---more like a rather long (53km) highly convoluted crit on the Eastern Creek motor raceway.
WMAS 5+ were the last to start at 1515 and with black clouds hovering nearby it looked as though we might, just might, be the only group racing in the rain.
There were about 12 of us...mostly 5's with a coupla 6's and 7's too. There was no doubt about who would be the 1st across the line as Pip Read is not only a Crit specialist, but had also shown great form and strength in the time trial too. The race was for the rest of the podium and the other grade winners.
Halfway through the 1st lap there was a surge at the front going through a tight corner and a group of 4 got away. Unfortunately for the rest of us, there was only 1 lead car and once we got detached, what with all the twists and turns in the course, we became unsighted and our group lost time trying to work out the way to go.
So, with 4 strong riders up front and a somewhat disparate group behind, that was the race over for all the 5's and also the 6's as there was a 6 in that front group.
The effort didn't stop though although there was really only work happening from 2 riders. My grade competition was still with the group and until I became the only 7 in the group, saw no need to do too much work...I merely had to make sure I didn't get dropped and wait for an opportunity to put some pressure on later on.
Our race was 6 laps and with no let up the entire course (turns/hills) we were fairly over it by the end of lap 2!!!!!, but for me that was where the race began as I suddenly realised a burst I put in on an uphill section had dislodged a few riders and that I was the only 7 in the group. That meant I had to start working in order to keep the pace up..no quarter given.....and so that's what happened..I worked at least once every lap ...despite getting more and more pathetic as the laps went by...somehow I always seemed to be at the front going up the hills!!!
In the end we were a group of 4..2x 5's, 1 WMAS 6 (Rhonda) and 1 WMAS 7 (me). Rhonda and I agreed to not contest the sprint against the 5's since they'd done the bulk of the work so they took the sprint for 4th and 5th in their group, leaving Rhonda 2nd in her grade and me winning mine.
With a second in the TT, a first in both the crit and road race, I was also crowned Champion of Champions in WMAS7..complete with a very nice jersey in Masters blue with green and gold hoops on sleeve and chest.
By the time the presentation was over it started to rain and was very dark, so I quickly packed up and drove off home...well only to Goulburn where being so very, very tired I booked into the first motel I came to, not caring how expensive it was.
Home again now, with 2 golds, a silver and 2 bronzes from road and track races to add to my collection, I think a rest is called for! also a sorting out of my TT bike/position..the only less than pleasing aspect of the championships. I'll have to get the Powertap onto it, since I think the balance between aero and power was tilted too much to aero......
Time to unpack the car, and sleeeeeep.