Manly Warringah CC at HART 9Mar2018

The sun was out and bright this afternoon. With numbers down in A & B grade no doubt due to other races around the state over the weekend meant some new riders could shine.

Indeed that is exactly what happened, both A & B grade seemed to be running by the numbers until the 30ish minute mark when breakaways in both grades seemed to happen in consecutive laps, interesting. In A grade a two-man break screamed away never to be seen again, well seen in the distance taking first & second place. B grade break could be barely called a break didn’t seem to last long. Meanwhile, the large C grade looked fast and from my perspective confusing if I am not mistaken there were several surges which never resulted in a proper breakaway. The heartlessness of HART is the combination of hills, technical corners, fast sections and false flats. D grade was also an interesting night with some strong almost A grade assertiveness with the leaders pushing the bunch to a breaking point. 

 This was the penultimate round of the 2017/18 season, I will miss HART, looking forward to next year already and hint hint it would be nice to see some MTB action at HART again too.

Since autumn has well and truly arrived the sun is setting through the trees providing some interesting photo opportunities which I gambled on tonight, some paid off, others didn’t. 150ish photos in the gallery, sorry things took a little longer this week to publish, my Friday efforts punished me over the weekend. 

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Manly Warringah at HART 23Feb18

The original thirst crusher

A grade can of solo to that man, Marcus Culey. The A grade race was blown apart by two breaks, the solo and the chasers. While the solo break from Marcus was impressive, the thing that impressed me the most was the chase and Nic Martin in particular. I can’t comment on the climb up the back of the course because I spent my time at the sweeping corner at the bottom of the track. Nic hooked into that corner with ferocity and the sound of his tyres complaining under pressure, whoa. 

As the days draw to a close so do the weeks of racing at HART and the sunsets become orange. Hoping to capture some of that I headed to furthermost regions of the course and the best sunset came as racing finished, doh! The sweeping roads of this circuit are pretty beautiful to look at. So much pain tonight, people pushing themselves to limits.

MWCC facebook post and podiums below and almost 200 photo gallery. Hopefully, tonights images make up for a below-par effort last week

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Friday HART 16Feb18

Fast and the Furious of HART (#324)

Tonights racing was fast and furious. In B grade a solo break that stayed away, an unsual thing at HART, it takes some guts to go early and just stay out there, the gap was never huge (just over 30 seconds I’ve heard) but the pack behind were working together trying to bring him back without luck. Who doesn’t love a good game of cat & mouse. Well played Nic, you got the cheese! 

In A grade a similar but very different story. A solo break, caught by a group, the group works together & stays away, some fall away and we are left with three. A slow game of silly buggers up the last climb ensues but the finish was furious with very little seperating the three over the line. Fortunately some video and photos were able to determine the places

In D grade we had the ultimate sandbagger, someone who normally graces A grade. Fortuntaely he wasn’t ‘racing’. The great thing about HART is there are different elements of the circuit that suit different rider strengths. One person can be strong up the last couple of climbs while someone is else stronger on the fast free flowing bits. This can lead to some real rubber band racing and describes the D grade race tonight. 

So I’ve been silent on C grade, a reason! Not sure what to say. A huge solo break that left the pack like a rocket and kept accelerating. Everyone was then fighting for second & third step. No further comments.

The weather report -it was a hot Sydney day but as the evening approached it cooled and there was a nice cool breeze to keep the searing heat at bay.

The kids get faster the old get slower

For me (and a couple of others I spoke with) it was clear tonight how quick some of the ‘kids’ are. All this racing at clubs like MWCC is definitely building future and current A graders. So if the ‘kids’ are getting quicker does the mean the old farts, sorry more mature guys are getting slower? On a serious note, I am not seeing many slow down, it is just a higher quality of racing.

So now an apology from me, I made a few mistakes or bad judgement calls tonight. Firstly I forgot how crippled I am, a couple of years ago I could cover the entire circuit during a race, I can’t do that anymore and got caught in no man’s land a bit. Then I decide to be social and have a chat for the second half of the race. Therefore the quality and number of photos aren’t there today. I will make up for next week (unless I am somewhere like Armidale – very low probability). While I love taking photos, tonight the enjotment was watching some great racing and having chat, gee maybe I am the one getting old and slow.

Friday @ HART 9th Feb’18

Brings a smile to your heart, or is that HART. Friday night crit’s at the Honda Advanced Rider Training (HART) centre in St Ives with the Manly Warringah Cycling Club (MWCC). The afternoon was warm, grey and under the threat of a storm.

The warm weather didn’t subdue the attacking racing with many breaks attempted and caught. Personally, I am of the opinion this circuit favours those who are patient and small breakaways that work together, A grade was evidence of that tonight.

For me, though it’s been a while since I’ve been behind the lens and I felt it. The heat, physical injuries and lack of practice meant an odd night of photos.

MWCC Race Report

From MWCC Facebook

Kids Training

Another great turn-out with . Quote of the night, “is it OK for adults to join? My son learnt cornering skills that even I don’t know.”

A Grade

Declan Jones made the move up to A and instantly went off the front for a bit of TV time. You could almost hear the laughing back in the bunch as they rolled around slowly and let him have his moment or glory. After a couple of laps the bunch got bored and rode passed Declan leaving him to be also passed by the B grade bunch a few laps later. After Declan’s cameo it was a proper crit race with stop start surges whittling the bunch to just 4. The guys who have valiantly moved up from B had a hard lesson in how tough this style of racing is. After the Prime the 4 slowed enough for 2 more to join but these extras were never going to be in the mix for the finish.

1st & Prime Shaun Falzarano, MWCC
2nd Michael Cuppit, NSCC
3rd Matt de Vroet, CCCC
4th Conor Tarlington, Bicisport

B Grade

This bunch just gets quicker and quicker each week. Nic Martin made a huge break mid way that he timed perfectly to pick up the Prime. At the finish it was the newly promoted NSW C grade points series champion who rode away from the bunch down the straight.

1st Dylan George, MWCC
2nd Marty Hector, MWCC
3rd Mike Collings, Peloton
Prime Nicholas Martin, MWCC

C Grade

The move of the night came from the man with the beard who stayed out in front for at least 4 laps and picked up the Prime cash for his efforts. With a lap to go Aiden and Zac had 100m on a much diminished bunch but only Aiden could hang on all the way to the line.

1st Aiden Heke, Peloton
2nd Erik Vetisch, NSCC
3rd Zac Dawtrey, MWCC
Prime Chris Leberscher, MWCC

D Grade

This really is a tough training ground for the newbies and the younger juniors. Old hand John Musich keeps pushing the pace all the way around. Last week’s winner Cathie Drysdale claimed she was suffering from her second place at the Armoury the night before and just didn’t have the legs to ride away this week. The finish was a little chaotic with a lap to go but eventually C grade did the polite thing a got out the way. Just a reminder guys that if one of the lower grade are sprinting and you’re not then it is good form to give them some space.

1st Jason Fryar, NSCC
2nd & Prime Rory Wheatley, MWCC
3rd Paul Kilbane, MWCC

Thanks to Cycle Republica for providing the race support.