By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 11/03/2022; Updated 11/03/2022

We had a fun race tonight, the first “Grand Tour” event of our fall series, Stage 1 of the Tour of the Makuri Islands. I like these tours, because they always get a lot of participation, allowing everyone to find a group suitable for their pace. Tonight’s race was on the Castle to Castle route, almost entirely flat apart from one decent little climb for a couple minutes in the middle.

Tonight’s race featured a special guest appearance from NCC alum Isaac, who probably should have been studying for his law school finals, but instead found the time to join us. Michael and Melissa and I rounded out the NCC contingent, amongst a total of 189 starters.

The whole NCC group stayed together in the front pack of about 30 for the first half of the race, until we reached the lower slopes of the climb. At this point we splintered, with Isaac in a three-man break, me in the first chase, Melissa a few seconds back, and Michael a bit further back. Melissa’s group clawed back up to me, and Isaac’s break eventually broke up, leaving us with around 15 on the front. With a few miles to go, things were getting a bit pokey in the front group, and one of the riders (to whom Melissa has thankfully decided to extend the cloak of anonymity) made the ill-fated decision to launch an attack. The attack went nowhere, and was immediately countered, at which point Isaac, Melissa and I, along with another rider, launched a retrograde attack off the back, watching the rest of the front group ride away toward the finish. The four of us rode it in together, with me and Isaac and Melissa finishing in a row 10/11/12 in-game, and Michael a minute or so back. It was a fun race, and lots of fun to have Isaac join us. Finishing so close to the front, and with the women’s 30% bonus points (she was by far the top female finisher), Melissa takes home the win tonight — congratulations!

Week Five Results:

  1. Melissa Warwick (B) – 10 of 109 – 115.6 points
  2. Michael Bello (C) – 25 of 109 – 101.4 points
  3. Jonathan O’Keeffe (B) – 8 of 109 – 98.3 points
  4. Isaac Hoeh (B) – 9 of 109 – 97.3 points

Series Standings after Week Five:

  1. Jonathan O’Keeffe (5 races) – 321.8 points
  2. Michael Bello (4 races) – 234.2 points
  3. Melissa Warwick (5 races) – 211.4 points
  4. Tim Downey (1 race) – 100.0 points
  5. Isaac Hoeh (1 race) – 97.3 points
  6. Patrick Ryan (1 race) – 88.9 points