and a Tucknott. Looking at the MyLaps results, Teneal lead the race for 15 of 29 laps and sat 2nd for every other lap. Teneal motored home the sprint from the final corner with a clear gap to 2nd. Dominance. She stays in yellow another week. Only 5 of the Chix finished on the lead lap, including Half-a-Banabi and Bonner V2.0.

Focuuuuuuuussss. Photo: Jedsman
Ain’t got Numbers, ain’t got Burn. Ain’t got Nutin’. Photo: Marcel Williman

Men’s C Grade, or as I like to call it, Life Inside the Peloton. Oh, that’s taken. Anyway’s, 38 starters on a tight looking course, varied cornering abilities would make an interesting race. AfterBurner and Mo were stupidly placed at the rear of the pack for the start – with visibility of anything sketchy ahead, but no way of avoiding working harder to stay on. SPR in C had series leader Mark Claydon, AfterBurner, Raf, Ben, NumbersMan, Pete Seizovic, T-BoSuperCoach, Mo amongst others Green and not (BTW, it’s Green for the win, in case you’re considering other colours……).

All by myseeeeeeeeeelf… Photo: Marcel Williman

Missing the jump, it was a fast pace straight off the bat, with the first 10 laps over 38km/hr. Laps 4, 6, 10 and 12 claimed near all the SPRouleurs. The Fast and the Furious……… Furious-ly chasing back on, that is. Only 15 of 38 finished, Mo the last one lapped on the bell lap. Although the single rider frame opportunities for pics whilst off the back…….. nah, not worth it. The win was taken convincingly by Mark Claydon, and he retains the Series Lead with an unbeatable break on series points.

The boys WERE there! Photo: Jedsman.
Holly – a better bet for the AfterBurner’s house this week? Photo: Jedsman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s B was a blistering pace, but with nought for SPR green in the pack and a hard day out for Dome, we had nothing to show except Ballam’s face o’ pain. And as good as it was, it ain’t for the kids to see.

Before….. we edited out After. Photo: Jedsman
This is as excited as I can do right now. Photo: Jedsman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bex, Googling what a “Prime” is. Photo: Jedsman

Women’s B was again one to watch – fully biased, opinion based piece, right here. Librarian, More Moore, Flockers, Bex ……… and a Wiggo. Librarian and Bex made an early move and split the group, becoming a 7, then 6, then 5 chick race.

Done with Fourth, The Librarian takes a podium. Photo: Jedsman

 

 

Arriving with baked goods to share with SPR, and despite moving along 3 teen kids out of school, Librarian’s work was never done – charging up the start-finish slope every time Bex wasn’t. An electric attack from Wiggo was short-lived, realising Bex and Lib’s were patient and there for the long haul of a short race. Having been gapped, throughout the chase Flockers lapped consistent times to the finish for a tough fought day out. Final lap and Wiggo went again, Librarian in 3rd, Bex for 5th. Mrs missed the podium, but won a Prime. Awesome. Unfortunately, she had no idea what a Prime was and has since forfeited the voucher to Mo (this is on the internet, so it must be true). Great teamwork , and well finished off, Ness.

All detailed results are HERE.

Next up is the Pemberton Classic over the long weekend, then the final round of The Ring at Northbridge.

The Ring Criterium Series – Round 3, Northam

We open this race report with the breaking news of a Consumer warning advice message – there’s another Wiggins on the way. U13 Fay Wiggo placed 2nd. There are more Wiggins Wins in the future. You have been warned.

Northam, Land of an amazing pub. Of a Visitors Centre cafe that does one of the best coffees healthy breakfasts we’ve had in regional Australia. And land of some wide, open roads primed for Crit-ting. Cue the music………….

Photo: M.Bonner

Women’s C grade, and our perennial race report inclusion (so it seems!) FDJ (our Faye, not the team of Frenchies) romped home with a 5th place, with Nancy close by in 6th. For some context, Faye and Nancy’s Best lap speed of 36.5km/hr was up there with previous B grades, with the winner over 37km/hr! Definitely a fast finishing bunch.

Token nickname time, back in the grade where all this malarkey began – C grade Men. The boys cracked nearly a 45km/hr best lap speed – there’s some serious speed to be had on this course, it seems. This round saw another podium for Mark Claydon with a 2nd – where’s your jersey?! (I guess it’s OK if you’re in the Series Leaders jersey, to be fair!). Other SPRouleurs were Ben Fairclough in 14th, with NumbersMan and SuperCoach a way back.

Woj, happy with life choices. Photo: M.Bonner

Mens B Grade provided all the pain faces – thank you Rumpelstiltskin and Woj. The rest of those boys need to pick it up. Best place for SPR was Team Columbia in 7th. Dome finished with Thorman, Woj and Half-a-Banabi wincing from 11th down. Get that crew a double espresso, pronto.

 

Photo: M.Bonner

Women’s B grade – the seriously spectator ready grade – gave up another mixed bag of possible place options. Heavily contested, this week it was again E Wiggo for the win, suiting those young track legs in a flying finish. For SPR, More Moore took 2nd with a teeny tiny margin between. And The Librarian for 4th AGAIN! If anyone could make 4th the new black, we knew it was Ness. Flockers, with no excuses to offer, wasn’t on the start line. Oooowwwhhh – that’ll come back to haunt me.

