President’s Annual Report

With the Sydney Uni Velo Club AGM only a week away I thought it a good time to reflect over the past year and the year ahead.

2016 finished in emphatic style with SUVelo being awarded the 2016 NSW Road Premiership by Cycling NSW.  That is back to back titles for SUVelo and shows that SUVelo is clearly the dominant road racing club in NSW.  These awards are a testament to the men and women who regularly pin on a number and compete for the club around NSW and Australia.  As an established and well recognised road cycling club, SUVelo enjoys a solid reputation as a safe, competitive, welcoming and developmental club, catering for the interests of road cyclists of all abilities.

There are some induvial achievements that need to be recognised and 2016 was a break out year for Jessie Coyle who only started racing in 2015.  Jesse achieved a silver medal at the NSW State title for the individual time trial.  Our men’s racing squad also achieved a hard-fought silver medal at the NSW Club Teams Time Trial at Nowra.  The men’s squad was expertly captained by Chris Miller who himself had a strong season with numerous top 30 results in the National Road Series including a very strong performance in the Grafton to Inverell and the Tour of Tasmania.  Chris recently won L’Étape Australia and the 2017 NSW Master’s Road Race and Individual Time Trial for his age category.  Other noticeable racing performances that cannot go unheralded include Jesse Morley’s NSW road race title, Moosh Brown Master’s criterium title and Nate Bonarius for like…everything.

Ella Scanlon-Boor showed why she is one of the brightest talents in women’s racing on the national scene at the moment with a strong win in the women’s road race at the Australian University Games in Perth.  Robert Carr was in the right place at the right time to take a well-deserved second place at the same games in the men’s road race.  This event remains one of the club’s key focal points and an important date on our competition calendar.

The club has refocussed its racing efforts this year with an emphasis on racing at a club level.  We have created the Racing@SUVelo program which aims to create a collaborative and supported program for our members to race, learn skills and come together.  This program has been expertly run by Nate Bonarius who has provided mentoring and skills support to allow people to become racers or grow in their racing pursuits.  Top end high level racing is still important to the club and whilst the club itself is no longer running a mens and women’s team this year, we have partnered with two great teams to provide a strong link to the highest level of domestic racing and to provide a pathway for club mates who wish to compete at these top levels.  On the men’s side we have partnered with NERO Racing in their inaugural year as an NRS team and on the women’s side we have partnered with the NSWIS Sydney University team who are competing at an NRS level and proudly flew the flag at the World Tour level at the Santos Tour Down Under this year.

SUVelo had the good fortune to maintain very strong sponsor support in 2016 and it is the generosity of these sponsors that underpins SUVelo’s ongoing development and success. Our sponsors Slater and Gordon Lawyers, The Malaya, Sports Focus Physiotherapy, Staminade, A’qto, Turbo Studio and Pave the Way have all made valuable contributions in 2016.  The role and support of the Sydney University Sports Federation cannot by understated, their commitment to the club is second to none and we are proud to wear the University lion on our jersey.

The club’s social side is just as important as the riding and the club organised a series of stellar event for its member and supporters.  The highlight of which was hosting Australian Olympians Rachel Neylan and Richie Porte at the SUVelo President’s dinner at the Malaya restaurant in November.

2016 was another successful year of growth for SUVelo, building upon its solid performance-based ethos of which SUVelo is proud and from which we can work to further enhance the reputation and rewards for our club.  I would like to thank the SUVelo committee for their efforts over the past year. Without them none of this would have been possible.  I am blessed to work with such a great group of people who sacrifice their time to make our sport and our club better.

Andrew Duggan


Just Another Race – Tour Down Under 2017

NSWIS-Sydney Uni is our Women’s NRS team run in partnership with the NSW Insitute of Sport. This is the first year of the partnership and we had an official team launch while down in Adelaide for the TDU. Three of our ladies are on the squad of 10; Gina Ricardo, Emma Coral Roberts and Holly Hawtin. We’ll hear from each of them throughout the season with looks inside the life of a racer at the top level in Australia. Gina is first up with her experiences riding the Tour Down Under. Over to you Gina! (DR)

Hey there, it’s Gina from the women’s race team recapping my experience at TDU. It was a bit of a whirlwind to get there, but we eventually did, on a new bike 3 days before racing – there’s no better way to test new wheels than in a world-class field!

