It worked for the gold prospectors, so some of the Ex Machina Racing crew decided to try it also, by heading out to race at Footscray CC’s You Yangs course in the afternoon sunshine on Saturday. The further we travelled down the freeway, the flatter and windier it became, and turning up to Little River to the sight of some very battle hardened cyclists made us wonder what the hell we were doing leaving the latte culture of SKCC behind.
Rolling out in A grade, the neutral period was a bit boring so as soon as we were racing Nick and Andrew decided to liven things up into the headwind. A couple of kilometres later all we had done was tire ourselves out, but importantly we were warm.
6kms in and the first left hand turn of the race. I’m not sure who, but someone lit a mighty big fuse on that corner and the race was on! Not just on, but ON!!!!
The field was split to pieces, 9 guys off the front then about 4 bunches behind that, massive crosswinds and everyone in the gutter. All Ex Machina riders made the second group and began trying to chase back on as we formed a group of 5, rolling turns and working hard. By the end of the first lap we had caught a group of 5 riders that had been dropped from the front bunch, meaning it was 4 up the road and 10 in our bunch, good numbers!  The four riders up the road were Dom Dudkiewicz, Ben Johnson, Paul Anders and Andrew McKellar.
Over the next 2 laps we started reeling in the leaders but as riders were shelled from our group we started to slow. Each lap we were buffeted by 1km of headwinds, 10km of cross winds then the joyous 1km of tailwind. Some sort of delightful weather……
Nearing the end of lap 4 we were told that the leaders had around 2 minutes and our bunch was now down to 5 with all Ex Machina riders in the group. Those guys were behemoths!! The final lap began but with people starting to focus on the finish line, the turns got shorter and the games began.
The finish was on an uphill drag with cross winds ever present. Ex Machina Adam sacrificed his chances on the last lap in a great effort to keep the bunch rolling. One of the locals jumped early which only served to provide a good leadout for the Ex Machina Riders. Ex Machina’s Nick and Andrew easily rolled past him prior to the line and earning a great finish for the team given the conditions. A great effort of fifth, sixth and ninth for the Ex Machina Racing team and a true hard day in the saddle.
Contributor: Ex Machina Racing