Sometimes, one can over train which can affect one’s performance and that’s my excuse for Cora Lynn – except I didn’t over train, I just raided the wine cabinet too many times on Saturday night!
Despite this inconvenience, I make my way down to Cora Lynn with the not so dulcet tones of Ozzie Osbourne and Black Sabbath blaring away to get me motivated. It doesn’t work. Shortly after arriving at Cora Lynn, I’m greeted by The GT who is decked out in mid length shorts. Either he has been holidaying in Antarctica, or he knows something about the weather that I don’t.
Our group consists of 9 riders, which means plenty of work out in front today. Jamie Morgans and Robert Taylor lead us down Nine Mile Road and I’m feeling comfortable tucked in behind them. Before we hit the first corner, I decide to test the legs and move to the front. I’m driving the legs as hard as I can and going nowhere and they’re screaming out for me to back off. To quote Jens Voigt “shut up legs!!” Hmmm; looks like it’s going to be a tough day at the office.
Fortunately, other riders come to my rescue, or are bored with my slow pace, and take the lead. I retreat to the middle of the peloton to hide my face for a while. As we pass through Nar Nar Goon for the first time, the pace starts to pick up. Robert Taylor, Brian Florance, George Sarris and Andrew Bellamy are all setting a fast pace out in front and the pressure is on the rest of us to try and maintain that pace. At one stage, I do a turn out front, then peel off and make my way to the back; only to realise that we’ve dropped two riders.
Finally we turn into the road back to Cora Lynn and I find myself out in front again. I’m in urgent need of a rest, so I tuck back in to the bunch; only to drop back from the wheel in front of me. I madly signal the rider behind me to come through and close the gap; because I certainly can’t. The rider obliges and closes the gap – thanks for that!
With one lap completed, I ponder just how I’m going to hang on for the next two laps. We continue rolling turns along Nine Mile Road and when I drift back to settle in at the back of the bunch, the third placed rider, Brian calls out that there is no-one behind him, so I’d better get on to his wheel. Strewth, what happened??? We’re now down to four riders, but it is about to become three riders, as I can’t hang on anymore and drift off the back.
I slow down and wait for someone to come through. Shortly after, I’m joined by Brendan Farrell and Andrew Bellamy. I stay with them for a while, then suffer the same fate as before and end up riding solo again. As I get close to Nar Nar Goon, Jamie Morgans comes through and I scramble to get onto his wheel. Jamie is working overtime and with 2 riders up ahead in the distance, it inspires him to push harder.
As we near the Bunyip River Road corner, we catch up to Brendan. I call out to him to get aboard and the 3 of us work our way back to Cora Lynn. I’m aching all over and decide against riding the 3rd lap. I drop off the back, wish the boys well, then slowly make my way back to the footy ground.
Not sure what happened out in front, but in the end George Sarris took the chocolates, Robert Taylor came in 2nd and Brian Florance took out 3rd for the second time in as many weeks. Well done to these 3; would have loved to stayed with them for the journey, but they were way too strong for me.
A big thank you to Margie Noonan ( first time commissaire),Bill, the traffic controllers, marshalls, drivers and other officials who helped put on the race.