Men’s A again hosted the PEOPLE’s CHAMP – Freiby*! (* – People’s Champ, in that I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t got a photo with him in the National Champs jersey). This week was the lone SPRouler of Elar, one half of Check 1-2, representing and finishing a creditable 10th for Dome. When will we see the SuperGroup of Check 1-2 reunited on stage? Craig, Elar – what will it take? A GoFundMe? A Change.Org petition? Ahhh, those were the glory days….

Women’s A grade showed where this season’s peak form seems to be remaining. It was a sneaky sprint up the left that gave D Wiggins the win with Teneal Attard in Chaotic livery with ANOTHER podium and 2nd place, retaining the series leaders jersey. Bonner V2.0 nabbed a 4th place. There were a few notable non-starters, whom shall be ribbed all week for no reason other than my own amusement….;). Half a Banabi – I’ll show you sneaky yet…..

Tough times when the VP and Librarian have to rough it in the SPR Van. Photo: M.Bonner

In the Club based Series, points stand with MCC leading on 116, Peel on 76 and and SPR on 59 points. Watch this space though.

This week is Subiaco. Roads are closed. The travel there is less than 70km (yay!!!). It has a hill. Hmmmmmm. Rumour has it there may be a cowbell or two. Or eleven.

The Ring Criterium Series – Round 1 & 2 Race Reports

The Ring Criterium Series Race 1 – Mandurah

The Ring kicked off the season with a round on a new course in Mandurah. The first round of the year had a smaller field with SPR making up a large proportion of wheels. A hotdog format with a few roundabouts thrown in, it was likely to be a tough day out.

Men’s D grade saw Andrew “Big Willie” Williams time trialley styley to finish. Not bad for a bloke that before R-Adelaide hadn’t ridden up a hill since Varese in September. Men’s C had SPR field a few, with newbie Mark Claydon nabbing a podium 3rd in his first outing in race mode. T-Bo SuperCoach, Numbers Man and B Fairclough rounding out the finishers, but not the podium.

Women’s B too had a host of usual suspects – The Librarian, More Moore and Flockers, FlockFart, FlockingFast (hang on, we’re confusing ourselves) representing. Librarian was one place late returning and collected a fourth place for the day – nothing by a half a second in it, and less to More Moore in 5th. For the record, a New Wiggo is in B-Grade Town and Emily took the win.

Men’s B on paper looked like a true Young Vs Old (all offense intended). Ballam had a belter, attacking and hanging onto the fast lead bunch to the finish, Team Columbia close behind. This round was taken by Young, but with a Glasby and a Depiazzi in there too, there’s more kick from the Good Ol’ Boys yet. To B continued.

Men’s A looked like a slug-fest, with the best SPR-related finish a 3rd to Dome’s Tim Sellar – a far stretch!

Women’s A too boasted a number of Young ‘Uns. The hotdog format suited a hitter with a KICK! And so it was that a Chaotic finish (Chapeau on the wordplay!) had Teneal Attard take the win to a coupla Young ‘Uns. An Attard sambo, flanked by two Haines’. ½ a BaNabi a mere 0.01 seconds to 4th. A finish tighter than a frogs bum. Not to mention a Wiggo looming large in A grade. Hmmm.

 

The Ring Criterium Series Race 2 – Wellard

Last Sunday the Ring Series returned to Wellard. As it was for last season, it’s a tough little circuit with a small but trying climb. The conditions were hot, so firstly congratulations to all of the SPR team that turned up to race.

Faye, up there. Making the Race Guys happy!!! Photo: Jedsman

The women’s C grade was the starting block to a great day with Nancy and Faye leading the charge of what looked at times like supervising Day Care. How quick are these up and coming kids?!?! A good turn out with 12 starters ended with the day’s first SPR success story – Faye riding a superb race to take 3rd. A top race.  Watch this space SPRouleurs.

The men’s C grade had a large field of SPR riders but in an early  crash, all but two SPR riders caught behind. Day done – they all lost time and never managed to catch the leading riders. Luckily none were hurt. At the front of the race Ben Fairclough and Mark Claydon held the SPR banner, with Mark launching a rocket to lead the field up the final straight and claim his first victory in only his second race – B grade calling? He now wears the yellow series jersey for the next round. T-Bo SuperCoach finished 20-odd seconds back and NumbersMan and Raf DNF-d behind the crash. AfterBurner and Jedsman, were allegedly at the scene, but not seen racing…. curious.

Get. Off. The. Front. Photo: Jedsman.

The women’s B grade had strong performances from Vanessa Johnson, Kirsty More Moore and Sam FlockingFast. Kirsty fired the AfterBurners (see what we did there?) to claim the Prime Sprint prize. Vanessa made several attacks up the hill – never listening to the advice of “Get Off The Front”. I mean, why would you – in the start finish straight where the cameras are (?!?!?!). Shedding riders in the process, narrowing the field but ultimately missing a podium whilst making a proper show of it. Sam, joining B’s this season kicks on AGAIN and ……. A great performance from all three. Kirsty took 5th, but it was Lawler, Wiggo, Richards for the steps. Emily Wiggins now smashing B grade…. Just when we thought it was safe from Danica stepping up to A’s. Hmph.

Hit ’em with the ol’ One-Two. Photo: Jedsman.

The men’s B grade had a large field of 35 and saw a serious crash, with 8 riders down including our own Team Columbia. Suffering cuts and bruises but luckily nothing worse to fight another day. Ballam, rather than looking FOR or a crash (Rumpelstiltskin, anyone?) chose to use evasive skills to avoid one. Nick Finch pushed his limits, made the field hurt and finished close to the front but could not hold on for a place. Ben Thorman, seemingly always on the front and must have pulled the field along for most of the race, held on for 3rd. Not bad after hills ride this morning, but probably could have won with fresh legs ;).

