WHILE only one team member could make it to Goulburn for two days of racing, Team Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey continued its good form when Ray Griffin won the Masters 50 to 60 age group 22 kilometre time trial on Saturday.
The next day he backed up with a strong fifth place in the all ages Division 2, 90 kilometre road race.
Griffin’s win in the time trial was quicker than all but one rider across the masters age groups which start at age 30 and takes the team’s recent winning tally to three wins over three consecutive weekends. The other wins were recorded at Warwick by Darren Traill and at Newcastle, also by Griffin.
“We’re going well and I was keen to keep that record going for us in the time trial at Goulburn.” Griffin said.
“While it was a fantastic sunny day the winds from the west were horrendous at times,” he added.
“It was a case of battling through the first 11 km into the wind and then making the most of the cross-tailwind back to the finish.”
His time of 33mins 3secs for the 23km was short of his best time on the course of 31mins 50secs.
For Griffin, the win further confirms his skills as a time trialer having won his category in the 2013 NSW Masters Championship and a silver medal at the 2013 Australian Masters Championships for the same event.
“In cycling we call it ‘the race of truth’ because it’s just you and your bike and the elements – there’s no peloton to hide in when you’re racing against the clock.”
In Sunday’s road race, an early three man breakaway quickly grabbed three minutes’ lead on the peloton. With team-mates of each breakaway rider back in the peloton, organising a cohesive chase was near on impossible.
“I really needed a couple of my team-mates with me on Sunday. The chase kept being stymied by teammates of the breakaway riders and a serious chase just never got going.”
On a climb atop the Great Dividing Range at kilometre 35 the peloton split and Griffin made it into a selection of 13 riders which remained intact until the finish. Two of the breakaway riders were dropped in the final 20km and were caught by the 13 strong remains of the peloton. The winner held on for a strong solo finish and second place came down to a sprint finish from the 13-strong group and Griffin managed fourth in the sprint and fifth overall.
“I’m reasonably happy with the fifth place – I’m giving 30 or more years start to some of the young guys in Division 2 so to finish reasonably strong after the big time trial effort on Saturday will have to do,” he said.
Team Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey’s will be competing in this weekend’s Tamworth – Armidale – Inverell inter-club race at Armidale and then heads to Cootamundra for two days of racing the following weekend.