2018 TDR Stage 1 – The Rock Classic race report

51 riders lined up in hot conditions for the start of the 70 km opening stage of the 2018 Tour de Riverina – The Rock Classic, hosted by Tolland CC. Riders were graded across five bunches, with limit receiving a mark of 17 mins, followed by second limit at 11 mins, second block at 5 mins, block at 1 min 45 secs, and hunted by an nine-man strong scratch bunch.

A fierce pace was set by scratch, who steamrolled along to catch block 20 km into the race. Scratch/block continued to keep a strong pace and work together quite well, consistently driven by absolute workhorses in Steve “Killa” Kilpatrick, Andrew Francis and Joshua Bretag. Approximately 43 km in, Scratch managed to make contact with second block, the riders of which certainly didn’t hang up the boots to call it a day, with riders from second block contributing well to the work – notably Adrian Hamilton and Paul Millyn.

By the time scratch had caught second block, the race was well and truly in the balance. First and second limit had not yet contacted each other, with second limit 4 mins up the road from scratch and limit another 2 mins ahead. In particular, impressive efforts from Gary Halloran, Jack Douglas, Billy Hindmarsh, and several unidentified Griffith riders had ensured the success of limit, and had given them a real shot at taking this one to the finish.

The straightness of the road ensured that back behind in scratch, riders had a clear view of the limit bunches ahead – who were hovering at a distance very strikable by scratch. However, legs were beginning to tire, and the mind games had begun – hence scratch proceeded to run out of steam and conceded to the limit bunches ahead, content to leave it to the battle for the fastest time prize.

Up ahead, although nervous they may have let this one slip through the fingers, second limit finally made contact with limit 3 km from the finish. Facing the final hill in the race, Brad Wild floored the accelerator pedal to inflict whatever damage he could and soften up numbers for the finish. One kilometre from the finish, Luke McMahon tried his hand at dropping a tactical nuke on everyone by making a searing acceleration to force a gap, however his efforts would not prove fruitful with Shane Lenon laying down some serious watts in the sprint finish to set himself up for the win. However, Mick Harrison had timed his sprint effort to perfection, and came around Shane late to claim the chocolates  and take stage victory after a tough day of racing.

Peter Treloar led scratch home 1 min 30 secs behind after pulling clear from a three-up sprint between himself, Myles Stewart, and Brodie Pearce to claim fastest time prize in a time of 1 hour 34 minutes 51 secs.

Kylie Johnson also laid down a superb effort, only falling off the pace in the closing kilometres of the race, to claim the first female prize.

The hot temperatures had made for some zapping conditions, with many riders caught on the wrong side of some perhaps slightly misjudged “weight vs. water” decision-making, wishing they’d just taken that extra bottle. Thanks goes to The Rock Memorial Bowling Club for hosting presentations, to Tolland CC for hosting the race, and to the efforts of drivers, volunteers and officials.

The Tour de Riverina continues with Stage 2 – Stockinbingal Fair (hosted by Cootamundra CC) on Sunday, 18th March.

Stage Results

  • 1st – Mick Harrison (Tolland CC)
  • 2nd – Shane Lenon (Tolland CC)
  • 3rd – Cameron Oke (Wagga Wagga CC)
  • 4th – Tim Doyle (Tolland CC)
  • 5th – Jack Douglas (Cootamundra CC)
  • 6th – Billy Hindmarsh (Tolland CC)
  • 7th – Nick Martin (Tolland CC)
  • 8th – Brad Wild (Tolland CC)
  • 9th – Andrew Piffero (Tolland CC)
  • 10th – Peter Stockwell (Griffith CC)

Fastest time – Peter Treloar (Tolland CC) 1:34:51

First Female – Kylie Johnston (Tolland CC)

