Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Vic's start strong, but fade....NSW takes Day 2

Captain Kay-belle giving the thumbs up on another good day for Manly!
After yesterdays tough day in the saddle, there were plenty looking for an easier day today.  All were glad to see the weather cooled down significantly and there was a big group of 50 or so that took off from outside the Medina at 8.30. First stop is the obligatory coffee, however the majority elected to miss the coffee to get a start on the 8k climb up Greenhill Road to Mt Lofty Observatory.  Only 15-20 riders remained. It was always going to be on going up Greenhill Rd, a tough no nonsense climb.  As we hit the bottom, the group was all together with Buzz setting a solid pace.  Gus was the first to go, which as the boys were saying would be no suprise as a climb like this suited him.  I went to follow him and a little break was established of Gus, De Luca, Leigh, Damo and myself......not good, 1 Sydney and 4 Melbourne riders.

The Melb Boys need to get up earlier in the morning to pull the wool over our bikes!
 The attacks were happening regularly and I knew I had to let one go and Gus got a 75m lead on me after 2k into the 8k climb. The rest of the Melb boys just sat on my tail. Knowing I would get no help from any of them, I put the head down and went after Gus.  It was tough, and I just couldnt get the yardage back. First KOM to Melbourne! I did manage to drop DeLuca and Leigh, however Damo had an armchair ride in my slipstream all the way and came around me in the last 50m to take  second. 

The Boys at the KOM
 We regrouped in the fog laden Mt Lofty observatory, meeting up with the earlier group.  After everyone freshened up, we took off for the start at Loberthal.  The Adelaide Hills is some of the best riding in Australia. The boys were hooking it down the Basking Range, Mitch leading the way down the hills.  At the Basking Range climb, a 3k hill, I managed to take the honors from Gus, evening up the KOM points.  We all regrouped at the top and then had a great 10k bash along the hills to Loebenthal to watch the start.  We got there just in time, then after the TDU riders rolled out, we went over to the KOM,  around 5 k across the course.  Watching the riders come up, you can see how hard the pro's come up the hills.  We then smashed across to Stirling to watch the last couple of laps of the race as well as the finish

Buzz delivers the killer blow to the Hampton Boys
Damo was isolated late in the day
The Silent Assassin!
The main ride of the day was always going to be the descent from Stirling down to Glenelg.  Legs warmed up, it was on as we took off down the Adelaide Hills.  David went off the front, along with Jay, but the Sydney boys pegged them back with Mitch and Buzz riding strongly.  Hampton lost control to Manly, which was a reversal of coming up Mt Lofty from the morning. It was Damo, me, Buzz and Mitch. Buzz was up the road and Mitch and I had Damo covered. I said to Damo as I came past "how do you like being isolated now?"  Buzz took the points and the group came together again.  It wasnt long before the attacks started again as we belted along from the top of Greenhill road down to Glenelg. Leigh was hitting it hard, but Mitch was onto him. The pace was frenetic and the lead switched numerous times, when Leigh, Gus, Buzz and "the silent assasin" Michael Cole got clear along Anzac Highway and battled it out for the points. Buzz went from a fair way out and showed all a clean pair of heels for more Manly points.

A late afternoon coffee was had by all, before an easy wind down back to the city via the beaches and Grange Road. 130k day...good riding and great roads. Doesnt get much better than today

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