Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TTT State Championship - Go Uni!

A couple of weeks ago we agreed that a trackie, a newbie, and a couple of mountain bikers would take on the Team Time Trial in a Uni Cycling Club team - the UniTTTs.  This was my first TTT and also my step up to taking on the Elite class for road.  Uni managed to field two full womens teams in Elite.  We are seriously getting our girl power on and I think it has been noted.

The TTT is a brutal event.  It takes courage, is technical and requires a togetherness in the riders to get the best out of the four.  It requires you to be on the rivet from the very start.  You need to be able to roll turns and hold wheels with no brakes in sight.  You need to be able to do a standing start, and you need to be able to perform a hairpin in formation.  It was a lot to pack into 3 weeks, which worked out to approximately 4 rolls with the complete team. Luckily we had the resident trackie coach Jacko spare some time for us for the technical stuff, and as always Coach Cupcake had largely taken care of the conditioning.

Jaman,  our super organised team manager, sorts through the paperwork.  I enjoyed being looked after.  Thank you!


The Newbie: Anne (Buffy) has only been riding for approximately 12 months.  She does have some previous sporting type experience from running and it shows in her engine.  She has great endurance and is a little workhorse for the UniTTTs. I admire her for not saying much and just getting the job done. If only we could stretch her to provide a better draft ! ;) 
Anne - great engine, terrible draft.
The Trackie: Stef is our resident track sprinter who was nuts enough to sign up for a 40km TT.  The girl can hurt and has a heart the size of something really enormous. She is completely insane and suffers from angry tourettes on race day but we put that down to her being a trackie. Luckily we think that is funny and not frightening. She entered claiming to be our puncture insurance, and was making sneaky plans to not have to ride the full distance.  I admire her for her courage.  Here she is taking them on in China.  Go Stef GO!!! (only 39.5km left).


Dirt Girl #1:
Mifflin is a fellow dirt lover, and really is the instigator of the team.  She is a TT specialist and is a generous spirit. She has taught me plenty as I have come into the road world around approaching races, who's who, and preparation.  She has had a rough year after a shoulder reconstruction and illness, and I really hoped that we could pull it out of the fire for her in this event because that would be nice.  I admire her for ability to make those around her feel good and do well, and for finding her way through a pretty crappy year!  And her taste in japanese restaurants.


Dirt Girl #2: That's me of course.  And if you are reading this blog entry, you probably know enough about me already!


First order of the day was to put our bikes together.  I proudly rode my ancient TRIATHLON bike.
After sorting out our gear and setting up our home base the time flew.  It wasn't that long before we found ourselves on the wind trainers and warming up.  I have often felt scared to warm up with any intensity, worrying that for my main enduros warming up might burn precious reserves.  This year, I have felt free of peformance pressure and been willing to test things out.  The warm up written by Coach Cuppers worked a treat.  The vibe in the tent as the four of us warmed up was pretty intense.  I could feel each one of us locking on and finding the race place as we began the 'doing' and left the waiting behind.  I will remember that, it was really cool.

From there it was kit up, get to inspection, and then wait on the line for our start.  It was a nervous time.  My heart rate was sitting at 135 bpm standing still and I am sure the others were the same. 

The smiles are gone as we stare down the barrel of an hour of power.
We were clipped in.  No-one spoke.  There was deep breathing and bar slamming (re: trackie).  And then we were gone.

The ride itself did not go smoothly, do they ever? Buffy was off after having had a cold so unusually struggled early.  Mifflin suffered a mechanical that meant she was off her bike on the side of the road.  I made the call once I knew she was not just stopped but off her bike and we rode on.  It's now THREE ladies, LOCK IN WITH ME and let's get this done.  Sorry Stef but you are doing it! Meanwhile Mifflin rode like an animal to get back on, but wasn't to be.  She'd done her job, and mechs happen. It's why you have four.

The three left kept it together and rolled it in for our UniTTTs. The turn traffic warden awarded us 2nd best turn of the day as we rolled the hairpin u-turn for the second lap (that was after all the Elite Men had ridden mind you!). As we came up that final straight and final 200m Stef bolted for the line, and the key to her private hell hurt locker.  I geed up Buffy and bought her across the line with me. We hoped we might have made it onto the podium, but no-one said it. Turns out we had some new friends waiting for us.  Drug Testers - but that is a whole other blog in and of itself!


ASADA kindly let me out of the toilets while I was still waiting to pee in their jar, so I could collect our medal.

Happy Bronzed UniTTTs!




Buffy reckoned we were FLYING!

Note to self, trackies who are twice your size are seriously heavy.
Nothing is ever completely lost, if you refuse to give up xx

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Four Packets of Equal

We have four packets of equal, all lined up for a crack at the State TTT.  With none of us ever having attempted a TTT we have a list of Uni people lining up to teach  us, it is such an awesome club.  We are eating, drinking, sleeping getting our heads around how to do this best together.  And there is so much.  It is not just the TTT fitness, it is the technique, the empathy, the equipment, the bike UCI regs... so much.

Even the cafe sugar packets are not safe!!!
Ah, the finer arts of rolling the TTT bunch.  Summary of todays lesson - while driving, one must walk the line.

video

With two and half weeks to go before race the question is there.  Can we do it?