I started the race with a well organised and sensible 16 minute group. We set out from Collie setting a solid but steady pace, keeping the group fairly intact over the climb. Not long after cresting the climb we managed to pick up both the 17 and 18 minute groups. The number of riders in our group had now swollen to 30+ but most were happy to work and we flew to Donnybrook at an average speed of 45km/h.
A few kilometres after the turnaround we managed to pick up the leaders and we were now behind the lead vehicle. This is where the bunch lost it’s cohesion, the speed dropped and the frustration grew as we knew the scratch group would most certainly catch us if we kept this up. Myself and fellow KD Cycles team mate, Daniel Gray, put a number of attacks in to try and harden up the race, force a split and hopefully drag a few of the stronger riders along with us. Unfortunately a very attentive peloton didn’t allow the breakaway to form, but the attacks succeeded in bringing the pace back up. Cresting the last big climb of the day, with a reduced but still fairly big peloton and with no chasers in sight it looked like it was coming down to a bunch sprint.
Again the group slowed as no one wanted to be leading out the sprint. The last kilometer run into town has a short, sharp climb followed by a fast downhill left corner and onto the main street where the road slightly rises for 300 meters all the way to the line. I made my move with about 500 meters to go, at the bottom of the little climb from about tenth wheel. The bunch looked at each other to take up the chase, this hesitation allowed me to gain a 30 meter gap which I was just able to maintain to the line. Graeme Brown and the fast finishing scratch group coming in less than 20 seconds behind me, setting a new course record. My race in numbers; Time: 2h33m Distance: 102km Average: 40km/h NP: 260w IF: 0.9
I’d like to thank the Collie Cycle Club, event sponsors and all the volunteers for putting on a great, well organized and seamlessly run event. Also a big thank you to my main supporters, my family, KD Cycles and Hall Cycle Training.