Belated Anchor Point Tour of Southwest Report – Warrnambool, Victoria. 28th-29th May 2012.
by William Raisin-Shaw
I write with legs elevated against a brick wall dripping with the accumulated sweat of four grime-smeared gutter-dogs, who have been battling ungodly winds and all manner of meteorological phenomena peculiar to this strange and fearsome region. The air in this room hangs heavy with the stench of human bodies who have consumed naught but foul-smelling protein based nutrition foods all day long. Tim is practicing Yogic Flying in one corner, while Guirgs and Peter are wrestling over the last Redbak power cookie. Shortly we will adjourn to a nearby tavern where my intention is to drink no less than 6 glasses of the local hootch.
So… In summary, the road race was a pretty brutal affair with 50kmh crosswinds all day. 7 laps ensured the bunch was shattered. Pete, Guirgs and I spent most of the day in a group of about 20, which I believe was the third group on the road. Amongst us were luminaries such as Charles Howlett, Patty Drapac and Tom Donald. The second group remained tantalizingly in sight, about half a minute up the road. I dropped off the back of this group with about 5km to go and Tim rolled in a bit later.
My pet discipline – the ITT – was a brilliant stage. Pete did a cracker at 17.49, Guirgs did 18.47 and Tim 18.53. Sensationally, I failed to pull off the expected win and trailed in with a time of 19 something. Read all about it in L’Equipe.
Tour of Southwest. Day 2
After making good on my promise to drown the pain of yesterday’s efforts with a tour of the ‘Bool’s finest hostelries, we all got to bed early and slept soundly, despite (or perhaps because of) the near-fatal levels of methane filling our little cabin. The crit course had clearly been chosen to afford maximum amusement to the spectators, whose wandering gaze was delighted on the one hand by the charming vista of the Hopkins River as it meanders through golden pastures to the whale-rich ocean beyond; and on the other by the tortured faces of the A Grade bunch as we drilled it up the 7% climb for the hundredth time.
The crit was a great form finder… but sadly I didn’t find any anywhere so I limped away in disgrace. Pete rode a great race finishing comfortably in a massively depleted bunch, while Mark, Tim and Will all DNF’d, along with most of the field. The race was won by Tim Hucker who attacked the breakaway and rode away to a solo victory in very impressive style. A great video of the final two laps of the Crit was shot by out mates at Search2Retain, and can be seen here…
In summary – ToSW was a great event and we will definitely be keen to do it again next year. But I might do a bit of training first next time.
On another note- we were all very happy with how the new bikes went and even more so by the new socks – even Guirgs who said he now loves black socks and will never wear white again!