Canberra Cycle Racing   Leave a comment

Sunday, 22 September, 2013

Over the past couple days, Canberra has been host to a series of races in which many of the best male and female cyclist in the country have been competing in the 2013 National Capital Tour, which is part of a national road race series. Yesterday both groups completed a road race starting in the centre of Canberra and finishing 120km later out in the Namadgi National Park.

This morning, they took to the roads around Lake Burley Griffin for a quick two lap spin in stage two of the event and this afternoon I popped along to watch the exciting finale (Stage Three) called a Criterium. This consists of riding around a set lap (today it was a near perfect 1km loop of the road between Old and New parliament Houses) for 1 hour plus 5 laps with the winner being the rider completing the most laps in this time. The women were first off and the 36 riders cut a spectacular sight as they raced around the track at speeds in excess for 45kpm. The group mainly kept together with a couple of riders initially breaking away at the front, but near the end these two were caught and it was an exciting brunch finish to establish the winner.

If I thought the women’s race was good, I was totally blown away by the men’s. Over 130 bikes lined up at the start and straight away the pace was set at an incredible speed by three riders from the same team, who looked as though they wanted to set up the win for their ‘main man’. The rest of the riders were left trailing in a long line behind these three and soon they started to catch up and lap some of the back markers. When this happened, the organisers pulled the lapped riders out of the race. At the bell (One hour mark), the breakaway group were still clear, but the main group were catching fast and the pace got even hotter over the final five laps. However, the breakaway group just held them off enough to deliver their man to the finish line. The average speed of the winner was around 45kpm and the man on the tannoy was telling us during the race that they were reaching speeds of up to 65kpm on the downhill section of the lap.

I hung around for the prize giving ceremony and then rode my bike (at a considerably slower speed than these guys had just done) back home.


Posted September 22, 2013 by yermandownunder in Canberra Events, Observations, Out and about

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