After watching the professionals all week at the Tour Down Under, the WCC riders thought they could race in similar style. The Pros often let a small group of riders go early in races, only to hunt them down near the finish with an organised chase. There is a big difference between the professionals and the amateurs.
The Break in A grade was made on lap 2 when Chris Joustra, Brett Rollinson and Thomas Sandner were allowed to roll up the road. After 3 more laps they had a break of 300 meters on the chases. There was no panic in the peloton of nine riders as they all thought the race would come back together. Jayman Prestidge had been watching the strong men of the tour down under jump across gaps like that all week so he thought he could do the same. He made it just over half way before blowing up and rejoining the main peloton. Shane Stiles was in the peloton and would go to the front only when the breakaway appeared to be getting too far up the road. Everyone knew Stiles wanted them dangling a distance of the front that only he could get across to.
Sandner was struggling to stay with Rollinson and Joustra so he dropped back to the chasing pack. This encouraged Stiles to pick up the pace making and all of a sudden the peloton was strung out, single file, struggling to hold his wheel.
By the bottom of the King St Hill everyone wanted a rest but Stiles decided it was time he joined the break. He sprinted away taking Tristan Murat with him initially but making the final bridge to Rollinson and Joustra on his own.
The breakaway now had three riders but an organised chase from the 8 riders in the peloton should have made for an even battle. That is of course assuming there was any organisation in the chasers. The three leaders worked turns and established their break. The 8 chasers attacked each other and resisted any attempts to organise a chase. The race was over with 15 minutes to go. The peloton had already started to cat and mouse for the sprint for fourth place.
The breakaway increased their lead and at the finish both Joustra and Rollinson, who had been off the front for the majority of the race, had little left for a sprint. Stiles took out the win from Joustra with Rollinson in third place. In the sprint for fourth, Rob Monk gave Andre’ Greipal Prestidge a perfect leadout and Jayman took the prize. In fifth was Simon Baxter followed by Micheal Krauz, Rob Monk, Thommo and Tristan Murat.
In the combined C and D grade, breakaways were also successful. The field of 12 riders only stayed together for the first 2 laps. Junior Rider Nicholas Anderson was struggling to stay with the bunch. Karen Munro gave Nicholas some tips on how to get back to the group.
The improving Joe Patrick visiting rider Adam Lancaster and Dave Baillie made the successful break away on the King St Hill after 20 minutes of racing.
This left Steve Muggeridge trying to chase over to them with Chirs Henne, Cy Monk, Jayden Manitveld, Ken Whittaker and Colin Atken in a bunch attempting to chase them down. Steve nearly got across to the leaders but ran out of gas and rejoined the chase group.
Joe proved too quick for Adam and Dave in the sprint for the win. Next home was Chris Henne from Colin Atken, Cy Monk, Jayden Manitveld and Ken Whittaker.
Racing returns to the 3.30 time slot next Saturday.