TDU is always a highlight of the year for me, whether it’s racing or being a spectator/fan girl! It’s always amazing to see so many cyclists together for one big week of cycling and racing. I love how you can walk down the street and bump into someone that you know. There’s that real sense of community.

The women’s race has gotten bigger year-on-year. The first year I raced it in 2015 it was part of the NRS, with Wiggle and Orica the only international representing teams. Last year was the first year it was a UCI race with a good number of international teams, but this year the field was an even bigger step up with 10 international women’s teams lining up on the start line, and a few lucky domestic teams including our very own NSWIS-Sydney Uni.

Part of the reason we were able to get a start was because we had the likes of experienced pro and all-round legend Lauren Kitchen (WM3 Cycling – Marianna Vos’ team this year) and Ash Ankudinoff (Olympian & Team Pursuit world champ) riding with us. Lauren finished a definitive 4th overall on GC, so let’s just say we were very fortunate to have her and her experience for the race! It was unreal to have her around and hear her take on the race and tactics before/after stages. One of the great things about Aussie cycling is that our season is out of whack to the Euros – so we are fortunate that we get to have all the pros come back over summer and ride, train and race with us.

As for the race… In terms of the atmosphere, the amount of people cheering, the level of talent in the field, the organisation – there’s no better race throughout the year. In terms of the race course – for the punter like myself who’s trying to work & train – the shorter distances suit me – but for the international teams that fly out all the way to Australia – the stages are quite short with two, one hour criteriums counting as full stages… What it means is plenty of time for a coffee roll to the beach and relaxed day before those stages (my favourite part)… and some fast and hard racing! Our average speed for stage 2 was 44km/h and for stage 4, 42km/h. It felt as hectic as Tuesday night Heffron does when A/B/C all come together at once. Hectic! Packed in, shoulder to shoulder (or in my case as a short person head to shoulder) with the pros, just hanging on to maintain position… All we could really tell ourselves was that the rest of the year should be a breeze compared to the TDU criteriums! As for the two road races – it’s a shame that we don’t get to share some of the more iconic roads of Adelaide with our international visitors – like Gorge Rd, Norton Summit, Greenhill Rd. The course this year was more like a rolling West Head course with a few flat bits in between interspersed with a couple of longer drags. But no Willungas or Norton Summits. It was enough to weedle out the best and it was definitely hard racing (especially in 38 degrees!), but the course this year didn’t really meet up to 2015 where we raced up Corkscrew then down Gorge Rd. As horrible as ‘race’ and ‘corkscrew’ sound in the one sentence, it was an experience I’ll remember – whereas this year’s course won’t really have as many memorable moments, apart from almost being knocked off my bike by Kirsten Wild’s hips (they were level with my forearms) as she was making her way through the bunch. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, I just want to be realistic. I’m hoping (like we all are) that as the race develops it’ll grow bigger and better – hopefully not too big that our local teams won’t be able to have the opportunity to ride – but bigger to better mirror the men’s race. But just to have it is a massive win for women’s racing in Australia.

It was the first time our team had ridden together & for some of us, met each other. We had a great time and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Being on the team is unreal. We had an amazing support crew that made us feel like we were pros – I guess for four days we were. Thanks to the team at NSWIS for making it happen and to SUVelo. I’m not sure what’s next yet. A few of us are racing Oceanias in Canberra in a week or so, and we then have a team camp hosted at Brad McGee’s Estate in the Kangaroo Valley late March – so looking forward to those two adventures for the near future! All the best, and looking forward to a ride or coffee soon.

