Buninyong Nights: The Ballad of Jacky Bobby
Close the polls. Shut the books. No need to tally the votes. It’s only three weeks into the new year, but folks, we may have already witnessed the V Ride of the Year.
While the Euros are trying to escape the bitter chills of winter, the Aussies and Kiwis were turning up the heat with their National Championships being contested last weekend. And both races threw up some true hard racing, and produced two outstanding rides for the titles. Here in NZ, it was a hardass masterclass from HTC’s Hayden Roulston, but the ride that has everyone gushing came from Garmin’s young gun Jack Bobridge.
We know this kid’s got talent, already a World Champion on the track plus a road U23 time trial gold, but the way he decimated a ProTour rider-laden field in the hills of regional Victoria was the stuff of legend. To wait for the ‘right’ break to form, and then leave it to the last minute to attack or sprint from the group is one thing, but to bridge across solo to the early break, drive it for hours to breaking point, then decide to go it alone for the last 30km, well that’s a whole other deal; Merckxian, if you will.
“Just… sometimes, things click”
We received an impassioned email this week from one of our Aussie contingent, Matt, imploring us to dedicate a post to Jacky Bobby’s win. Well Matt, we’ll gladly doff our caps to young Bo Bridges, but leave the final words to you…
“I believe there may be a new champion of The V Cause. Jack Bobridge won the Australian Open Road Cycling Championships last week with what can only be described as a true ‘hardman’s’ ride.
Although it wasn’t mud, sleet and cobbles, 160km around Buninyong (featuring 16 laps up a 2.2km, 6% climb) off the front of a bunch featuring half of the Sky and HTC teams (among others) is harder than most riders will ever be.
Hopefully in a generation they will describe Jacky Bobby by some nickname like ‘The Animal’ (as ‘The Cannibal’ has already been taken!)
Until then, I’ll be enjoying him attacking everybody all the time.”
A-Merckx to that, Matt, so will we…
Jacky Bobby, “it’s time to be a man! You got hair on your peaches or what?”