General Classification after Stage 1

  • 1st – Mick Harrison (Tolland CC) – 11 pts
  • 2nd – Shane Lenon (Tolland CC) – 10 pts
  • 3rd – Cameron Oke (Wagga Wagga CC) – 9 pts
  • 4th – Tim Doyle (Tolland CC) – 8 pts
  • 5th – Jack Douglas (Cootamundra CC) – 7 pts
  • 6th – Billy Hindmarsh (Tolland CC) – 6 pts
  • 7th – Nick Martin (Tolland CC) – 5 pts
  • 8th – Brad Wild (Tolland CC) – 4 pts
  • 9th – Andrew Piffero (Tolland CC) – 3 pts
  • 10th – Peter Stockwell (Griffith CC) – 2 pts
  • Best Scratch Rider – Peter Treloar (Tolland CC) – 1 pt (count back on no. of fastest time prizes)
  • Best Female Rider – Kylie Johnston (Tolland CC) – 1 pt (count back on no. of first female prizes)

Down to the Wire in 2016

Don’t forget that entries for the final stage of the Tour de Riverina close on Thursday at midnight.

Looking at the General Classification there are still 20 riders that can theoretically win the TDR but more realistically it will be a battle between Charlie Hamilton, Jake Brooker, Rob Gray, Daniel Addison, and Peter Treloar. These riders are usually spread between bunches 1, 2 and 3. The weather on Sunday is predicted to be nice and sunny with light winds, exactly the kind of weather that favours the front and middle markers. Who do you predict will win this year’s Tour de Riverina?

TDR Stage 1, Tolland

What a great day of racing, huge thank-you to all the drivers, volunteers and officials!!
1st – Sean Whitfield (and fastest time of 1.42.00)
2nd – Stuart Shaw
3rd – Charlie Hamilton
4th – Brad Rose
5th – Murray Oliver
6th – Rohan Christmas
7th – Christian McDonald
8th – Henry Wright
9th – Craig Sing
10th – Peter Treloar

Pictured are the top five riders in today’s Tolland Classic who all road of scratch. In order for scratch to get up for the win they had to convincingly break the course record. All bunches had combined prior to Gregadoo Hill on the final lap and on Gregadoo Hill the pictured riders and yours truly dropped all the other riders and stayed away until the finish.

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You may also like t have a look at the great photos that the Daily Advertiser took of today’s race.

What is Handicap Racing?

Handicap racing is a form of racing that allows a chance for glory from beginner to elite.

The first step to a handicap race is to get your entry in nice and early in order to give the race handicapper enough time to handicap yourself and everybody else. Handicaps are based upon recent racing results but if you are new to the TDR the “Handicapper” will have a chat with you prior to the start of the race. All riders are then grouped together with other riders of a similar ability and allocated a time handicap, in intervals of a few minutes. The best riders are in the “Scratch Bunch” or “Bunch 1” and they are off 0 minutes. The next strongest  bunch of riders are know as the “Chopping Block” or “Bunch 2” and may be off “3 minutes”, followed by “Bunch 3” and so on up to the weakest bunch of riders known as the “Limit Bunch”. The handicaps are adjusted so that each bunch is relatively even in number and if the handicapping is spot on, all riders will come together for the final sprint to the line.

At the appointed starting time, the Limit Bunch starts together. A few minutes later, the next group goes, and so on until perhaps half an hour later the Scratch riders leave.

Tactically it means that your bunch has to cooperate like it’s in a breakaway, and everybody goes as hard (and often harder) than they can sustain. More typical road racing tactics start to come into play towards the end of the race if your bunch is in the lead approaching the finish line. If your bunch has been caught by bunches from behind you may be flat out trying to hang on to the back of the stronger but possibly more fatigued riders that have caught your bunch.

The rider who crosses the finish line first wins the race.  The winner could be from a bunch that was never caught or from the best sprinter amongst a group of combined bunches.  There is also a prize for the fastest time which is as highly regarded as the overall win.   This is the rider who comes across the finish line in the least amount of time.  The “Fastest Time” prize will usually go to a  Scratch rider although occasionally  a rider from the Chopping Block may take the prize.