SUVelo wins second NSW Clubs’ Road Premiership title

Club of the Year 2016

SUVelo has won the NSW Club’s Road Premiership title for a second year running. The title recognises the club whose members amassed the most number of points across the combined Cycling NSW Road premierships (men, women, U23 and masters). This year The Club Premiership was won by taking the outright win on points over Canberra CC (which was the points leader in 2015).

The award was presented at Cycling NSW’s Clarence St Cup at Dunc Gray Velodrome. Club President Andrew Duggan, Club Captain Stuart Hamilton, Race Director Donncha Redmond and SUVelo NRS rider Daniel Van Der Laan were on hand to receive the award (and have a bit of fun on the podium).

Cycling NSW CEO Phil Ayres said the competition was much closer than 2015 with the margin of difference between the top four clubs being just over 100 points, “which when you consider is using the results of all a clubs riders, a very close finish.

“Although Canberra CC has immense strength in the elite men’s division (with four riders in the top 20), Sydney Uni Velo Club had much better spread of placing and participating riders across all competitions.”

The manner of the club’s win demonstrates its commitment to the development of its members at all levels of cycling.

Leaving Dad Behind

Robert Matthews completed the Audax Australia Alpine Classic 200 km Sunrise Over Buffalo ride in 2016 at age 13. This year he lined up for the 250 km Alpine Classic Extreme.

When I signed up for the Alpine Classic 250 I knew that it was going to be a step up from the 200, which I did last year, but I didn’t realise how much harder it was going to be. Dad and I opted for the 4 am start, which for us meant waking up at 1:30 am because we were staying at my grandma’s place in Kiewa.

As we rolled out of Bright in the darkness I said to myself “This is gonna be long day…”. It started off pretty slow then the group started a bit of a paceline and by the time we got to Harrietville my legs were already aching. Then we got to the climb.


I began the ascent of Hotham with the front few riders but after the first few km I decided that I should save myself for the rest of the day and ride at my own pace and that’s what I did for the next 10 km. It was such a relief getting past The Meg and cresting the top of the first section. Too bad it was still dark and I couldn’t appreciate the view. Back to climbing. I took it easy for the next few bits and on the final stretch to the Summit of Hotham, I realised that there were going to be photographers at the top so I better take that ugly reflective vest off. It was now getting light so, technically, I was allowed to.

The first checkpoint and food stop, which was at Dinner Plain, was quite a bit further than I expected. We had decided that we were only going to stop for five or ten minutes but when I saw a loaf of bread and a huge pot of Nutella I just couldn’t resist. So I quickly chowed down my sandwich and we got going again. The descent was long, broken up with hills and a few flat sections which morphed into the road to Omeo. I was riding with a nice group of people who made a quite boring stretch of road a bit more interesting. I was feeling a little bit sore that whole time so when we arrived at the centre of Omeo and the road goes up out of nowhere I let the others go ahead while I rolled over it at a sensible speed.

We didn’t take much of a stop at Omeo, just filling our bottles and grabbing a few snakes, before we set off again. The next 15 kilometres weren’t that fun, with a bit of an unexpected climb, before one of the most beautiful parts of the whole ride winding along the funnily named “Big” river. It was a bit unfortunate that I couldn’t appreciate it fully because the only thing that was on my mind was the extremely hyped climb up the back of Falls Creek.


I was bracing myself for the worst when I saw the turn-off but nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. As I turned the corner, the writing on the road described exactly what I was feeling, “WTF!”. I was going down through my gears and then realised that it wouldn’t go into my easiest gear. This was going to be a long hill. And it was. The only distraction was the sound of mooing cows who, I told myself, were cheering me on.

I made it up the first section of the climb and then decided that it was a bit too hard not having my biggest gear so I stopped and attempted to fix it for five minutes I just couldn’t get it to shift across and stay there luckily Dad was not too far behind and he was able to get it shifting in a matter of seconds.

For the rest of the climb, I could now just spin up, in the 32, with relative ease. As we crested Falls Creek this almighty headwind came out of nowhere and was really demoralising. We pushed on and a smile appeared on my face as we arrived at the little descent and I could see the check point in the distance. This time we were going to have a decent sized lunch stop. I grabbed a veggie roll and some rice cream, remembering how good this was from the ride last year.



