Commonwealth Games Road Race Report from Kashi Leuchs.
Yesterday, as the sun came out after four days of rain, we finally got round
to the Comm Games Road Race. I was itching to get some hard riding in, although
I was very unsure on how my legs would be after the bad MTB race 5 days earlier.
Our team was looking pretty good, with Gordon McCauley, Glen Mitchell, Ryan
Russell, Karl Moore and Hayden Roulston. Nonetheless, no one could overlook the
quality of the field, which included a huge bunch of div 1 Pro riders (including
all the Australian team!) So we went into the race, willing to fight, but not
expecting too very much.
As it turned out, I had quite reasonable legs again. The sun was out, and I
was actually quite enjoying the ride. I was staying right up front, covering
small moves, as Gordon was up the road from the start (what a surprise!)
Meanwhile Australia set a steady pace.
The race was 188km (the second longest race ever for me!), but because it was
based on laps around an 11.5km circuit, it felt a lot shorter. With 6 laps
remaining the Australians had caught Gordon, and the big attacks went down. 6
riders were up the road, which included 3 Aussies, and Glen from NZ. Then there
was our group of 9 riders, which also included Hayden Roulston of NZ. The rest
of the field were out of the race.
But I could feel that I was close to my limit, so meanwhile Hayden sat on the
back of our group, I tried to hold it together by cover any small attacks.
Finally 2 laps later, the attacks became too hard and our group split up.
We still had 4 laps left, but no one was interested in racing anymore. Most
of these riders were pros, and if you don't win, it don't matter! So I pretty
much freewheeled around the circuit until another group caught us from behind,
which included the other 3 kiwis. They were still racing for the minor places,
and rode of the front, meanwhile I finished in the small laughing pack, as they
call it. 25th was my final placement.
The important part though, was that Glen and Hayden had ridden bloody well up
front, taking 4th and 6th respectively. Australia were 1,2,3! So, that pretty
much made us the #2 country in the race, and made everyone very happy with our
Most of the other boys are pretty sick today after a hard nights drinking! I
decided to save myself for tonight though, as I figure the closing ceremony will
be a better party!