Results didn't come through for Liam and Numa who had trained quite seriously for this event. Health wasn't on their side this week-end, then Numa took the wrong turn on his time trial and got disqualified, and Liam had a fall at the end of the road race, nothing too serious. They are going to Inverell and hope for a better week-end there.
Alex travelled down to Port Macquarie for the state titles road race with his Dad and Step Mum. He was up at 4.30am to get down to Port nice and early for rego and warm up. I had mentioned to him that most races start with a bang with riders trying to catch other riders out that have not warmed up or may not be switched on. Luckily he listened and was attentive as the race started at high speed. The course is a long hotdog circuit which is undulating with three good climbs per lap, Alex’s grade were down for 2 laps. Unfortunately at the first turn Alex started to drop off the bunch. You do a long climb, descent, turn around and climb again.
Alex kept on riding and finished around 4 kilometres behind the winners. It was a good experience for him to ride in a large bunch. He is looking forward to travelling to Inverell for the 2 Day tour which is 2 road stages, time trail & crit.
Josh and Guy both approached the state titles with a degree of apprehension. Although they both have lots of experience riding bikes, neither had much race experience, and certainly none at this level. They both put in a solid effort in the time trial, Josh was very happy with his 11:19 over 6km giving him 7th place (46 sec behind the leader). Guy was less than impressed when he was told his aero bars didn't meet the regulation, so they had to be quickly removed before the start. He was still pretty happy to finish with an average speed of 36km/hr over the 8.6km course, but was humbled to discover that his time was only good enough for 23rd (out of 45), and was amazed that the winners were able to average just over 40km/hr. That blew me away considering these boys are 13/14 years old and pedalling a restricted gear. Try that in the 39 x 14!
Guy decided that the Port Mac criterium course, at state level, was not a good place for his first crit - and I whole heartedly agreed. Josh was determined to have a go though, and learnt very quickly how much harder it is when you start from the back of the pack! Just about every lap he had to ride around someone on the bottom corner and chase to get back on the bunch, and no one watching would argue he didn't give 110% to stay in the race. Although he was never really in the running, he was still happy not to be eliminated and finish in 14th place.
In the road race Josh had a new tactic - stay near the front! Unfortunately he discovered this was not as easy as he thought. Unfortunately he was on the back of the pack at the 2nd turnaround when a break of 4 went off the front. The bunch chased hard, but whenever they got close, the 4 leaders attacked again and managed to stay away to the finish. The chase group came in hot on the heels of the riders in 3rd and 4th place. Josh went way to early with about 300m to go, but managed to hold on for a close 5th place. He was over the moon with this result, and is now all fired up about the Inverell Junior 2 day tour.
Guy was not so sure about the road race, but after a bit of encouragement from the Warburtons decided to give it a go. His tactic was to stay on the back and stay out of trouble. Certainly not a race winning strategy, but probably not a bad idea for his first road race! After approx 10km of racing they came back through the start/finish, and it was no surprise to see he was off the back, but he and Nathan were working together, and were only about 30 seconds behind the leaders. Unfortunately with the hilly terrain the chasers were all strung out and never really got organised. Guy ended up finishing in 32nd place, but more importantly really enjoyed the ride and learnt a lot about how races are won and lost. He is also keen to line up in the Inverell Junior 2 day tour.