Ok, there were only 3 tandem [Bleeksie & Lindy, Elton & Brandie, Rosemary & Don] (not that the names mean much to most of 3fidi readers), so a top 3 finish was pretty well guaranteed, but we had no idea that the racing would be as closely matched as this.
PROLOGUE – this was only a 4 km event and most of it was down hill, that worked great for the tandems, clocking up speeds close to front of B-grade riders. Elton & Brandie managed to take the prologue by 4 seconds to Bleeksie & Lindy with Rosemary & Don only another 6 seconds back.
Stage 1 – also on day 1 this stage was just short of 30 km with a couple of Prime sprints for bonus times in the middle. Rosemary & Don knew exactly where the sprint was and managed to surprise us enough to take the first Prime taking some bonus time. Bleeksie & Lindy now also knew where the Prime sprint was for the return journey and were not going to let that one slip. After turning at the half-way mark Bleeksie & Lindy were sitting in on some of the climb, then attacking on the last climb, before the 2nd Prime sprint, with enough force to be able to stay away to the sprint line, thus taking back a second or two bonus time. The course was undulating all the way back and with 3 km to go Bleeksie & Lindy decided to attack, quickly building a gap on the other two tandems and holding a good gap all the way to the finish with Rosemary & Don coming in second.
Stage 2 – Bleeksie & Lindy now had 6 seconds on Elton & Brandie with another 6 seconds to Rosemary & Don. The course was from Gunning to Bredalbane 50km out & back. Again a couple of Sprint Primes in the middle. Bleeksie & Lindy managed to take the 1st sprint Prime and got an extra second on Elton & Brandie, but on the way back Elton & Brandie take the prime and nullified that bonus second of the 1st prime. Now it was all on for the final sprint finish, as Bleeksie & Lindy still had 6 seconds spare. We all knew the last 3 kms as it was exactly the Prologue course, so 3 kms of climbing to the finish line. Things kept speeding up even though the grading was getting harder. Elton & Brandie just managed to power to the line gapping Bleeksie & Lindy on the finish by some seconds. Luckily Bleeksie & Lindy had enough time in the bag to still finish 1st overall with only 2 seconds spare. Rosemary & Don knew their race was up and relaxed a little on the final climb where they lost the bulk of their listed time.