Sprint Into Spring Race 6 Wrap – Latrobe Uni

Maps to come…

We were warned!  During his stay in Victoria, Mikkel did a lot of work on the Latrobe map to bring it up to date, and to add a new dimension of the vertical kind!  Before he left he set the courses, leaving us with something to remember.  It was certainly something different, and a great way to wrap up 2017’s Sprint Into Spring.

This series is all about skilling up – and we learned the new skill of reading a multi level map.  If you’ve ever spent an evening puzzling over those indoor maps they have in Sweden, this gave us a taste.  The stairs were all marked with a letter at the top and bottom, but the top level was mapped separately and shown off to the left of the ground level map.  The trick was to find one end of the stair you needed, then get up or down to the right level.

Consensus afterwards was to be on the ground level where possible, as that had more opportunity for taking diagonals; but most of us were just happy to find a set of stairs that were in the vicinity of the next control, get onto the right level, then navigate on that level.  Confused??  So were we!  In actual fact it wasn’t as hard as it sounds, and most people managed quite well once they’d done one or two legs.

So – with final jersey points up for grabs, a very hot day, and another big race tomorrow, there were two different approaches.  Those with jerseys in the bag sat back and cruised through the sprint and hillclimb legs, opening the door for others to step up and grab 10 points.  But those whose jerseys were on the line went for broke!

Peter Hodkinson, off duty as technical advisor, won the Mo course from Brodie Nankervis and Aston Key.  Second place was enough to hand Brodie the Yellow, by just two points from Kerrin Rattray and Bruce Arthur.  On the Sprint leg, which was short and tricky and had stairs, Glen White was the winner, and there was a four way tie for second.  Brody McCarthy’s five wins had already secured him the Green Jersey, ahead of Shane Mallia and Bruce Arthur.  Bruce was clearly determined to earn the Polkadot Jersey with a win on the stair climb, and he took the Jersey home.

Tash Key scored her third win of the series, but it wasn’t enough to grab the Yellow Jersey from Liis Johanson, who had three wins and three seconds.  Lanita Steer continued her consistent form to finish third; in doing so she was runner up in the Yellow Jersey comp, ahead of Tash.  Lanita won the Sprint leg, and claimed the Green Jersey.  Clare Brownridge has an iron grip on the Polkadot Jersey, and she dominated this category again in 2017.

All series, the Sally Pearson women have been locked in battle, and for a while there I was expecting a deadlock.  But it was the men who provided the tightest of competitions in the end.  Today’s winner was Torren Arthur, finishing just 5 seconds ahead of Stephen Dunbar, and 6 seconds ahead of Callum White.  Jensen Key was fourth, but it was enough to keep him in Yellow at the end of the day; Callum was second, and Mason Arthur third.

Will Davey took 10 points on the Sprint leg and Steven O’Connell took 9; this resulted in both of them having equal points after the best of five was calculated.  What’s more, both had exactly the same number of wins, and I just couldn’t separate them – resulting in first tie in SIS jersey history!  Rod Phillips won the Polkadot jersey, but in the final race was unable to beat Wayne Love on the race up the stairs.

Meanwhile, Janine Steer and Heather O’Donnell had traded the Yellow Jersey all series, so it all came down to this final race.  Who would have the edge today?  Would there be another tie?  Results screens were studied anxiously; but we’d overlooked the Jenny factor.  Janine won the day, Jenny Bourne was second, and Heather third, handing Janine a one point victory and a Yellow Jersey; Heather was second and Sarah Davies, who has been in red hot form, was third.  In the Green Jersey comp, Kate Francis had a perfect score of 50 after winning today’s sprint leg.  Kate also won the Climb, but Heather ended up with the Polkadot Jersey.

Last but definitely not least – probably the most dominant performance of SIS was by junior speedster Ashley White. Ashley scored 50 points in the Yellow and Green jersey comps on the Usain Bolt course, and 49 points in the Polkadot comp. Of course you can only have one jersey, and it was great to see the Green go to Thomas Caristo, and the Polkadot go to Evan Gavens – both youngsters came along nearly every week, and had a great time out there.

The Usain Bolt women wasn’t quite so clear cut, though eventual winner Milla Key won four of the races. Today though, it was Maya Bennette who had the fastest time, Luca Bogdanovits was second, and Milla third.  Annabelle Davey was the jersey runner up, while points for third overall were shared between Maya, Luca, and Claire Adams, showing just how close the girls comp was this year.  Paula Davey won today’s sprint, but Claire was a repeat Green Jersey winner. Paula also won the climb, and the Polkadot jersey, another repeat winner.

And so another Sprint Into Spring series came to a glorious end – thanks to the organising team, the advisors, planners, mappers, equipment bringers, timing system gurus, and to all of YOU for supporting us in our fifth season.  Look out for us next October – can’t wait!

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