Blue by team, Green by membership, Yellow by achievement. I prefer Green, just quietly! Photo: Jedsman.

Women’s A grade saw a melting pot of the new bunch and some seasoned Hitters mixing it up. Half of BaNabi had to chase the field after a dropped chain on the first lap (Ballam is a rubbish mechanic, after all). The Dome girls competed well with M&M working tirelessly on the front. Bonner V2.0 too had a strong race, recovering to an eventual 4th after changing a broken wheel mid-race. It was Chaotic Energy’s Teneal Attard, from the front, producing a final attack up the finishing straight to hold off the field for her second Ring Series win and retains the yellow leader’s jersey. The results would show Attard, D Wiggo, Mascaro for the podium. Danica W in A’s and straight on the results board. Help us.

Hydration is everything. Photo: Jedsman.

The men’s A was last to race and saw a number of no-Green kitted blokes out there. The Dome Team was well represented but no match on the day. In a stellar field no one was able to hold off local PDCC boy and current NRS racer Theo Yates (and his Mo), ANOTHER Wiggins and Lanigan.

The seasoned Dome sprinters drafted, like old pros, behind the newbie….. Photo: Jedsman.

All up a great day’s racing by all. And an even better tent set up from our VP, DrJ. Great pics from the day by David Menarry, and a lot of words from Steve Burns – more from him to come.

Next up for The Ring – Northam on SATURDAY afternoon. Not Sunday!

Summer Racing in Perth

It’s been a while since Hanno and the Mo crawled out of the SPR van. Post-RAdelaide, Summer is here (well, kind of. Not like a non-stop Perth 40deg+ week) and racing is on!

Our friends at Peel are running their Time Trial Summer Series, having started Sunday 13th Jan – all are in the morning starting at 07:30. Enough time to do TT in the morning and be ready for The Ring Crits in the afternoon, if you are really keen. All registrations are done online now, with no nominations available on the day. PDCC are also refunding all entries that are not raced – so if you are unable to make the day and don’t start, money back without question. Nice touch, Peel. Check out the schedule at their website HERE and support our fellow Clubs doing the hard yards to stage affordable racing events with an awesome atmosphere for us.

He goes alright on TT.

ATTA have their Summer season in full swing for more suffering of a severe, personal and individual nature. Damn, even Race@SPR has gone and sourced a TT bike. With the Tuesday morning Kings Park “Birds in the Park” series completed for the season, the ATTA schedule consists of some longer Sunday hilly and flat courses. Don’t forget the Mark Webb Memorial TT from Toodyay to Gidgegannup is this coming weekend. The races are well organised, have a great atmosphere and you get to catch a few serious pro’s in action – like getting to be Australian ITT National Champion Luke Durbridge’s Minute Man, albeit briefly. Very, very, VERY briefly……. Check out their summer schedule on their website HERE for details.

Crit Lyfe. Token selfish corner shot of one Mo.

Continuing through Summer is the RCCC Crit Series at the new Bayswater course. Races to come are on 28th Jan, 14th April and 21st April. Check out the RCCC FaceBook page for entry details. In the middle of the RCCC dates is the 2019 edition of The Ring Crit Series. There are only 5 races scheduled this year, and each will be at a different venue on fully closed roads. There are a few new courses in there including Mandurah, Subiaco and Northbridge. All the events except for the Northam round are due to start from 12:30pm, so you eager beavers will have the opportunity to race TT’s in the morning and Crits in the arvo. Did someone say “Racing”? Season Passes are available for the full five races at a discount – all registrations must be done online as no day nominations are available. All info on the series and links to the entry portal is posted on the website HERE.

Old Blokes racing. 😉

For the token Old Buggers, West Coast Master’s Summer season also continues with a mix of Crits and Road Races on established courses around and just outside Perth. There are many SPR members that regularly race WCMCC events. Masters run a combined Women’s and Men’s field in each grade and they get pretty good numbers week in and week out. Be aware that WCMCC is not run under your Cycling Australia license and requires a separate membership. Their schedule and all other details are posted up HERE or ask Steve Burns (possibly an undercover recruiter for Masters racing!) or any of the regulars from Main 1 or Fast 2 groups.

Pemberton – all the cool kids.

And on their traditional March Labour Day Long Weekend, South West Cycle Club host the Pemberton Classic, returning for 2019. Highly Hanno endorsed, this is one of the best weekends of racing going around WA. More details on their event website HERE.

 

Get out and have a crack!

Social Committee and Race@SPR Awards 2018

Thank you to everyone who participated and nominated our club members in this year’s annual awards.  Approximately 60 people were nominated and below you can see the reasons why. We are very proud to have each and every one of you in our club!

Social Committee Awards 2018:

The winners of the awards were selected by a panel based on the number and nature of the nominations. The list of names below is a combination nominations listed in alphabetically order.

Most improved rider – a rider who over the last year has made the greatest improvements in ability and skill.

Winners:

Female and Overall – Sam Flockhart 

Male – Greg Jones

Sam, Part 1
Greg, much improved and well loved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also nominated:

Adam Ralph, Anita Young ¸Daniel Harvey, David Menarry, Dermot Blackweir, Elar Kalda, Faye Daglish Jones, Ginny Donley, Josie Meyer¸ Kate Bonner, Katheryn Dines, Laurensia Rosana, Liz Sheehan, Meegan Fyfield, Michelle McLintock, Rebecca Kelly, Rob Ramsden, Ross Boaden¸ Steve Burns, Stuart Carson, Tim Hopkins, Vanessa Johnson

Most inspirational rider: someone who has influenced you through their deeds or helped to motivate you to achieve more in cycling than you thought you could.

Winners:
Female and overall – Amanda Nabi
Male – Adam Ralph

Also with multiple nominations:

Faye Dagliesh-Jones, Meagan Fyfeild, Michelle Mclintock, Rob Ramsden,

Good Samaritan/s: someone who has taken an opportunity to help, on the spur of the moment, another cyclist in need.

Winners:

These Blokes. Trust us – we’re cyclists.

Andrew Ballam, Peter Mah

Also with multiple nominations:

Dave Menarry, Dean Roser¸ Rob Ramsden, Steve Burns, Tracey Hassell & Eamon Dorricott

 

Epic equipment or moment award: something that sticks in your mind about a rider and/or their bike/gear/club ride/race that was so unusual, be that good or bad.

Winners:

Bonner. Mucho amore. Tears ensued all around.

Michelle Bonner: For initiating full medical response with CPR to resuscitate and revive Greg Jones after an episode out on an SPR ride.

Vanessa Johnson: For continuing to race at WCMCC after witnessing husband and VP Dr J in several pieces on the roadside post-race crash. For another four laps. Laughs, haha banter….

Also with multiple nominations:

Adam Ralph, Amanda Nabi, Andrew Ballam, Steve Burns, Tim Hopkins.

Best social media photo, caption or meme of a photo of SPR club member/s

Best Photo: Audrey Xie

Go. Away.

For a forlorn image of Sam Flockhart and Dean Roser racing The Beverley in “marginal” conditions.

Best Memes: Dome Coffees Cycling Club

Also nominated:

Peter Mah for his countless selfies while racing world champs and Seven.

Rafael Fernandez for his SPR ride videos on Facebook.

Best Dressed Xmas Riders:

Jack Chang, as always.
Mark De Castro. Appalling. A jersey so bad, it’s great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Lander. Longest stripey legs going around!

Race @ SPR – Race Awards 2018:

This year we are awarding an SPR kit and Team (non-SPR) kit awards for Women and Men. But firstly some Honourable Mentions for those that should be recognised for efforts AND actual achievement.

In the Mens, Masters WCMCC racing saw regular big numbers from SPR, largely from The Ring Leader recruiting all and sundry Steve Burns – outstanding work!

Among those racing with results through the year were Tomasz Wolcyk winning the Element Series B grade, Craig Denham performing as part of Check 1-2 through the Ring Series, Adam Ralph, David Menarry, Ross Boaden, Tim Hopkins, Pete Seizovic all taking results in WCMCC, and Mike Morris taking the win at Peel Classic C grade.

From the Women, Sam Flockart at Masters Nats, Corrie Johnstone’s A grade consistency, Vanessa Johnson, Laurensia Rosana, and without bias Rebecca Kelly (who forbid me naming her) who placed second in the Element series for B grade.

SPR Women’s Racer of the Year – Kirstie Moore.

Kirstie Moore. C grade series won last year, B grade series win this year. Where next?

Stepping up to B grade and winning the Element Series after also winning Women’s C Grade series last year. Absolute consistency prevailed. And topping that off with ToMR Stage 3 sprint mixing it with the A graders.

 

 

Elar Kalda. Just keeps getting better.

SPR Men’s Racer of the Year – Elar Kalda

Jumping to A grade this year Elar consistently finished with placing in top 10s. And in the process pinching a Dome Coffees Racing Team call up.

 

Team (non-SPR Kit) Women’s Racer of the Year, JOINT winners

Michelle McLintock

The Win.

Michelle placed strongly throughout the year, but hit the pinnacle in Victoria winning the Overall Masters National Champion for her division.

 

 

 

Amanda Nabi

Nabi.

Amanda took Local, National and (UCI) International podium places for Road Racing and Time Trial and a crescendo-ed with a Cycling Australia nomination for National Masters Chick of the Year*.

(*May not be actual title..!)

 

Pat’s take on “Xmas Jersey”. Well won, Mate.

Team (non-SPR Kit) Men’s Racer of the Year: Patrick Saccani-Williams

With another top 20 place at ITT Nationals in January, winner ToMR overall individual and just recently winning in the Thailand Tour of Chaing Rai Pat dominated. Including Crit wins. CRITS?!?!

Better with age? Ralphaaaaa!

 

Most improved racer: Adam Ralph

From a strong finish to last year, Adam continued improving throughout 2018 at UCI Worlds, regular WCMCC outings, Element Series and Road Captaining at

ToMR.

The “Golden Mo” Racing Photo of the Year is awarded to the SUBJECTS of a great Race Day photo. Sam Flockart and Dean Roser.

Happier, drier times.

At The Beverley, on the return leg and loving life these two flouted all three lessons offered by the Mo (1. Get in the drops; 2. Ride AT the photographer; 3. Look fast, don’t go fast) they captured all the emotion and feels of an epic challenging day.

A huge thanks goes out to Jon “Hanno” Hanson, and to the endless generosity of our SPR volunteers. You know who you are!

Congratulations to this years SPR Awards Winners.

Tour of Margaret River 2018 – Race@SPR says…..

ToMR 2018 is over, and what a weekend it was. Reliably and as always, the Ride WA/ToMR Crew put on the most magnificent of cycling events once again.

Jensie finally got to meet Poodle. Photo: Poods.

The whole event consisted of some lead up rides around the SW – including an Albany stopover and the Medio Fondo with Jens Voigt, Jess Allen and Matt Keenan. Meeting Jensie was a treat. He is just as excitable and personable in the flesh as you’d imagine from his hilarious interviews and commentary. That he took my bike to lean up against his brand spanking new Trek when there was no space left at the cafe pretty much summed it up – both his enthusiasm and spirit of community. If only we got to share a beer as well…..

We’ll have race reports from the individual teams coming up over the next week from the three stages, but from Race@SPR here’s the broad view.

DOME clean swept stage 1. Photo:

We were able to secure five SPR team places this year in green – two women and three men. Amongst the other masses of racers were SPR members in non-green teams – Chaotic Energy in the women’s division, Cove Legal, JSTFUaR, King KOM and a few other moonlighters in the men’s divisions (Tim Hopkins in MCC – oh the shame!!) as well as the DOME Men’s and Women’s teams. Needless to say, there were many of us there.

This year we contested three stages over three days:

  • 42km Team Time Trial that dictates the division for stages 2 and 3;
  • 52km Road Race for points on your first rider only; and
  • 109km Road Race, where first and fourth team riders score points.

The points system did its job confusing all but the most applied accountants among us, but once racing started the concept worked brilliantly to spice up race tactics on the road. A great outcome for a new and initially mysterious system.

Non-Green SPR Chick Hitters. Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography

The whole point of this stage race is that it’s a team event. Teams of 6, a TTT that takes your 5th riders time, NOT the first rider, the final stage awarding more points for the 4th rider of a team. SPR takes it further and makes this a true Club outing. We select our teams, train together, stay in accommodations together, eat together, travel together….. you get the idea. In this year’s case, there were parts of previous year’s teams racing together again. And with familiarity comes speed.

Organising for 35 racers and volunteers to accompany for four days some 250km away is not a simple set of tasks. The reality is that we usually go through about 150% of the final number of racers needed by the time race day comes around.

SPR Royalty. Urhmm. Photo: Ashley Brown

Sorting accommodation for 35 people, within reasonable driving distance and at a reasonable price and quality and is available, chasing up payments, setting up team registrations and collecting all the monies for teams, planning the logistics of travel, of teams and bikes, coordinating times, organising Club tents, eskys, flags and equipment, shuttling of team cars from start to finish points with the volunteers, communicating to the racers over the lead up 6 months to event …………..

For the past three years, we’ve been doing this on top of and right on the back of The Beverley, which inevitably impacts on time for my own training and prep. Around 450 hours’ worth of time. Excuses, at the ready.

Race@SPR’s highlights? Well, there’s a few…..

SPR M3 put in an unexpectedly huge effort, gelling as a team and placing beyond expectations.

M1, who were returning against some seriously big hitters rode like a true Team.

The Artist formerly know as The Secret Weapon, Abi Smeaton. Photo: PB Photography

Our SPR W1 Womens team placed 3rd overall in the Womens’ division. Beaten only by DOME (with the current Singaporean National Champ btw) and a stacked Veris Team. Less than 4 minutes behind the TT heavy talent base of DOME in stage 1. Abi Smeaton took 3rd place on stage 2, beaten by a tyre width by the current Singaporean National champ, Serene Lee. Then a blistering ride from Kirstie Moore on stage 3 sprinting for 9th place and nothing but top end A graders ahead of her. This was a seriously fast bunch sprint too, and she nailed it. To round it out, W1 were the 2nd team to have their 4th rider finish taking a massive chunk of points. Our Club took third overall in the women’s division – a cracking result amongst some very fast Chicks.

Guns, only firing blanks. Photo: David Menarry

Amongst the inevitable social media onslaught (for which I apologise for nought – I am but a helpless camera whore myself), there is more to this Club trip than just the twits pedaling around in green kit. Above and beyond all else, a huge thanks goes out to our volunteers this year. It was the Rouleurs Soigneurs that essentially made everything logistical seem like nothing. We, the racers (and DS’s) didn’t need to do a thing. Michelle Bonner, Cathi Dixon, Greg Jones, Mike Madsen and Callum Stott – you are the true champions of this weekend. The results and achievements of the racers wouldn’t have been possible if we needed to faff about and coordinate anything once we arrived. I extend my endless gratitude to you fantastic five and everything you so generously invested. Write it down, read it back to yourself – THIS is what Club is about.

There’s a bunch of Race Reports to come – some horribly biased and very loosely based on fact. But a whole lot of fun nonetheless. Check out the links below. Cheers to rest weeks!

Tour of Margaret River – Women’s 1 Race Report

Tour of Margaret River – Women’s 2 Race Report

Tour of Margaret River – Men’s 1 Race Report – COMING SOON

Tour of Margaret River – Men’s 2 Race Report

Tour of Margaret River – Men’s 3 Race Report

Tour of Margaret River – Women’s 1 Race Report

Stage 2, Kandalee Catapult. A fantastic near miss in the words of Abi Smeaton. Aka When a Triathlete takes on a Cycle Race….

Wahoo, great I survived Day 1 of the Team Time Trial, now for Day 2. I’m fully briefed on the team strategy “SPR Secret Weapon” – first wheel over the line gets the points so stick to the front of the bunch and when the ‘break’ is made jump on. I’ve got my nutrition on-board…in my bentobox which is apparently so not cool.