In the Tour de Riverina points are allocated to the first 10 riders in each race (1st = 11 points—> 10th =1 point) and the rider at the end of the race series is the winner of the Tour de Riverina.

Tips for Handicap Racing

  • When caught by the bunch behind you always keep left until all of the riders in the bunch that have caught you have gone past. It can be very tempting to jump across to the wheel of a faster rider but to do so is very likely to cause a crash
  • When you have been caught by a faster bunch there is no longer an obligation to swap to turns. If you are strong enough to swap turns it is usually wise to do so as it increases the chance of you catching the remaining bunches in front of you and to stay away from those bunches chasing from behind.
  • When approaching the finish line please don’t get involved in the sprint unless you think you are a realistic chance at figuring in the points.
  • If you have sat on the back of your bunch for most of the race then it is considered extremely poor etiquette to contest the sprint.

 

 

GC after Stage 5

The General Classification after Stage 5 has just been completed. Go to the RESULTS page to check it out.

With just one stage to go the TDR can be potentially won by anyone of the top eight riders. There are four scratch riders, two block riders and another two mid-field riders in the mix, so who will win the TDR will largely be determined by which bunch gets up at the final race.

Geoff Dixon Memorial Results

(Report courtesy AWPCC)
Perfect weather and a great field guaranteed an exciting race in today’s Geoff Dixon Classic at Chiltern. All groups started out under the guidance of Chief Commisssaire Barry O’Hagan. The large groups ensured that the pace would be high and the limit groups worked well together in the early stages to maintain a handy gap by half way. Scratch had caught block early and just after the KOM all but the first two groups had come together. With some strong riders driving the bunch the race began to string out with many riders surrendering to the pace. The brave front markers were finally caught with about 10k to go. A torrid final sprint which unfortunately saw a number of riders come down was won by Myles Stewart with Declan Gregory, Steve Kilpatrick, Craig McMillan and Aaron Moffat rounding out the top 5. The club would like to thank the Race Committee of Tom Barry, Matt Hamblin, Mark Dunlop and Declan Gregory for the great organisation of the day. Also thanks to Ken Payne for all of his work in helping the race committee and all of the volunteers who did other jobs on the day, including the St Johns Ambulance for their role in helping those riders who went down. Finally thanks to commissaires Barry O’Hagan, Geoff Little and Geoff Damm for the job they did.
Results
1. Myles Stewart
2. Declan Gregory (and Fastest Time)
3. Steve Kilpatrick
4. Craig McMillan
5. Aaron Moffat
1st Female Taryn Heather
1st unplaced AWPCC rider Ken Payne
1st Junior Charlie Hamilton Wagga CC
KOM Beth Rees

Stock Rocks

Once again we had a good size field to contest the race at Stockinbingal. It was especially pleasing to see so many riders make the trip across from Canberra including NRS riders and some riders taking part in their very first handicap. It is always good to see new riders take part in our series and it is great to hear that the TDR has a great reputation for giving lower graded riders an opportunity to get a taste of mixing it up with other clubs.

The highlight for many was how the race kicked off – impromptu “Drops of Jupiter” karaoke by some locals that were still very much on the piss at 10:00!!!!

The race itself was as close to wind free as Stockinbingal gets and this allowed for some very fast racing. The scratch boys did a good job setting a new race record of 1:06:49* which equates to an average speed 42.7km/h. Despite this they couldn’t quite catch the front markers who managed to hold on for victory.

Stage 3 – Stockinbingal Fair
1. Paul Kenelly
2. Nic Darling
3. Ken Clark
4. Kingsley Massey
5. David Moore
6. Jack Stratford
7. Garry Halloran
8. Brent Louttit
9. Billy Higginson
10. Rod Fergus

Fastest Time: Michael Rice 1:06:49* New Record (average speed 42.7km/h)
First Female: Jennifer Massey
Sprint: Brent Loutit