We took our time to eat our lunch and then we got to the best part, the descent. I saw this young guy in Rapha kit who looked like a good wheel to follow and gosh he was! We leaned into all the corners, passing heaps of people and I barely even needed to use my brakes.

Dad wasn’t feeling too good at Mt. Beauty and when we got to the Tawonga climb he told me to ride ahead. I paced up the climb at a reasonable speed knowing that it was the last hard section and I caught a guy that was about at my level. I had a little chat with him going up the hill but I wasn’t going to let him beat me to the top. When he accelerated I sprinted past him, over the hill and then down the other side. It was fair to say that I was feeling better than I expected.

I found a nice group to ride into Bright with and, as I rolled under the long corridor of trees and through the finishing chute, I thought back at the awesome day that I had just had and how I will definitely be back next year. Dad was only about five minutes behind me and when we saw each other back at the carpark we gave each other a big high-five then quickly changed into our boardies and jumped into the river. I’d like to thank Audax for putting on such an amazing day and also all of the volunteers who took time out of their day to make our ride that little bit easier and more enjoyable.

Points Series Returns!

Welcome to the Points Series!

Last run by the venerable Neil Bradshaw back in 2014, we’re resurrecting The Points Series for 2017. We want you to get on your bike and start racing, TTing and climbing and this is a fun way for you to compete with your mates.

What is it?

Much like the pros, you’ll earn points for racing select events throughout the year.

When is it?

It starts on Feb 1st and Club Champs will be the final event.

OK, how does it work?

Club Crits

Earn 3pts for either racing or volunteering, e.g: Marshal or Sign-on.

Earn bonus points for reaching the podium in your Grade:

1st: 5pts

2nd: 3pts

3rd: 2pts

If no SUVelo rider is on the podium in a grade then first SUVelo rider across the line gets a bonus 2pts.

Example 1: I race C-Grade and come 2nd overall => I get 3pts for racing plus a bonus 3pts for placing 2nd. Total 6pts.

Example 2: I don’t race and volunteer to marshal => I get 3pts.

Example 3: I race B-Grade and am first SUVelo rider across the line, but don’t make the podium => 3pts for racing plus a bonus 2pts for best SUVelo rider. Total 5pts.


Battle of the Bridge

Same points as club crits. Applies to each round of BOTB, not just the SUVelo-hosted round.

Bonus 1pt if a SUVelo rider wins your grade.


Club Champs

Double points!


Amy’s and B2B

Racing: 5pts

Top 3 SUVelo in each Age Group get 5, 3 & 2pts respectively.

Bonus 5pts if you qualify for Worlds.


Fondo Worlds

Same rules as Amy’s/B2B, but double points.


What about Time Trials?

Yes, we’ve thought of those of you who still want to use your TT bike which has been in the shed since you gave up triathlons 😉


We’ll take your fastest time for the first half of the season (Feb 1 to May 31) and your fastest time for the second half of the season (June 1 to Club Champs).

The Top 5 per grade (your club crit grade) in each TT type (see below) will win points: 8, 5, 3, 2, 1.

Bonus 5pts if your time is faster in second half of the year.

For the inevitable TT bike versus road bike question the following rules apply:

1. If you use ANY of TT bike, TT helmet (aka sperm lid), TT bars, disc wheel (or cover) or skin suit then you’re deemed to be in “Full TT” mode.

2. Anything else is “Road TT”. Aero road helmet, aero road wheels & aero road frame etc. allowed for “Road TT”

I will assume everyone is in “Full TT” mode unless you specifically claim to be riding “Road TT” mode.

I’m relying on your honesty here!


What about the Climbers?

We’ve thought of you skinny whippets too :)

There are three nominated climbs which will count for points.

Garie Hill

McCarrs Creek Road

Bobbin Head West


Ride them as often as you want.

Strava or it didn’t happen!

At the end of the year, the top 5 times per grade (your club crit grade) on each climb win points: 8, 5, 3, 2, 1pts respectively

Bonus 5pts if you’ve registered a time on all three climbs.

Example 1: You are 7th in your grade up Garie (0pts), 4th up McCarrs (2pts) and 3rd up Bobbin (3pts) = 5pts, plus bonus 5pts for recording a time on all three climbs = total 10pts.

Example 2: You are 1st in your grade up Bobbin (8pts), 3rd up McCarrs (3pts), but you didn’t ride Garie (no bonus) = total 11pts.


Right, that’s it. The idea is that this is a bit of fun and a way to encourage you to get out there and race (crits, fondos, TTs) or smash yourself up some climbs.

Have fun!

Kitchen on fire for new team

NSWIS Sydney Uni

Lauren Kitchen has claimed 4th place in the overall General Classification and 3rd place in the Sprint Classification of the 2017 Santos Women’s Cycling Tour.

Kitchen was the leading rider home for the newly formed women’s cycling NSWIS Sydney Uni partnership in this Tour Down Under Classic.

Hailing from Port Macquarie, Kitchen let the other 101 riders know from the outset last Saturday she was one to watch finishing 10th overall in the tough 106.5 km, Stage 1 showdown and 7th in the Sprint Classification. Stage 1 was won in a time of 2h 51:01, with Kitchen at +1:01 in hot pursuit, just behind the first three.

A celebrated sprinter and road cyclist, Kitchen roared into 4th overall in the 32 km Adelaide Criterium Stage 2 and held 2nd position overnight in the highly-fancied Sprint Classification. Kitchen never released her grip over the final two stages, powering to steal the Lap 25 Sprint and points on offer in the last race.

The NSWIS Sydney Uni Santos Women’s Tour team comprised of Kitchen; Kirsten Howard; Ashlee Ankudinoff; Gina Ricardo; Nicola MacDonald and Emma Roberts, with Katie Brown as Team Manager. In the strongest field yet, the Santos Women’s Tour pitted 17 teams of six riders against each other over four stages from January 14 to 17, 2017.

The Tour encompassed two Adelaide city Criteriums, Stages 2 and 4 along with stages in the Barossa and Adelaide Hills. The fourth and final Criterium stage, mercifully held in the early evening of a sweltering Adelaide day, was bonanza for spectators who thrilled at the speed and intensity of the top riders going for broke around a 1.2 km course.

Sydney Uni & NSWIS join to advance women’s cycling

NSWIS Sydney Uni

A new chapter in women’s cycling will begin in 2017 with Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness (SUSF) and the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) joining forces to advance elite opportunities for athletes.

The partnership will see the creation of the NSWIS Sydney Uni Women’s Road Cycling Team, which will compete in the 2017 National Road Series and other select events both nationally and abroad.

Established in order to create a sustainable race team that will advance female athlete development, and provide academic support to riders, NSWIS cycling coach Ben Kersten is confident that the team will lay strong groundwork for future success.

“Over the past year we have been in discussions with Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness about creating more opportunities for education and professional pathways for women,” Kersten said.

“Then we tried to come up with something that mirrored the American collegiate system. At the heart of our discussions was the need to help female athletes balance education and cycling.

“We (NSWIS and SUSF) quickly found ourselves on the same page as organisations and wanted to unite high performance and education for athletes. The long-term plan to bring athletics and academics in line with each other is good. Next year will be all about laying the foundations for a long-term partnership.”

While the team first raced together at the Australian Road National Championships in early January, the official launch of the team has arrived just ahead of the Santos Tour Down Under.

Now with just hours until the new team breaks cover, Sydney Uni Velo (SUVelo) Club founding President and now SUSF Vice President David Jordan declared the partnership with NSWIS as an important stepping stone for women’s sport.

“Sydney Uni Velo Club was formed in 2010 with the intent of creating a new “development” Club in the Sydney cycling scene. We wanted to particularly create a Club environment where male and female cyclists could grow in this sport,” Jordan said.

