Bay Crits by The Wilko Show×

TEAM: Dan Wilkins, Cam McDonald, Ken Ballhause, Leigh Clifford and Alistair Crameri

Not for the faint at heart, nor those who have eaten a little too much Christmas pudding at the awkward end of year family get together, the Mitchelton Wines Bay Cycling Classic is a corker.  Nothing like sitting at threshold 3 days in a row, ripping it up with a top field of guys all trying to get an early prize for the new year.

Stage 1 - Geelong

Hot Dog- Delicious. Hot Dog Circuit- Not so much. I personally have eaten many in my lifetime, but this one can gobble you up and spit you out quicker than Rick Horvat crashing on a descent. Personally, felt great throughout the day, and went off the front for a couple of laps after being joined by a few guys who worked well. Managed to knock off intermediate sprint too... good times. After being caught by the bunch and with 3 laps to go, my fun was ended, shooting over the handlebars after I was left nowhere to go from some overly eager cornering from someone trying to go from 20th to 7th with two laps to go. The two new recruits to the BG Lexus of Blackburn team; Alistair "Cruise Control" Crameri (Seriously, he just sits at threshold and looks like he’s reading a book... machine) and Ken “Giving Cam a run for BG Male Model” Ballhause are engines!!! Welcome boys! Was a hot, fast day and a great intro to Bay Crits. Was great to relax on the bank and watch the Pro Women and Men in the evening have their own smash fest.

SIDE NOTE: If you know team member Leigh Clifford, you’ll know that from Geelong to Apollo Bay he is bigger than Frank Costa. Cam and I were lucky enough, nay, privileged enough, to be welcomed to his family abode and were given the LEIGH CLIFFORD ONELOVE MEMORIAL WING  (Leigh’s Mums shrine to her Carl Cox of a son) to sleep in. If you were at OneLove and similar discos from 2003ish-2007ish you probably danced to the Honorary Mayor of Geelong’s ripping house tunes. He joins Dan Strauss as our Team DJ.

Stage 2 - Portarlington

Wow. This course suckkksssss.. it’s actually a ripper, but its bl**dy hard! Think Hawthorn Crit Circuit; add a steeper and  It wasn't the steep hill in the middle, it was more the gentle incline straight after it. Alistair "Cruise Control" Crameri rode brilliantly well during this stage, managing a top 10 on a brutal circuit. If you’re suited to Hawthorn more than SKCC or Glenvale this is right up your alley.

Stage 3 - Williamstown

Love. This. Circuit. The roundabout at the end of the straight is a real doozy and thank god for a group of good blokes and top racers, only a few went down - behind us.  "Cruise" Crameri managed to get away with a couple of other guys and rode a beauty, staying away for most of the race! Great rides from Ken and Cam also had us thinking he was away to the end- alas not to be. The break was caught with about 3 corners to go with the stomping train from eventual overall winner Cameron Parlevliet delivering him to a decisive stage win. As a team i think we had all hoped for a better result from Stage 3, but all in all it was a great team ride from the guys and just really bad luck for "Cruise". He had a great series and I think was unlucky not to get more points from it.

Thanks to all the support from people over the 3 days, especially the final day. It was great to see so many BG Kits on the side cheering us on! BIG THANKS also to Jono from Drapac Professional Cycling Team for again letting us use their area to store our stuff and warm up!

As for 2014, Mitchelton Wines Bay Cycling Classic was a great series and we will definitely be back. The organisers had a great set up and great competitors to race against. Thanks to all the people you gave up their time to make it happen. Special thanks to Kirsty Baxter for all her shots, she's  always there lending a few pictures and some laughs! She has a FaceBook page for all her work - Kirsty Baxter Photography

Finally, thanks to our great sponsors for letting us rock around with cool stuff: