Elite C and Masters B combined with U17 riders for the weekend, and these races had the strongest Coffs representation with Sean, Reece and myself.
The first stage was a rough 8km time trial that placed us all middle of the table. The second stage was a very hilly 76k's and we all held it together with the bunch. Unfortunately, the race winner was 4 minutes up the road with a couple of super fit U17's, so as we sat in the bunch, our grade was being decided. Sean lagged behind on the final climb, but worked back on just in time to move through a big bunch to place in the sprint. Reece was in the mix, but not that keen to squeeze though the gaps.
Stage three was made for the sprinters with 70K's completed at a average of 40kph. Sean showed class to take third in the sprint, with about 20 riders on the same time as the winner.
The last stage was a crit held around a tight 800m residential estate. the pace was electric from the start. A big field was strung out immediately and the Commissaries started pulling out the laggards almost immediately, Reece being on the wrong side of the officials whistle. Sean managed to stay with the leading bunch, whilst I held up the chasing group from about 4th wheel.
And then my weekend turned to sh%t - some Hamilton Pine Rivers @#$head on a two week y.o. Trek and Zipps failed to take a tight right turn, came down right in front of me. I can remember everything from the incident, and I just had no time or space to move. I went over the top of the Trek dude, tucked my head under and slammed my left shoulder and helmet into the bitumen. I slid for a meter or so, and the waited for the following riders to add to my woes, thankfully none did.
My next thought was to get off the road, and when I got up I knew I had issues with my shoulder, a quick finger check revealing a too sudden end to my clavicle. So I went and laid down by the road and watched as chaos rained down around us. The first Aid guy called an Ambulance and set to work on the guy I rode over who was a bit of a whinger, though he was passing in and out of consciousness, and had skin off every panel. Then Sean won our race, well done. Then Race organisers started the Elite BE race, and wouldn't let the Ambulance on the course when it arrived, then another Hamilton Pine Rivers rider on a new Trek;
- slammed into a protruding gutter on the same tight right hand corner about a meter from where I was lying and
- had his fall broken by the back of the first aid guys' stationwagon, then,
- slid down the back of the stationwagon onto the towbar with ball! Bedlam.
Didn't get to see the Horse or Chizz in their crits, but apparently the pace was hot for them too.
Thanks to team members esp. gog for his help and perspective. Massive thanks to Gretel & Sue who cooked and cleaned, and to Dave the team mechanic who was never far from the fridge and racked up some impressive sleep hours.