Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley - Stage 4 - Finale

10:40 am Unknown 0 Comments

Stage 4 - Not a Handicap

I was pretty pumped for the final stage. While the CV race was a Handicap of the same course, we were running the final stage on the same course as a scratch race. This was my kind of ride, around 80kms a few punchy hills and a real stab at the finish.

The key parts of the course
Feeling pretty confident and the legs were not too achey at all after a nasty ice bath the night before and a good warmup. We rolled out from the winery start and I was even more attentive to stay up the front today and to keep Tayla out of the wind as much as I could.

Forget the ice bucket challenge! This ice bath was much more difficult!

You can see in the final footage (posted below) that the first kick for the sprint Tayla manages to get up in the points again. Magic legs! Then as I roll past Minda I get the order to close anything down that goes after the sprint. There were a few stabs off the front that I worked on, but closed the main one down.

We made it over the first QOM with no problems, then it was back lining up for the sprint again. I found myself around Nicole Whitburn and moved up the group nicely to get a good position and to see how it would play out. It was not contested by anyone but the sprint leader as she had consolidated her lead, so I moved right up the front to be ready for the next QOM. It was interesting to see how the leaders would orchestrate this one. I climbed steadily without any dramas till they almost sat up and kicked for the line. This caused a major reaction in the group and it splintered behind them. Scrabbling up the QOM behind, I could see wheels dropped on the descent and I missed the main bunch again to chase back on. It was pretty fun though :)

I could see that there was a small break that got away at that point, but the whole bunch had sat up and there was no getting through. Minda and I had a brief chat that we needed to try to close it down or it was likely to stick. I passed on the message to Emma that we needed to get up front now and set to work moving up.

We got a bit of movement happening and some chase action with a few more riders then came into the turn with the head wind home. Suddenly there was not so much interest to keep going with the chase! So there were a few more attempts to jump across that were closed down, a few more riders raising the pace with Emma until 10km to go. It was pretty uneventful finish with the breakaway riders cleaning up the podium.

Overall I finished the stage 64th across the line in the bunch and completed the whole NRS tour in 25th Place and +4:47 from the leader.

My team mates came in:
21. Minda MURRAY (BCS) +4:30
32. Tayla EVANS (BCS) +5:16
34. Georgia VESSEY (BCS) +5:25
51. Emma PANE (BCS) +6:45

Young Rider Classification:
4. Georgia BAKER +37
7. Tayla EVANS (BCS) +2:51

Stage 4 Full Results

I'd like to thanks Building Champion Squad for the opportunity to race as part of a fully formed team. They already had assigned roles so it was easier than in other teams that are formed for 1 day events or tours where everyone is still trying to ride for themselves or find their place. I felt that I actually made a contribution and knew that I was never going to win anything at this level, but could certainly keep up, make the time cut and help a few riders out. They are always on the lookout for new sponsors, so if you can help out there is a link on their page.

Also massive thanks to Thule who were part of the sponsorship of the event, sponsored the U23 category, neutral spares and helped me out for the weekend. I love what they do and if you like MTB, they are sponsoring the Bright 24hr MTB coming up soon!!

I don't think I'll be able to make it up to Canberra, but am certainly looking forward to the next 2 NRS Races in Victoria.

SBS Wrap Up footage of the final race day. I'm in the chase group trying to close the break and again in the end closing footage on the front of the bunch driving the pace. YAY!

Road Trip to Melbourne in full Team Car regalia

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