The Victorian 100 km Championship was the day after the Cecil Shore handicap race. It comprised of thirteen 8 km laps around a square course, which much like the day before was very windy.
Also much like the day before there were many strong teams such as team Bike Bug, V.I.S, Target Trek and African Wildlife Safaris. These teams made the race as fast as they could to try and set up there riders for the win. Due to these teams and many of the other riders being really strong it was an extremely outside chance that I would win. So I set my sites a bit lower and tried to aim for the first U/19 rider. But even this was going to be extremely unlikely/ hard because one of the other U/19's was Zac Shaw who has won the 1 km TT at the Junior world track championships. Even though it was going to be hard I was going to give it a crack anyway.
The first lap started off hard as riders tried to get off the front in the breakaway but the big teams didn't want to let anyone go. After 2 laps a few riders did manage to get a gap but it wasn't very big. The big teams kept the pace up high on the front and I was just trying to make sure I was in a good position for each corner. Positioning was especially important coming out of the second corner because the wind was going to the left (from top to bottom in the picture of the course) and like the day before the peloton was in an echelon but there wasn't enough room to fit on the road. This meant that coming up to the second corner everyone would try and be up the front and as soon as we went around the corner push against the left side of the road to try and get some protection from the wind. But if you weren't in the first 1/3 of the peloton you weren't getting any protection from the wind so everyone was either trying to push and force their way into that first 1/3 or riding in the dirt on the side of the road to get there.
So pretty much a pattern formed for the race. Coming in to the first corner I would be in the first 1/3, then I would try and get right near the front going into the second corner, then everyone would sprint out of the corner and push to the left and I would try and hold my position until we approached the 4th corner where I would follow some one up on the outside of the peloton to try and get near the front again. This pattern continued until 5 laps to go. As we swung left coming out of the second corner I couldn't force my way into the group and dropped off. But I wasn't the only one that dropped off three other riders did as well. So we worked together, rolling turns as hard as we could and managed to catch back on the group as we went around the third corner. But I couldn't ease up now we had caught back up, I had to keep going hard and try and get back near the front so i didn't get dropped again. I managed to get near the front again but we were on the last lap before the intermediate sprint (an intermediate sprint is a sprint at some point during the race where first place gets a prize). As we went around the second corner I managed to hang on this time, but I was right near the back of the field and as we went around the last corner riders started sprinting and I dropped off the back of the field. As went past the line I was only 10 m off the back and was fighting to get back on. Just as we approached the first corner I got on the back of the peloton but the riders sprinted out of the corner and I got dropped again. This time I couldn't get back on no matter how hard I pushed my self. I kept pushing as hard as I could until the second corner but they were just getting further away. As I rolled over the line with three laps to go the commissaire waved at me to pull over. I had lotst 5 minutes in the 3/4 of a lap I was by myself and it was obvious I would soon be lapped so I was forced to pull out.
Even though I didn't finish the race or get 1st U/19 I was still happy with how I went. I hung on for longer than I thought and when I did get dropped I managed to fight my way back on twice and I also got second U/19 which was pretty good considering who got first. I ended up having a hard but fun weekend and also learnt some valuable lessons about ridding in the wind and ridding in big groups so all in all it was a good weekend leading up to Eildon this weekend and Wagga to Albury, States and Tour of the Murray in the next few weeks after that.