Regional Crit Championship Race Report – Morgan Gibson
On a home circuit I was feeling enthusiastic with my chances of winning the race. The field was full of familiar riders, so I knew which wheels to follow, who not to be stuck behind and who would be strong enough to make a break. Riders such as Dominic Pullen and Sam Medlyn would be ideal riders to take with in a break and to watch out for in the sprint.
From the start, short attacks were repeatedly being put in by the Propello squad in aim of breaking down the group. I followed a particularly strong looking attack from Dominic Pullen in hope we could carry on the effort together to form a break. However, it was not in his interests to form a break and despite me attempting to carrying on the effort, we were brought back by the Propello riders.
For the rest of the race I sat in within the group, letting others shut down these attacks and sitting on wheels, conserving my energy. At this point I realised that a breakaway might not happen and that it would be best waiting for the sprint as I am used to
Towards the last half of the race I had to put in an effort to close down a gap which was forming due with some strong riders attacking. Once brought back I made sure I was close by Dominic’s wheel, knowing he had the best sprint. The pace increased to the last few laps and I held onto my position making sure I was set up by the front towards the last sprint.
On the last lap I pushed through the group, obtaining a position behind Sam Medlyn. into the last hairpin I made sure to stick to the inside as in previous races I had been swept off this corner by riders misjudging the corner. I was sat in third position behind Propello rider Dominic Pullen and Sam Medlyn. As we went around this last corner there was an issue with riders locking bars and coming off the racing line on my outside and behind me. This gave us an edge coming out the corner. I sat in as Dom started his sprint from the corner, Sam and I sat behind in the saddle ready to sprint, on the sweeping bend towards the finish Sam clipped his inside pedal sending both of us wide, this forced me to start my sprint and attempt to close the few meters that had opened up between me and Dom, I could feel myself gaining quickly on Dom however the finishing straight was not long enough to catch up before the line, leaving me with second position. It was an exciting sprint and I’m gutted that I missed out on first, but I am happy to achieve second place.