Is how close I came to pocketing the $3,000 first place prize cheque and the $2,500 prize cheque in the Melbourne to Ballarat Handicap today. What did I get? $150 for 4th, better than nothing eh?
The scratch group was motoring along all day in the solid cross winds and chilly air, I can assure you much gutter time was had by all! I spent a lot of time staying near Mr Protour Leigh Howard and David Pell waiting for the inevitable bar chewing gutter frenzy that was on the way. They didn't disappoint.
We started out really, really hard from Ted's Cafe in picturesque downtown Rockbank, obviously everyone was keen to get going. I nearly got popped in the first minute but eventually settled down and got on with the job.
We flew up Pentland Hills on the way out of Bacchus Marsh slowly catching and shedding riders as we went. The day was a procession of seeing riders up the road look around, see us, panic, try to get on, sit on for a bit, then get blown away to battle the winds alone. Harsh, cruel, a touch sadistic, but hey, this is cycling.
Eventually the group was whittled down to 6 of us with 15k to go. I threw in an attack at 2.5k to go hoping to thwart the sprinters and I really thought I had it this time! I only got out to maybe 7-8 seconds but I was holding them until the last 50 metres when Brett Tivers, James Mowatt and Leigh Howard swamped me. Dam. Dam. Dam.
Have a look at how close it was! After such a hard effort to get caught so close to the line is well; harsh, cruel and very bloody sadistic, but yep, that's cycling.
After last weeks effort I am certain next time I'll hold on, either that or fall off trying!
EDIT-Some great photo's here.
Time for some couch action.