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It is all fun and games, until someone loses an eye

Posted Aug 21 2009 12:39pm
Victorian Crit Champs
Saturday 15th Sugust 2009
Geelong Botanic Gardens Course
Warmish, little bit breezy.
15 laps of 2.3km oval, sprints every second lap from lap 13-3.

Fast and furious was the order of the race today. The course wasn't technical, you just needed to be careful of the odd hole and the bitumen cutting away to the grass/dirt. There was also a slight rise on the opposite side to the start finish line which had the effect of bringing the speed of the bunch back under control, unfortunately it wasn't enough for anyone to actually get away on.

Nothing got away today. Many tried, including myself, but there wasn't a break to be had for love nor money. It was clear very early on that it was going to come down to a bunch sprint. Also clear from early in the race was that there were a number of nervous bike riders in the bunch, and that combined with speed can be a dangerous combination. The hint of what lay a head was in the couple of adventures I, and several others, went on off the sealed road in acts of self preservation.

Coming into the final sprint, everyone was getting themselves sorted out for the finish and all of a sudden there was that dreadful noise of carbon meeting bitumen. Unfortunately it wasn't one or two bikes, it was about 30% of the bunch that was hitting the ground. I was positioned on the other side of the road to where things happened, yet still needed a brief detour on the grass to not get caught up in things. With all the commotion, I hesitated a little, my initial reaction was that the bike race was over and that sprinting would be a bit hollow. I don't think I was alone in that thought. I did get over my hesitation, though it was a little late, to finish 8th. Given the circumstances, I am somewhat ambivalent about this.

Jenny Macpherson was first over the line, ahead of Peta Mullens and Davina Summers.

The damage to the girls with the NTID group for the weekend included- broken collarbone (Bec Halliday), serious grazing, abrasions and bruises (Sarah Roy), black eye and soft tissue damage (Bron Ryan), and some bruising (Laura Luxford). I believe that there was another broken collar bone and some other injuries. Heal well and swiftly girls.
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