If you look closely, you can see the bentobox bag. Photo: PB Photography

Right we’re off…following a car – what??!! Ok well at least I have a chance to work out this peloton thing while we are cruising at this nice easy pace. It’s definitely not a nice two-abreast ride with SPR, instead it’s a messy bunch of chicks on bikes where one second I’m following a wheel and the next its gone. Oh crap, I’m stuck on the left and people are passing on the right, hmmmm this is not what I was told to do (keep right and stay near the front) how to get out of this position? Thank goodness for my teamies who see my distress and tell me to move out in front of them. The car waves and the race starts. We start the climb and a couple of girls are off the front ahead of the bunch. I’m on a continual cycle of losing position moving back through the bunch then popping out and moving back up to the front. I’m nervous, sweating, and begin wishing I was up ahead with those two girls.

Talking tactics. White or red with dinner? Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography

We continue climbing and the pace is pretty easy but I’m still yoyoing around. I’m moving up the front when I bump shoulders with Amanda – OMG what a newbie! Lucky she’s very cool about this but my cheeks are burning – so not cool. I’m part way back in the bunch when I see a few of girls surge off the front, I hesitate “Is this the break?”. Then I hear yelling from behind “Go go go” – is that for me? After what feels like ages I decide to go for it and get away from this bunch business. I surge forward ahead of the bunch and immediately regret my hesitation, those girls are a way up the road now. I settle in and push hard willing my legs to keep pumping, I’ve got to catch those girls. I pass someone dropping back to the bunch but the other two girls are still up there so I keep pushing.

Finally I catch my ‘break buddies’. One of them asks if we’re all willing to work together, I’m in but the other girl isn’t. Kirsty, my TT buddy and I set off with enthusiasm. We’re both delighted to be out of the bunch. Now to hold the rest of the girls off. We keep up a steady rhythm of a minute or so on the front and I keep looking over my shoulder expecting to see the bunch swallowing us up. I worry for the next 10km that I went too soon but little did I know the rest of the team was working to keep the bunch pace slow to let us get away. Finally, with only a few kms to go I see two K-division numbers up ahead. Kirsty tells me to go ahead, I’m strong on the hills and it doesn’t take long to catch one then the next. Dam I can’t shake her. We pass 500m to go and crest the final hill. She’s right behind me and I know her cornering and sprinting will be superior to my triathlete endurance.

Missed it by THAT much. Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography

We turn the corner and it’s a sprint finish, I can hear her just behind me. I’m ‘sprinting’ to the finish line pushing my bike infront of me like a jockey urging his horse to the line. I’m almost there when I see her wheel sneak in front. Third…I can live with that. I go to congratulate Serene but she can’t talk, I start thinking I didn’t try hard enough.

A few days later I see the photo. Talk about professional vs amateur. Oh, that’s what those curly bars are for…am I supposed to stand up? And why am I braking…too much speed or perhaps I’m getting ready for a flying dismount to start my run…

Guess I’m now the Not-So-Secret Weapon.

Tour of Margaret River – SPR Men’s 2 Race Report

A Race Report of stages, and of men in average mediocrity.

So. Men’s 2. Until the Tuesday before Friday race-day we were yet to finalise our team. An unfortunate and serious Saturday F2 crash took out powerhouse DeCastro only days before and left us searching. We found JJ and the rest was to become history. Pre-race day, several of us headed to Kirup to allow Jens Voigt to have a spin with SPR M2. Jensie, ever the character, was in fine form. Barely off flights from a worsening European winter, he managed to avoid all the usual WA summer pitfalls – sunburn, flies in the mouth, spray of cow pat from the wheel ahead, bourbon-and-bush-chook-swillin’-ute-drivin’ bumpkins stingin’ to bounce a cyclist off the roo bar – avoided it ALL. Espresso time.

Off to Nannup for the team rego, we caught up with our SW Faves – Brendon Morrison and Bec Cotton. South West Cycling royalty. The Gods. Teams registered, numbers and transponders in hand, we headed to our Busso digs for the campaign. Starting with a lovely local sports drink of choice and a Ralpha-prepared spaghetti bol, full bellies made for good sleeps.

 

Suggested Team Ralpha kit for next ToMR?

Stage 1 TTT saw us arrive at the Balingup start line without a TTT session with all members under the belt. No sweats. It was set out by Road Captain Ralpha what was what. 4watts/kg on the front, talk it up, no f*$king heroes. Call it when you’re struggling, longer turns if you’re not. The stage was rolling, and being mostly shaded saw us avoid the worst of the heat and look better for any photo opportunities.

Redeption. Photo: PB Photography

Poorly though, Mo was off colour and missed every snapper – looking down and not posing, looking left at the driver instead of right at the snapper. It all went pear shaped. Photo fails aside, we finished middle order of the middle group – E grade. Mediocrity gold, and right where we belonged. Five points – thank you very much. Head home to Busso, dig into a JJ-prepared red chicken curry, local recovery sports drink of choice and sleeps.

Early rise for the Stage 2 road race. As it was last year, a 52km, split by division road race going straight up. Then rolling, then down, hard left and then up, up and up again. Mucho ouchies.

Hanno. Concentrating, on a nice, cold fizzy sports dink. Photo: PB Photography

As Hanno does, having learnt from the best, he took to the road first, put in a 100m gap on the bunch and continued on with it………. through the neutral zone, until the base of said first “up”. That first up was a consistent wind up, speed gradually increasing the further into the climb and the steeper the gradient became. By the crest, Ralpha was of with the lead group, JJ and Jedsman barely a few metres off, and Mo was 300m back by the time he crested.

