KVA Design Autumn Sash race, 41km Out and back Nobles Rd, Forest Rd finish at Larcombes Rd (B) 40 riders were ready to have a go at winning a highly sought after seasonal sash. The field was split into 9 bunches with solo limit rider Ken Mansfield leading off with 32 mins to solo scratchman Nick Squillari

The KVA Design Autumn Sash race is one on my calendar to have a crack at. Woke up a bit rusty but the coffee on the way out kicked me along nicely. Arriving at the club rooms we were greeted with cool but not too cold conditions but there was a bit of fog. Checked in with race officials and found I was off 10 mins with 5 others. My number was 25. (Not my age)
As we set off I was feeling alright but it wasn’t long into the race that the constant surging in my bunch was having a painful effect on me. On the way back along Nobles Road saw me drift off the back and dropped by my bunch. This wasn’t too bad as I was able to settle into my own rhythm.
Going up Forrest Road on the way out I was caught by the 7:30min bunch behind consisting of Roger Cronk, Peter Hunt, Darren Williams, Kane Airey and David Lambourn. These guys were working really well and the pace was fast and smooth. I settled in and did turns when I could. It wasn’t too long before we caught my original bunch and with some encouraging words from Johnny and Darren, the pace lifted and we worked really well with the addition of Johnny Parrello, Vincent Haveaux, Brian Weppner, Tina Stenos and new trial rider Bert Scolaro. Brian’s race fitness wasn’t quite up to it today and he dropped off soon after and Bert was riding very well and consistent with some coaching along they way.
Everyone was doing turns when they could and keeping things rolling strong. On the way back along Forrest Rd we had the leaders in sight and again the pace lifted. Upon catching this large bunch we tentatively went past ensuring we didn’t cross the centre line, which given the size of the bunch required us to go single file.
Passing Grays Road saw the first major attack as we went up Forrest Rd hill. When Peter Hunt gained a gap of about 150mts, it was looking like it was over but Peter forgot about the second kick and was starting to feel the pressure. A couple of the guys dug deep and drove it up the hill and I jumped on their wheel. Coming onto the second hill I was feeling OK and helped drag us up. Gaps were starting appear as everyone was tiring. Kane put in a big effort to bring us all back together.
We turned into Larcombes Rd and immediately another surge saw everyone digging deep to stay together. Over the crest we had the finish in sight and everyone seemed to be bunched up and waiting for someone to go. I saw a gap on the right and hoping it wasn’t too far out, I went.
Out of the saddle I drove as had hard as my legs would go. The finish line loomed and no one had come up on me so I stood up again and pushed as hard as I could and crossed the line in first place with apparently quite a gap. Minor placing’s were well fought out. Wins don’t come often and it is even sweeter when they come by for a prestigious race, such is the KVA Design Sash races.
Nick Squillari rode another strong race off scratch on his own and rode through the rest of the field and finish 9th and take fastest time with Josh Williams and Robbie Southern finishing well to stay within touch of Nick at the finish.
(Words by Brad Keating and some input by Kane Airey)

1st Brad Keating (10min 1:10:20 34.55km/h) 2nd Johnny Parrello (10min) 3rd David Lambourn ((7:30min), 4th Roger Cronk (7:30min), 5th Peter Hunt (7:30), 6th Tina Stenos (10min), 7th Darren Williams (7:30), 8th Kane Airey (7:30), 9th and Fastest Time Nick Squillari (1:00:37 40.09km/h), 10th Josh Williams (1:30min)

[FinalTilesGallery id=”7″]