“We dreamt of having national prominence in cycling one day, and the formation of this partnership with NSWIS in the National Road Series is an obvious marker that we are on course in achieving that dream.

“That we have made that step with a women’s team is particularly significant as women’s sport has been very much the emphasis of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness’s direction for some years now.”

Also pleased to see the merger come to fruition was SUSF Executive Director Rob Smithies.

“This merger brings together an array of talented riders and I look forward with excitement to seeing their combined growth,” Smithies said.

The NSWIS Sydney Uni Women’s Road Cycling Team first raced at the Australian Road National Championships between January 4-8 in Ballarat, before officially launching today January 12, 2017, ahead of the Santos Tour Down Under. See the NSWIS Sydney Uni start list here.

Additional quotes from Sydney Uni Velo Club President and SUSF President below

Andrew Duggan – President of the Velo Club said:

“This partnership has been the result not only of a lot of hard work by senior members of the Club, but also the work of many Club members over a number of years.”

“The SUSF partnership with NSWIS involves significant financial contribution by the Club too, and we are all looking forward to seeing our women achieve national recognition.”

“The Club already has women competing on the world stage – Sarah Roy and Rachel Neylan, both Club members, ride for Orica-Scott on the UCI Women’s World Tour. So in a sense, this is only the beginning.”

“At the Club we remain committed to continuing the development of the Club and individuals in it as part of our ‘Racing@SUVelo’ program. We want to be a stepping-stone, and what better way to achieve that than by being partnered with NSWIS in the National Road Series.”

“SUVelo has won back-to-back NSW Club Road premierships. Racing is at the heart of the club and the Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness lion on our cycling kit has become a familiar sight at races throughout Sydney, NSW and Australia over the past six years. We are all looking forward to seeing it further on the national stage and, hopefully, on podiums across the country.”

Bruce Ross – President of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness

“Sydney Uni Velo Club has grown tremendously since its formation in 2010. We knew then that cycling was ‘the new golf,’ but we could not have imagined the growth that this new Club would have in just 6 years.”

It is now one of the bigger sporting Clubs on campus, and we are terrifically excited by the prospect of Sydney Uni’s name being out there on the national stage in yet another sport. We are especially proud of the fact that it is happening in women’s sport, as it vindicates the culture which exists across the entire sports organisation at Sydney Uni.”

SUVelo dominates L’Étape Australia

Chris Miller claims top spot in L'Étape Australia

SUVelo members have put in a brilliant performance at today’s L’Étape Australia. Jesse Coyle recorded the 5th fastest time to finish 9th in the overall standings. He also placed 4th in the KOM placings. Gina Ricardo, recent Club Championships A Grade winner, claimed 3rd overall in the women’s category, also taking 4th in the KOM contest.

Chris Miller on the road at L'Étape Australia

The biggest performance of the day though comes from Chris Miller. Chris pulled out all the stops to claim top spot in the KOM and overall categories. Rather fittingly, Chris was presented the yellow and polka dot jerseys from Team Sky rider Chris Froome, who won both jerseys in the 2015 edition of Le Tour.


Race Results – November 2016


Great night of racing in the spring twilight. Friday night is an awesome night to be racing.

C Grade

1 Mark Drinkwater, SUVelo

2 David Jenkins, SUVelo

3 Courtney Walton, SUVelo


B Grade

1 Neil Stanton, Manning Valley CC (Cheeky Racing)

2 Darragh Larkin, Eastern Suburbs CC

3 Josh Patience, Rapha CC


A Grade

1 Alex Nazarewicz, Manly Waringah CC

2 Dan Bonello, St George CC

3 Chris Miller, SUVelo


NRS National Capital Tour – Day 3

The final day was a billed as a double-header, with a 70km road stage in the morning and a 50km crit in the afternoon, so Pete, Jesse and Chris were in for a hard day. Canberra really turned on the style with a cold, wet day forecast, though we had clearish skies in the morning, so there was some hope. After reconfiguring the car to accommodate our newly promoted DS, Moosh, we headed off down to Manuka for some pre-race coffees. We were sure to do really well today with a 1:1 DS to rider ratio. I don’t think even Team SKY can boast that!

