3rd running of the Cycosports B6B race and by now, we know what to expect. A long, hilly, hot race which is usually infused with massive amounts of cramping.
Cat 1 had 30 registered but post ToF fatigue had set in and a few missed it through illness. I’d been coughing up green shit for days and had a voice like a phone sex operator but I wasn’t missing this! Dave Cox on the other hand missed it for more mundane reasons, sleeping through his alarm… Nevertheless, we had a reasonable team including Pierre-Alain, Pete Bennett, Raoul, Hish and myself. The Mavs had a strong team of 8 and Cycle Training Asia and Joyriders also had decent numbers.
For once, the day was overcast and the Mad Max style oppressive heat was manageable. Gloomy skies kept teasing rain but sadly never followed through and it stayed mostly dry throughout. Batam pulled out some borderline underage cheerleaders for the dance at race start which was er, stimulating.
The outward leg was relatively quiet. All of us managed to get into some form of break but nothing was sticking. At around 40km, race favourite Bastian Mav went off the front solo and due to inability/unwillingness of the group DA took the front and set the pace to keep the break at a reasonable distance. The group made it clear that they’d prefer me at the back for the race. My threadbare Direct Asia bibs were showing their age and my barely hidden ass was a bit too visible!
DA ramped the pace up in the run to the larger hills in the 10km prior to the uturn. PA then attacked on the biggest hill – decimating the peleton but taking 4 Mavs with him. I’d been setting the pace on the front at this point and had nothing left to make the jump to what was clearly the race deciding move.
In the peleton, it was left to Cycle Training Asia and Joyriders to chase the break as they were unrepresented. This collaboration didn’t go so well and led to some testy comments. Joyriders Strooper had clearly read the right managerial handbooks and was deploying F* and C* words in abundance – to little avail from the group. Joyriders tried hard but there was small chance of getting the break back without a co-ordinated chase. Pete, myself and the Mavs enjoyed the spectacle whilst mentally high fiving ourselves on our tactical genius (luck).
Up front in the break, PA was lining up for 70km worth of pain from the Maverics finest – with Ben, Bastian, Andreas and Nick Swallow all present for the gangbang. Full marks to him for a fine ride as he kept it together all the way to the end. As in the movies, the German came out on top of the gangbang and Bastian attacked with 2km to go and took the win. PA – legs twisted with cramp – came home 4th in the sprint.
The fireman hoses at the end were a welcome respite from the heat. We then had lunch, beers and awards in another of those massive Indonesian sheds in the middle of nowhere. One wonders what these are used for on other days of the week.
The usual Cycosports efficiency took a hit on the way back. Something went amiss with the bikes and our lone ferry ended up being delayed for 2 hours. The crowd were surprisingly stoic and no one really got shirty about it. A small price to pay to get such a good race! The resort probably loved it too – easily selling a years worth of Magnums and tinnies to the FBCC in those 2 hours.
Overall, a good race for the team. We rode well, made the race defining move but were just unlucky to be beneath the dogpile of Maverics. Congrats to the boys in red – they rode a fine race.