Smiling Jeds. Photo: PB Photography

I can make it. I can catch them. Head down, elbows flat, TT time baby. Over the next 3-4 km I hit flat power and got back to the boys in green, inadvertently dragging another 7 or 8 behind. Who waiting until I’d caught on to have a think about contributing – classy!

Without legs to go all the way, to work I went, rolling turns while JJ and Jeds took in the sights of Nannup’s beautiful green country side…… waiting. Lovely this time of year, apparently. Cresting Kandlee Hill – the sight of the most majestic of photos from last year’s race – there was Zac, camera in hand waving to the Mo. Tick.

Hill crested, Jeds still visible up ahead, we still needed backups in case anything happened to Ralpha. JJ is gone. Must keep going. Final drag to Greenbushes saw an obstacle course of many blown legs and spirits. Kicking over the final crest, finish line merely a right turn away, 1km to go, 500m to go, TIME TO GO! With nothing on the line other than another photo op, it’s a case of “look fast, not go fast”. Camera – tick! Coke, food, water, change, burger, cake, ice cream.

JJ – Supersub. Photo: PB Photography

We drive home to Busso with the now traditional Ralpha-small-bladder stop and then take in a local sports drink of choice and Mo’s Cooking Show. Chicken drummies with thyme, garlic and lemon coupled with roast veg. I know, right?

 

Another early rise for the Stage 3 Road Race. Can’t eat anymore. After 3 days of shovelling calories, it’s becoming like I’m A Celebrity eating challenges. Gear ready, check bikes – flat Di2… Shit, we’re supposed to be leaving. Nothing a borrowed Di2 charge adaptor and a power bank battery can’t fix in transit – McGuyver time, baby.

Stage 3 start is relaxed despite us all knowing the next 109km will be tough. Rolling to the start line, Zac is in the Start chute – in the drops, out of saddle, cheeky grin, snap. Tick!

Ralpha. Late again. Photo: Liz Sheehan

The stage saw points for your first rider, but MORE points for your fourth rider to finish. Finishing with four together was imperative. It is on. On the line awaiting the start Bec Cotton gives us a hug, wishes us the best and Mo leads out through the neutral zone. And then the next 4 km. Seriously – someone? Racing begins in earnest at the 25km mark with some firing off the front. And we never saw them again. Official ToMR (And Beverley) event snapper Daniela Tomassi drove past, hanging out a sunroof, camera in hand. Mo gets a nod and poses. Tick! Day 3 is going well.

Attack. Arrest. Attack. Arrest. This was the next 50km. More ouchiness. With 75km in, SPR M2 was still all together. Approaching the next turn, it was time to share some wisdom in getting “The Money Shot” with the bunch. Get in the drops – no question. Look fast, don’t go fast. Give a grin. Always have a moustache. The bunch nodded, astonished by the wisdom they had been bestowed. Tick!

Busy. Got a Wahoo to set. Photo: Liz Sheehan.

35km to go, Jeremy-O shot off the front on an all or nothing attack. Ham. Mer. Down. And down it stayed. One followed, many looked at each other. Away indeed, with 15km of chasing from the bunch done,  Ralpha jumped in an attempt to bridge, and he did. That’s 2 up.

Ralpha and several others got on with it. SPR M2 are still 6 – Rouleur Strong. Surges and moves continued before a lull and a hush came over. Mo time is Go time. To the front, feeling like the legs had some, we wound it up. The goal – roll hard, get a few un-necessaries off the back and ensure we keep our fourth up the front. Go, swing off, go again, swing off. Shrapnel flying as the pace stayed up.

Here comes another one, just like the other one. Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography

Winding up for the final right turn, I picked up 10 or so places in the finish straight and was our 4th rider across the line, hence securing points for 5th place for the team in Division. The team finished with 5 riders in the bunch, and one a smidge further back having emptied the tank for the team earlier. Together ’til the end.

Hanno, Ralpha, Jedsman, J-O, JJ and Mo. SPR M2, ToMR 2018. Fifth place, in Division E – embodying everything of average mediocrity. Six middle aged guys leaving everything on the road, having an absolute ball, and telling some tall-ass stories for the coming months, for sure.

Tour of Margaret River – SPR Men’s 3 Race Report

A South West rampage in the words of Poodle………

There are only two types of cyclists.  Sprinters & climbers.  You can see the difference a mile away.  Sprinters have guns.  Climbers have chicken legs.  Sprinters come first.  And the SPR Men’s 3 United Nations Team was all about being first.  No chicken legs here.   Australia, Italy, South Africa & the UK all represented.  The Prez, Poods, Barry, Andrea the Strong, Dermot & Ash, known collectively as BAD-Ash.  Race day kicked off with pre-race team briefing at the W2 house.  M3 in first, sprawled over the lounges keeping things chilled.  First to be cool.

M3 Ready? They had no idea what was to come, but smashed it out anyway. Photo: Liz Sheehan

The TTT saw M3 away first.  The team kept it tight, nailing the first cameraman at 500m in a move that even The Mo coveted.  The rolling climbs & descents quickly took their toll on all teams, with M3 passing six other teams by half way.  Dermot screamed “AAARRRGGGGHHH” which was the team sign to cut the 6th rider & pick up the pace.  The speed increased, the weather got hotter, Poodle sweated even more.  The Hand of God (aka Andrea the Strong) pushed Poods over the last climb.  Andrea will never wash that hand again.

