Tuesday, September 25, 2012

State ITT Champs - no words.

I am going to keep this one short. 
Key points. 
1) ITTs really hurt.
2) I am not as bad as I expected to be for my size.
3) UCI rules for technical equipment suck. 

The icing on the cake is the lack of consistency in the comms that are enforcing these rules.  I feel for the largely volunteer organisation that has to deal with the UCI constantly moving goal posts (or is that seat posts?) but the level of stress and inconsistent overscrutineering of effectively amateur events is out of step and in my opinion keeping people away.  I am not sure what the answer is, but perhaps a more pragmatic approach and consistent education/interpretation might help.

warming up and getting my head back in the game

My day in a nutshell - hell. First up, some unexpected bike setup issues of the unadjustable kind.  Fixed by pulling parts and swapping between bikes and a lot of help from Bear and Trickle - HECTIC. Warmed up got it back together and focused. Had rear wheel pulled in the drop out while being held by the wheel rather than the seat post for the start.  For those of you who don't know this means your wheel moves, and in this case jams hard against the frame - equivalent to having your brakes locked on.  Not the perfect start to a ITT.  Especially not when it is followed by having to get off, reseat, remount and get moving again.  I thought my race was over.   This was topped only by having the grudge driven locals head out to pour tacks all over the course taking out many a rider - including my main competition - who after my mechanical had it all but in the bag.  If I catch a volunteer without his hand dangerously close to my ass on the seatpost in my next ITT there is going to be a problem.  Man up people!

All you haters.......

I am proud to be the State Champ for ITT in masters2, but mostly I am disappointed that my ride time did not reflect my capability. It feels like a missed opportunity to post a kick ass number.  Still, all in all a golden day and a reminder of the great support in our team.

Team mates are great - like this one.  Trickle on the countdown.

I am into my offseason now, and next up a junket with Koiled to interbike!  Stay tuned for my roving report on everything awesome.

Monday, September 10, 2012

HPRW Womens Series - Race 3

HPRW Womens Series wrapped up with Race Three at Lakeside with a Road Race.  After a third and a second, I was in the hunt with Simone Grounds and Jess Toghill for good finish.  There was a tiny chance I could tie for first place overall if we managed a Rach, Jess, Simone finish.... somewhat unlikely but a chance none the less.

Conditions were tough with a strong and gusty westerly wind, making a tough job for me even tougher!  It also meant the places where I could usually get an advantage (up the final climb) were going to be neutralised by a strong headwind kicking into descent into the finishing straight.

We lined up ready to go with a few local stars out for a roll - Jane Walker, Corissa Smith and Lauren Leaver were all out for a ride - 45 + 2 laps.  Hang on - that's a CRIT not a RR.  I was expecting longer but hey, ride what ya brung!   We rolled off and Simone signalled her intention by immediately attacking.  Knowing she was one of the few here who could probably TT the entire thing and smash us I knew I needed to be with her.  Suddenly I wasn't too sad about 45 minutes.  It was going to hurt.  I rolled to the front of the bunch and then kicked hard to bridge, trying my best not to take anyone with her.  Now the ladies who went 1, 2 in the last race were off the front.  We pushed hard and it wasn't long until Jess Toghill also bridged and joined us.  The break now had the top three women in the series away and then bunch was napping.  

The break had formed.  Buckle up ladies this is going to HURT.
 I would like to say I was sitting in the break strategising how to win at the end, but the reality was I was 110% on the rivet trying to hold on and not get dropped.  We had a prime, and I decide to watch and see how the ladies wanted to sprint to perhaps get some ideas for the end.  Ok apparently the go is we slow right down, and then only take the sprint out from the 150m.  No wonder I always get smashed!  We continued to work and stay away and somewhere in there we started to lap the other grades, knowing we must be putting a good gap on the rest of our A grade field.

Longest 45 mins of my life.
At this point the field must have realised we were going to stay away and decided to do something about it.  Jane and Lauren worked hard to try and bring us in, but the damage was done.
Jane and Lauren make chase.

Coming into the bell lap I knew my only chance was to completely red line the last climb to force a gap and at least make the girls carry a much higher pace into the sprint. They were likely to get me, but I wanted to make them do it my way.  Both girls were descending faster than me because of a weight advantage and the headwind - but hey, I have to try something!!! I was on the back as we approached the climb, and I was surprised when the girls backed off the pace.  I dumped gears and swung around, did the best I could to bury myself.  I got a small gap but both girls responded hard.  I lead into the straight and tried to keep the pace up.   I could see from the shadows they were closing, and in the end Jess used her kick to get over Simone and I.

The final sprint - Jess getting away over Simone and then me.
A great series for riders of all abilities - HPRW is doing great things for women's cycling in QLD.  Thanks Karen!