This year, PACC had representatives in both the men's and women's editions of the race: Stuart O'Grady and Carly Light, respectively.
But let's not forget your humble author's days as a cyclist on the cobbles of Belgium:
You can see that I ran a rather 'unique' setup for the spring classics, opting for 'reverse drop' handlebars, mudguards, and a luggage rack to assist with domestique duties. Also note the headlight, just in case the driving rain became too intense to see. I also chose to defy UCI rules and ride sans-helmet.
My teammate, Danny, in a solo breakaway:
These were taken in Brugge in 2006, the starting location for the Tour of Flanders - and yes, we did see the start of the race! We then watched the rest of it in a bar full of chain smoking Belgians, who went absolutely crazy when Tom Boonen won. Fun times.
Anyway, back to reality...
There was a certainly a big turn out on Saturday for the road race of the season. There were roughly 40 entrants for C-grade, about double what I would usually expect to see!
The race was four laps of the 17 km circuit. Rather than a blow-by-blow account of the whole race, I'll sum up some of the defining moments for me:
- On the second lap, a rider tried to exist in a space where there was no space, and almost went down -- right in front of me. Somehow he held it up though, a maneuver which involved putting his foot on the ground while still in motion. I don't know how he did it!
- My Times-7 transponder attempted to go into the spokes on the descent on the third lap. I had to pull over, tear of the mount, and then chase for 10 minutes to get back to the pack.
- On the same descent, fourth lap, young Alex King's front tyre blew out. I was sitting a couple of bikes back, and the ensuing chaos saw me riding in the gravel at 40 km/h for a short stretch. It was a little hair raising!
Very happy to be racing road again. Very very worried about the Tour of Coleraine which is coming up in three weeks time....