Just chillin’ on the start line. Photo: Liz Sheehan

Day 2 would be for the climbers.  It would all blow to pieces early on that first hill.  Team plan – be at the front for the start!!  The UN Team started well, getting the first selfie of the day with Jens Voigt.  Now it was show time.  The team stuck to orders, pushing all other riders out of the way to be first on the start grid.  Dermot shoved three Midland riders to the ground.  Ashley coughed phlegm all over the start marshal.  The Prez made a Black Swan rider cry.  Best start photos ever.  M3 led the massive field out of town & up the first climb.  The field strung out & riders from the earlier divisions started to appear.  The Prez put the hammer down.  Again & again he struck his blows.  Poodle became the sparks, and the rest of the field was the anvil.  The Prez & Poods rode away with the leaders, while BAD-Ash followed team orders & sat up for a cruisy groupetto ride.

Barry Cook. In the drops, power down, eyeball the camera. So proud right now. Photo: PB Photography

The Prez kept Poods in touch up all the climbs.  The Prez was heard to say “I think I’ve broken the Poodle.  I think I’ve broken myself!”  Poods was calling it “I’m done for Prez, save yourself, go for the win!!!”  The Prez railed “I’m not leaving you Poods!!”  A Roues Chaudes rider heard the Prez’s voice cracking with emotion.  The duo were looking good until they were swamped by a bunch of wheel suckers at 1km from the finish.  But the pair still managed a beautiful finish, arms linked & held high like Hinault & Lemond at Alpe d’Huez in ’86.  Poods scored a DSQ for being overweight, another first for M3.

Dermot, pain face. Facing thy demons. Photo: PB Photography

Day 3.  Could M3 produce the money shot?  The team led out on the front briefly, before letting all the other mugs do the work into the headwind.  BAD-Ash followed team orders, staying tucked in & sheltered from the headwind.  Freshest legs in the entire peloton.  We will need them later!  A few B-Grade ring-ins went off the front.  Let them go.  The Team sniggered at the odd plonker trying to make a break into the headwind.  They’ll be back.

Ash. Photo: PB Photography

Move up & be ready for the right turn into Sues Road.  Head wind becomes tail wind.  Full gas.  The Prez confidently led the fresh legs of BAD-Ash through the melee and the red shift.  Poods kept a loose cover at the back bringing back any worthy discards.  The climb at 60km saw the bunch thinned, like a grevillea branch through a mulcher.  BAD-Ash moved quickly up the climb, as we closed on the bunch in front.  Andrea the Strongsacrificed himself to keep the back end of M3 in the game.

Poodle. Photo: PB Photography

The rolling grind home along Mowen Road had El Prez playing numbers games.  He has a mind like a planet, calculating the finishing numbers of our team versus the others, for the magical fourth place. Poods struggled to count to three.  Ash kept up the race signals, with a loud cough meaning GO!!  Barry covered all the moves up front.

The final climb & turn back into Nannup had the field of 40 now reduced to 15, including the 5 SPR riders.  Or was that 4 of us?  Nope we’re down to 3.  That last cough meant ease up.  The Prez went back for Dermot.  He would never quit!  Barry channelled the Prez’s anger to beat the Black Swan rider up front.  Poods caught nowhere in the middle was a free agent, delivered a gun-like explosive sprint to beat two women riders to the line.  Ash scored the coveted 4th place points.

A fine & noble finish.  And in another first for SPR, there was not a single #fts dummy spit from El Prez.  And the M3 UN Team were first into the post-race beer!

Tour of Margaret River – Women’s 2 Race Report

Stage 2, Kandalee Catapult – 51km and 850m climbing, from the view of Debbie Bertolatti.

Photo: Liz Sheehan

It was with a certain sense of dread that Saturday 10th November dawned.

Deb, post -ToMR last year.

51kms of rolling hills sounds pleasant enough for those uninitiated, I was baptised by fire last year when I got to ride most of those “undulating” hills solo! I remember thinking I’ll never do that again. Just to prove my Dory like memory, I put my hand up again this year.

ToMR ‘18 I was determined to improve from last year, the weather Gods were on my side at a balmy 27degrees and as we all know no one ride is like the last.

Chick in transit. Photo: Meegan Fyfield

With only 9 women’s teams and one division all female riders were off at approximately 9:38am. When we hit the first big climb 4km in, as expected the groups split into their respective strengths in other words the fast chicks were off! If you can imagine cycling through sand with the brake clamped it’s somewhere close to the sensation. A cheeky little push got me over the crest and let’s be honest – I wasn’t about to catch up with the Dome girls so it was welcomed.

So it looked as though I might be in no mans land again when I spotted a bunch in the distance. I peddled like a bat out of hell and finally caught them…relief! This stage was definitely made for the Mountain goats it was magic riding with some of the Chaotic Energy ladies and to look over my shoulder and see Captain Meegan catch the group.

Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography

A steady pace and smooth roll throughs, we were working like a well-oiled machine. After a high speed decent and a sharp left turn we hit Maranup Ford Road not sure what was worse – the amount of flies swallowed or that kicker of a climb.

 

We were on the home stretch now so just had to stick with the bunch past the Mad Max scenery of the Greenbushes lithium mine, and crest the last 1km to turn into the town and sprint to the finish. Last year, that 1km felt never ending, whereas this year it flew.

This was definitely shaping up better than last year I’d stuck with a bunch, quietly enjoyed those hills and the ride. So though I’m definitely not the fastest, and I don’t have Mad Skillz, I 100% had the feelz. I could almost see why Men’s 1 rode back home…almost!

Dizzy Time. No extra laps, though. Photo: Daniela Tomassi Photography
Women’s 2 – off duty and rehydrating. Photo: David Menarry