2015 Wootton Classic 23 May 2015

23 May 2015 Wootton Classic – Manning Valley Interclub

A healthy contingent of PMCC riders made the trip to Wootton for the Manning Valley CC hosted Wootton Classic, two and ½ lap, graded scratch race over a hilly 58 km course. MVCC run a great event and the biggest decision was whether or not to race as there had been significant rain overnight and the descent was mossy in places with water over the road, gravel and some leaf debris to make it interesting.  However, Commissaire  Kellie Nicholson inspected the course, took the drying conditions into account and gave it the thumbs it with appropriate warnings issued.
In B Grade Deb and Port’s transitional member, Ashley (NSCC) attacked the field from the outset. Pushing over the rolling hill’s on the first part of the course and testing the peleton at every opportunity but the local’s weren’t to be that easily deterred. The second half of the course features the ascent of Wootton Way, which is actually two climbs of 1.6 km at an average of 6% with a brief respite in the middle.  Despite the prospect of a second ascent Ashley worked hard again in an attempt to split the group on this hill but once again the field held on.
Wootton Profile
A rapid descent followed with everyone staying upright vindicating the earlier call to race and the process was repeated. This time Greg and Simon joined Deb and Ashley to break away in an attempt to create a split on the first half of the course. The gap looked promising with this small group taking rolling turns but it was not to be and by the turn around the main group was back in touch. Clearly it was going to go to the climbers today with only Wootton Way standing between this point and victory.
Earning the most combative rider award for the day Ashley set a demanding pace on the second ascent but this time, one by one, the field started to crack. He made the turn at the top of Wootton Way with 100 meters on Greg, Graham Norris and Peter Brown (Hunter District) and a bit more on the rest of the field which had become strung out. Greg had misplayed his hand, wrongly thinking he would catch Ashley on the descent only to find that Ashley was fearless on the descent. The gap at the bottom of the hill remained, and would stay that way till the end. In the meantime Simon B teamed up with Michael Probert to sweep up Graham Norris (Manning Valley) just after the Coolongolook turn and battle on to contest the podium in a final uphill sprint to the line which saw him take 4th.
At the same time C and D grades had combined to race one and ½ laps (34 km) of the same course. The pressure was on from the outset in C grade, so much so that Justin managed to disintegrate his rear wheel bearings with the power he was putting down. It was Port all the way with Ryan showing his comeback is on track taking out C grade in a close finish with Portia Rennie in second and PMCC’s Justin McK in third. For D grade honours it was our own Boyd BM blitzing the course for victory over MVCC rider Greg Knight, well done Boyd.

 PMCC group
Simon B, casually deliberate at the start. Team Port: Boyd, Ashley, Simon, Greg and Ryan. Absent: Deb and Justin Greg paying the price for letting Ashley get a lead.

Thanks to MVCC for hosting this event, particularly to Kellie as Commissaire, Tanya, Belinda and Glen our Marshals, all other helpers and, of course, the riders.