Jake Kauffmann put his stamp of authority on The Wall with a strong victory to take the overall and fastest rider in the 2016 edition. With a strong scratch bunch, they simply mowed down the field and set a new record time of 2 hours 35 minutes to cover the course in an average of 42.3km/hr.
The riders were meet with perfect conditions, with minimal wind and the heat did not really materialise until post race, however that didn’t stop the bunches setting some blistering speeds over the course.
The field had 169 entries into this years edition with the vast majority of riders being A and B Grade riders throughout the field, as a result and based on last years results, the handicaps were brought in for a tighter time gap, with the scratch group having their wait reduced by 11 minutes, with riders considering last years gaps unreasonable. This was entirely unnecessary and it showed that the first year gaps were probably closer to the mark and will result in a reshuffle in future editions.
The limit bunch rolled out at 6:30am and were already in a battle with two riders turning up late and starting in later waves. Full credit to Georgina Gotch and Georgia Miansarow who chose this event as their first ever road race!
The early groups rolled out and it was the early prediction that group 10 would be the group to catch. Just ahead of them in Group 11 was young rider Robert Matthews from SuVelo, who at only 13 years of age was the youngest rider in the event.
The early groups had their eyes on the mid race KOM prize which was a BMC $1000 Bike Voucher to be spent at Cyclespot. All of the early groups considered that they would at least hold on until this point.
At 7:04 the scratch bunch was ready to roll out. It was a small but strong field, which included Kauffmann from the NSWIS team, along with a collection of Mobius Future Racing riders such as Tristan Cardew, Alex Nazarewicz, Aaron Bicknell and recent signing Jesse Coyle. The hunt was soon on.
As the early laps went by, it was clear that some groups were working well together, while others were struggling to find their groove. The early starters had come together and after lap one, group 5 had closed down 1:45 on group 6, whilst group 4 had only managed 15 seconds on group 4.
Meanwhile scratch were rapidly moving through the field. Whereas last year they failed to close the early gap to block and group three, this year they had almost closed the 3 minute gap to group 2 in one lap.
Mid way through the race, it appeared inevitable that scratch would be racing for overall and fastest time. As the riders came to the KOM at the end of lap 3 it was Julian Woods of Sydney Cycling Club in group 10 who would be first over the line and taking the BMC KOM prize. this group had now become a collection of everyone from 10-13 groups. With Group 9 only 30 seconds further back.
The race seemed to form into three clear groups on the fourth lap of groups 9-13, then only a gap of 1:30 to 6-8 and then only a few more minutes back it was 1-5 and the riders looked to be looking comfortable, there wasn’t the desperation of previous years as the riders knew that the scratch bunch was hungry.
Enter the final lap and the early starts still held a three minute gap, could the group of 9-13 manage to hold that lead? Not with Kauffmann and the Mobius riders driving the bunch, that lead came down to 2 minutes within a few kilometres and the entire 3 minutes had been shut down in less than 10 kilometres! At the final turn around it was groupo compacto.
Early riders then got the opportunity to see just how long they could hang with the big hitters, as the scratchies rolled to the front and set the tempo. Riders went firing out the back at every roller. It was all going to come down to the final sprint up The Wall.
As riders entered the final kilometres, it was a small army of blue POC helmets on the front as the Mobius riders were driving it for Tristan Cardew. Jesse Coyle got to sit on the front and keep the tempo high and as they hit the base of the climb riders were swarming all over the road looking to find some clear space to wind up.
It didn’t take long for the Jake Kauffmann to simply monster up the climb and no rider could manage the wattage that he was pumping through his legs, while Matt Dinham of Northern Sydney valiantly hid in his slip stream, Tristan Cardew decided it was better to go for a drag race against Jake, after Alex Nazarewicz a pre race favourite popped half way up the climb. When it came to sheer strength, it was a battle he wasn’t going to win.
These three riders created a small gap, Dinham was simply unable to come around or out of the slipstream of Kauffmann and it was Jake Kauffmann for the win, followed by Matt Dinham of Northern Sydney with Tristan Cardew slightly fading at the end of the sprint settling for third.
It was then a sea of bodies, with riders from all of the groups sprinting it out for the minor placings. this would see Jeremy Hopson of Pilu Racing snag fourth (Group 1) just ahead of a surprising fast finish from Josh Page of Manly Warringah (Group 6).
Still in the mix was the first female across the line, Amy Vesty of Dulwich Hill (Group 8) who won a cash prize and thanks to JML Racing a set of Panaracer tyres.
Post race it was a free sausage sizzle and drinks provided by Smartline Mortgages that was the best investment that many riders made on the day. Once the presentations got underway, the lucky raffle winner won a degustation with matched wins at Pilu Restaurant, thanks to Giovanni Pilu. We also had some free BMC team kits given away to riders.
The second BMC $1000 voucher was awarded to Robbie Matthews of SuVelo who was given the ride of the day with his performance in Group 11.
Thanks to all of the riders who attended and raced on the day. All riders can post up their strava times on our specific group page – https://www.strava.com/clubs/229825 , which will allow some more analysis and improve timing gaps for next year. We will have a separate report in a few days of all of the Strava statistics from the race.
Top 10 Riders
- Jake Kauffmann (Manly) NSW Institue of Sport
- Matt Dinham (Northern Sydney) Jet Cycles
- Tristan Cardew (SuVelo) Mobius Future Racing
- Jeremy Hopson (Bicisport) Pilu Racing
- Josh Page (Manly)
- ? (Manly)
- Rob Redpath (SuVelo)
- Jet Cycles Rider
- Jack Renshaw (Northern Sydney)
- Ben Decreuse
- Amy Vesty (Dulwich Hill)
- Monica Dalidowicz (Manly)
- Rowan Sams (Manly)
KOM (End of Lap 3)
- Julian Woods (Sydney)
Ride of the Day Award
- Robbie Matthews (SuVelo)