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SIRs Dragons Canyon take Dragons Team Time Trial 2017

posted 24 Jun 2017, 00:01 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club   [ updated 25 Jun 2017, 06:47 ]
The SIRs Dragons Canyon team, comprising Henrik 'the Hammer' Pederson, Nick Adamus, Justin Baldacchino and Andrew Sharkey took another great victory, against the odds, in this year's Dragons Team Time Trial. The win, in what were unusually ambiguous weather conditions for Hong Kong (i.e. hot and sunny in parts, interspersed with showers and a real downpour towards the end), was by no means emphatic though. 

The hot favourites for the day, the Hong Kong Pistons (Paul 'Goldilocks' Madden, Daniel Betteridge, Philippe Consentino & Jules Doyle) chased the SIRs Dragons all the way to the end, while the relatively new Unfound team (Ed Chadwick, Steve Baker, James Sutton & Duncan Watt) were also hot on their tails.

But the SIRS Dragons victory did represent a partial defence of last year's Dragons TTT, where The SIRs again held off a strong field in extremely difficult weather conditions and Pederson was one of the representatives on that team. And even more impressive was the fact that the winning team probably also had the oldest average age!

After being postponed for a week, and as a result, with slightly depleted numbers, nine teams were still able to line up for this year's Dragons TTT, including an entry from the new force on the HK road racing scene, the redoubtable CCN Foil (Joe Lee, Craig Wilkeson, Camel Dyrk & Andres Torres - who was drafted in at the last minute), who were also capable of pulling off an upset.

The Pistons however were the favourites. All their riders had done extremely well in last week's Hong Kong National's road race, and Madden had taken a great victory at this year's Dragons Race to Enlightenment. However, it was clear as the race unfolded that the SIRs Dragons were never going to make this easy!

All going off at 30 second intervals, with the slowest heading off first, it initially looked like the SIRs Dragons team (who as defending champions went last) were never going to catch the Pistons, but with the determination of some of the wily seniors on the team, and some considerable mental strength, they slowly ground their way in front of the Pistons by the end of the first lap -  but then found it hard to pull away.

By the second lap, the SIRS Dragons, the Pistons, CCN Foil and Unfound were all battling away , and in danger of breaking the no inter-team drafting rule, but on this course, the relentless pace, the unforgiving 48km distance, and the heat and rain that comes with bike racing in Hong Kong in late June were all going to take their toil.

Behind them, team Last Minute (Billy, Kevin, Rockson and Jay) were working to catch up, while Diamond Dogs (Paul 'Boomer' McMahon, Chris' Gunnsy' Gunns, Dave 'Gibbo' Gibb and Stefan Rust) were in their own mini battle with the Terriers (Ashley Dyer, Phil Shirley, Jonathan Perrin & Neil Galliford). Why both the 'Diamond Dogs' and the 'Terriers' chose canine names and ended up themselves in a dog fight (pun intended) was pure coincidence! While the ragtag 'Dodgy Darksiders' (Paul 'Redders' Redmayne Mourad, Max King, Andy Wells & Grant Lingard), were vying to break up the party - and in fact ended up doing so.

The third lap of the 3x16k course was the inevitable decider. Racing on open roads always has its challenges, and so it was just on this crucial lap that a taxi decided to come between the SIRs Dragons and the Pistons, forcing the Pistons to slow up and creating a big enough gap that allowed the SIRs Dragons to increase their lead. Similarly team Unfound were undone by an unfortunate flat tyre, suffered by James Sutton, which ended their team's bid for the race, plus a slip at the last roundabout resulted in a tumble for Duncan Watt. Fortunately he suffered only some road rash. But those incidents gave CCN Foil third place  and determined the eventual outcome of the race.

It was a great day of racing in mixed weather conditions, and tough competition pretty much all the way down the field. Next year, we will increase the intervals to one minute to eliminate any 'accidental drafting'.

Well done to all those who took part and in particular to our fantastic marshalls: Pat Gorta, Janine Denning and Laura, who as usual risked life and limb to stop traffic from intervening in the race!

Full results below (times of 4th rider where available taken from Strava segment:

SIRs Dragons Canyon - 1.11.19
Hong Kong Pistons - 1.11.49
CCN Foil - 1.12.57
Last Minute - 1.17.33
Diamond Dogs - 1.19.26
Dodgy Darkside Riders - 1.19.44
Terriers - 1.22.06
What? It's Draft legal?! - 1.31.38 - FEMALE WINNERS (Yann Kai 'Roinkers' Oh, 'Queen' Mary Ho, Manon Peters & Siobhan McHenry)
Unfound - (only three riders finished) - 1.14.17