No sooner had we reached the café than it was straight into serious DS duty as *someone* left their gels at home. Dan volunteered to drive back to the house, though as the only non-coffee drinker (I know, right?!) there weren’t going to be any offers. The boys got their tyres pumped and headed off for the start at Stromlo, Dan picked up myself and Moosh and we drove over, quickly encountering the promised rain. Wet start, wet race.

Our car was relegated to position 15 in the convoy (position is based on your rider placings) so I updated the stickers and we were ready to roll out. The race itself was pretty uneventful for us. With no sharp turns we never saw the riders and only had intermittent, crackly commissaire announcements to keep us poorly informed of goings on up the front. Dan was driving, I was on comms & rider spotting duties and Moosh was Media Manager, gleefully sticking a GoPro in dropped riders’ faces and keeping his social media profile up to date.

The action down the back was pretty constant. Riders getting punctures in the wet, then coming back through the peloton. Riders getting dropped. Cars stopping to pick up kit dropped by riders. It was also cool looking back at times and seeing the fleet of flashing blue lights enforcing the rolling road closures. Given we were on some of Canberra’s bigger roads, the rolling closure was so tight that some punctured riders, whose team cars were towards the back of the convoy, found themselves outside the rolling closure and in regular traffic by the time their wheel had been changed. This required a call to the commissaires, followed by a police car dropping back to guide them back into the fold. That must have been a sight to behold for Little Johnny on his way to family breakfast – police car with lights flashing, being drafted by a team car, being drafted by some skinny, wet dude on a bike inches from the rear bumper :)

The stage finished in a sprint back at Stromlo, with stern warnings to the team cars not to follow the peloton onto the crit track. We had a couple of hours before the next stage, so the guys grabbed gilets and rode back to the house. Dan stayed to watch Ben & Grechy’s stage finish while myself and Moosh drove back, with a super slow section on the hard shoulder trying and failing to find Chris’ lost GoPro. The guys arrived back in the house cold, wet and wanting some hot food, so it was back out for some bacon & egg rolls followed by some cleaning of the house before checkout and packing the car ready for the drive back to Sydney after the final stage. Given it was a crit we didn’t need to worry about having to follow the peloton!


We returned to Stromlo. The rain was still falling and it was still cold. Enthusiasm levels were low. No-one was looking forward to an NRS crit in the rain. Once coats/jerseys were collected on the start line, the DSes didn’t have much to do, so we hung around the infield. Dan and Moosh shouted encouragement from the sidelines, I took some photos. We grabbed some towels from the car to give the riders to dry off after the race.


Jesse pulled the pin halfway through as expected. With the main event of his season the following weekend (2nd in NSW Elite U23 TT Champs as it happens, even with a puncture!!), it just wasn’t worth the risk of a crash in a wet crit with nothing at stake. The rain got worse shortly after and it was time to seek some cover. Chris and Peter soldiered on and finished in the bunch. Positive Pete seemed to have enjoyed himself a bit in the crappy conditions – closer to his native Dutch weather perhaps. Chris, however, was frozen solid – barely able to speak through chattering jaws. He grabbed a towel and headed straight for the showers to warm up. Final DS duties were to put the various bikes on the roof racks, remove and return the transponders and then bolt for the road back to Sydney. No-one was keen to hang around in the atrocious conditions.


So, first NRS race done. It was good fun, though fairly busy. Dan’s clearly done sterling work earlier in the season as he’s usually the lone DS sorting out everything himself and also providing his physio skills and massages to the riders as required. Chris also put in a few hours a day after the stage collating and editing the various video footage into the daily vignettes. It was also nice seeing how well the team gel together, the joy when someone does well, the concern when Moosh had crashed and the disappointment and remorse when planned tactics didn’t work out. All sprinkled with liberal amounts of piss-taking of course!

Rookie DS, over and out 😀