Watt Bomb Racing kicks off with a bang... May 02, 2016 10:48
Anzac Day long weekend not only marked a time we pay tribute to both past and present servicemen, but it also coincided with the inauguration of the long awaited Watt Bomb Racing Team. The love child of both Troy Baker and Lynden Blackley, with a lot of hard work, the boys have pieced together a group of guys that come from a variety of different backgrounds, yet all share a common love of riding and racing bikes.
The team headed north up the Hume Fwy to launch the team in their season opening Euroa Town Crit. At the pre-race team meeting, it was actually the first opportunity that all 9 guys had got to sit down together in the one room, and over the obligatory coffee, we all introduced ourselves and began to hedge a plan of attack for the day. Given it was our first race together, the plan was simple; not make too much noise early while we let the race settle in, then come to the forefront towards the business end to hopefully lead out home town local Alistair Tubb.
On the first lap, VIS rider Alex Morgan put the hammer down and created a solo break which would last for the next 50mins! With Adam Kavanagh, Matt Stacey, Brad Eastick and the two WBRT founders rolling turns off the front, the peloton kept a high pace ensuring Alex's lead didn't push out too far. When the 70min + 3 lap race reached the 50min mark, the breakaway lead was out to about 30secs and the chase group was beginning to lose sight of him. At this point, the WBRT engine room came to the front and started to reel in the break. Over the next 6 laps, Matt Elkin and the infamous Linke brothers John and Richard, started pulling some monster turns and by the 60 min mark, had pulled him back and the race was all back together. Over the final laps, there were a few break away attempts by individuals but all were covered immediately by the boys. WBRT were paying particular attention to the Pats Veg riders given their proven success over the years as well as a few other known individuals. As the bell lap came, the peloton was getting very antsy and as expected, the pace into the final lap was the at its fastest yet. The road surface of the course added another element to the race as it was quite rough through some of the corners, particularly at pace. The chatter of everyone's chains slapping against the frame through the final turns added to the excitement and nervousness of all the remaining riders. Our plan was to be one of the first two or three into the last corner as would have been the rest of the field. With John pulling Alistair up to the front trying to ensure this, the two Pats Veg riders darted up the inside dragging a few riders with them. In what can only be put down to inexperience, it forced John and Alistair wide and we entered the last corner sitting in about 6th and 7th place. As everyone straightened up, Pat Drapac pulled out from behind his classy lead out and in a matter of seconds built an unbeatable gap. Behind, John had delivered Alistair into the final straight where he managed to sneak past another Pats Veg rider to take second place, with Peter Johnstone rounding out the podium for third.
For their first race together, the boys showed they could be competitive in a strong field and more importantly for the team itself, it was amazing to see the comradery between the everyone by the race end. As the founders of the team, both Troy and Lynden would be hoping for obvious success in the way of results, but must be extremely excited to see an already existing bond between the boys that will carry them through the races for the seasons to come. Some very exciting times ahead.
Special thanks needs to be made to both Melbourne Cycling League and Euroa Rotary Club for hosting an amazing event which is only going to get bigger and bigger going forward.
WBRT also need to give a huge thanks to our sponsors: SH Plus, Pro4mance, Optimal Strength Coaching, Coburg Osteo, Nulook Floors, Dream Seeker, DC Projects, Caravans R Us and Dianne Townsend.Without their help and support, WBRT would not exist and we only hope to put some more results on the board for them going forward.
Images by @melanienewellphotography