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Robert Hodgson Memorial Race reports

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By shumey - Posted on 10 January 2015

Thanks to Brett Aitken, Briony Mattocks and Doug Robinson for providing their perspectives on the Platinum, Silver and Women's racing at last weekend's Robert Hodgson Memorial Race.

Robert Hodgson Memorial Race report courtesy of Brett Aitken

A field of 35 riders were invited to take part in the second annual Robert Hodgson Memorial Race for men (men’s platinum race) at Beaumont Road, Mt Kuringai hosted by the Northern Sydney Cycling Club (NSCC). A graders from NSCC, Peloton Sports, Manly, Parramatta, and Central Coast made up a very strong field that produced a punishing race in very hot and humid conditions. Representatives from NRS and international teams were also present including Wilson GPM Racing, JLT Condor, Park Bikes, Trek Target and Subaru.

Attacks started from the outset and accelerations began taking their toll early on the peloton as a small group of four formed. Nick Yallouris, the current National Madison Champion, drove the breakaway which appeared to have the right combination of teams and riders (including Subaru and Park Bikes) to stay away. Justin 'Mad Dog’ Morris slammed on the pace to chase it down but without enough help the gap got bigger and the break enforced its advantage to the max. Just when it was looking over the breakaway splintered into two groups as the harsh conditions began to bite hard. This reinvigorated the bunch which drew the breakaway in with two to go in front of a cheering crowd. Ross Hodgson did the honours of ringing the bell to signal one lap to go. Just when everyone was expecting a stock standard sprint finish, Tom Patton burst from the bunch with a turn of speed that put the sprinters under pressure. Nick Yallouris had some bad luck in the far corner that opened the gates for other sprinters to attempt to draw in Tom and possibly contest the finish. Tom’s effort wasn’t enough as the hammer went down. Richard Lang burst from the peloton to take a superb win from fast finishing Nash Kent with Keegan Aitchison taking third. Michael Jaeger (last years champion) took 4th place ahead of Tom Patton. Richard’s father Roland was there to see his son take the win with an arm just as high in the air as Richard.

The event was an incredible success and tribute to Robert Hodgson. It was great to see Alison and Ross Hodgson present the perpetual trophy and platinum ‘Beauie’ to Richard Lang, the winner of the 2015 Robert Hodgson Memorial Race.

RHMR Womens race report courtesy of Briony Mattocks

A sizeable contingent lined up for the RHMR Women's Race, consisting of a
mix of national champions, seasoned racing veterans, a smattering of youth
and the hopelessly inexperienced me, making my Beauie debut.

Two groups were formed on the start line - a small group of 6 (the Rabbits)
and a larger group of 9 (to be known as the Hounds). The rabbits, which
included NSCC riders Kim McBurnie, Larri Wallbridge, Jan Lindsay and
myself were gifted a 4 minute handicap.

The outcomes of subsequent strategy meetings would see us try our very best
to hold off the Hounds, who inversely, had the sole objective to catch us
before executing any further race tactics.

Off and racing, the smaller group of 6 was operating with great cohesion,
like little ants working together to steal a sandwich. Although we lost one
off the back after a fast corner, we continued to work hard for each other,
with everyone putting in some strong turns.

Excited shouts from the terraces at each end of the course had us ahead of
the Hounds by 3:20 with a handful of laps to go. Excited chatter (from those
who were not on the edge of vomiting) was suggesting that perhaps we had
this one in the bag.

While I had no clue what the whistle meant or what a "prime" is, the board
with "1 lap to go" was pretty self explanatory. In an attempt to see
endurance prevail, I went for the break with about 500m to go, which in
retrospect, was a bit too early (OK - hideously too early).

That said, I'd like to think I was the perfect Lead Out for eventual winner
Kim McBurnie, who flew past on the outside like a red and black freight
train. Nothing was going to stop her from sealing a memorable victory, on a
memorable day, on her home turf.

It was a fantastic win for Kim and NSCC. It was also a win for teamwork and
the "little peloton that could", who held off a larger group of stronger
riders simply by working together.

Most importantly, it was phenomenal to be part of such a celebration of
Robert's life. I didn't know him, but I left feeling like I would have
wanted to.

Editors note: Special kudos to Briony who made her debut in Beaumont Rd crit racing in the Rob Hodgson Memorial Race.

RHMR Silver race report input from Doug and myself

A field of strong club riders took the start of the men’s silver race as a part of the second annual Robert Hodgson Memorial Race at Beaumont Road, Mt Kuringai. This included some of the best riders and future star riders from NSCC, Manly, and Central Coast.

In a similar manner to the platinum race, the attacks were fierce and plentiful. Early on in the race a small breakaway was lead by Barry Kenyon from NSCC and Alexis Kaless from MWCC, who held off the main bunch for the first half of the race. A number of riders including Daniel Newman and Jeff Dhu from NSCC helped reel the break in and ensured that their attack was nullified.

The heat took it’s toll on the riders and it was reported that the pace may not have been as fast as some other Beaumont Road races; however, when riders decided to put their minds to it, the pace was on with riders popping off the back like popcorn - unable to sustain the pace.

There was also some confusion caused on the last lap as the Platinum riders caught the Silver bunch. A few Silver riders took advantage of the mayhem and broke away from the large group. In the final dash to the line Chris Taylor of MWCC was victorious and was given the opportunity of holding his silver ‘Beauie’ as the winner of the 2015 Robert Hodgson Memorial Race Silver Race. Miro Vadovicas also of Manly CC took second ahead of our very own Ran Virdi (NSCC).

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