Sam Miranda Time Trial and Road Race 2013

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I have been excited about the Sam Miranda weekend of racing for months. It was a tough race last year when they combined A- Grade women with B and C. This year the A- Grade women had an NRS teams race that I was itching to be a part of - but my fitness is not there yet so I had to be patient and keep riding at my current level. There would be enough fun to be had anyway!

There has been a lot going on with Shane after his crash. His clavicle moved out of alignment and was not healing the best requiring surgery. It was all scheduled for Saturday and I'd be home in time to pick him up. An earlier spot opened up for Friday morning and it threw my weekend out of order. I nearly cancelled everything to stay at home, but my awesome family stepped in and Shane had a harem of Micich women to attend him.

Time Trial

I dropped Shane off at the hospital and started the drive to the TT in Cheshunt, about 30km further down the road from Sam Miranda Winery. It is a beautiful area that was not diminished by the light drizzling rain. When I arrived I drove the course out and saw the little wineries dotted along the 16km road that started to climb slightly in the last 3km. (course profile)

OMG top of the TT course after 3hrs in the car! WooHoo!

It took a few minutes to unpack the car on the muddy ground and setup a warm up spot out in the drizzle. Rego was supposed to open at 12pm, it opened up 30minutes before my start making it difficult to rego and get my warm up done so I'll be ready to hit the line HOT. Thanks to team mate Tully Lyster who registered on my behalf and pinned on my number while I was on the trainer. It made a massive difference in that critical window of time. Great to be part of the KPC team on and off the bike.

The start felt awesome, as I rolled off the ramp - no nerves this time! I got into a good rhythm and could see my 30 sec chick, Jo Riley up the road. I caught her at around 3.5km in and kept the pace going, keeping motivated and punching up every rise. The last section toward the finish flattens out a bit and I remembered to use my gears as Tully flashes past me to take out B-Grade 1st place. It's the finish!!

A good ride! I was really happy to have a warm and dry jacket at the top, thanks to Paul Taggart from Total Rush. The results were going to be published online when all racing was finished and the race organisers could get within mobile reception range. When I saw the times, I knew they were out by approx 30 seconds which would have altered the podium positions. I contacted Cycling Victoria who were already on the job to resolve the timing issues and they corrected those riders affected. I came 2nd by 1 second in the Women's TT.

The sun was shining at Sam Miranda Winery for the presentations for the TT the next morning.

Road Race

It was nice to jump onto the stationary trainer in the sun for a change as I warmed up, a quick change of thermal layers and I was surprised to hear in the bathrooms from Kim Wepasnick that they were thinking of combining the B and C grade start at 11:30, bringing the B-Grade start time forward an extra 10 min earlier. That cut down the warmup even further and I scampered back to the car to get all my food before the new start time! I mentioned the difference to Doug Armstrong at the line, but his notes said both departing at 11:30am.

First 10km of the 102km (ride profile) were just rolling turns, I misread my race notes I'd posted to my top tube and thought there was a sprint, but that was 20km in! Oops, I had stirred up the pace line for a little while :) I came 3rd in the sprint for B-Grade to Anna and Nina.

A little worried about all these hill-climbers, I launched an attack around 33km that split the bunch for a bit, but they came back together just before the first real Queen of the Mountain (QOM). I was in struggle town, but fought my way back to the bunch with Nicky on the descent.

Things really settled down to a cruisy pace on those long straights out to Strade Nero. I slid up the outside of the bunch as I saw Simone lead out Anna for the next sprint at 44km. I was sitting on Anna's wheel and came through 2nd conserving for the final 2 climbs from here on in.

Anna and I were chatting on the front when the road kicked up again around 47km in and I said "I'll chat later" as the climbers started filtering to the front and I started going backwards. I could see them just up the road but I was not closing the distance on the 2nd QOM. Janet Keily passed me over the top and I caught her again on the descent down to the right hand turn. I saw Nicky was still with me as we started to climb.

The Strade Nero was in better condition than last year. Firm packed and a little squishy, you had to pick a good line and STOMP up the grade that just kept pushing back on you. I picked up 2 riders from the lead group, but the lead group were out of sight by the time we crested the top. Janet, Nina and Danae bombed down the hill and I was YAHOOOing as we went. 40+ kms to the finish from here.

The 4 of us rolled sporadic turns trying to work out who was in the lead group until the sprint at 87.2km. There was a bunch of men that came around us a few kms before the sprint. Janet picked up the pace, I jump over her wheel and keep the momentum going, Nina launched past me to the sprint line - we're out of points by this time and the guys have taken off up the road. I look behind and we had dropped Janet and Danae.

Nina and I worked TT turns for the next 10km and we could see the guys bunch still ahead of us and their lead car is behind another bunch. It's OUR lead bunch!!! The car drops out of the gap and we accelerate to jump to the car, it's 5km to go and we can make it back into the race!! I'm excited that we've worked out butts off and it might yet pay off!!

Coming up along side the commissaries' car he shouts something like we can get around the bunch, so Nina and I filter into their pace line, we get sworn at/cheered on by some guys and pop out the front. I take the lead and bridge to our bunch, going past them who look like they are standing still!

There is a combo of swearing and cheers from our ladies group at our appearance, we're about 2km to go and the women's bunch picks up speed and swarms past me. I struggle to hang on and am at the back as we hit the 2nd last corner. I've used up everything to get back to the front and roll in at the back of the men's group that has now mixed in and have possibly lead out the chicks at the front! Oh well, maybe they will change up the start order next time so the finishes are kept separate.

I rolled around to the group puffing on the side of the road, Nina made it to the front and contested the sprint against Anna and Simone! What an achievement, I felt like all our hard work was not for nothing if we were there at the end :) The photo finish had my mate Anna in first!! She also picked up another sprint point on the road taking that jersey too.

When I got back to the car, I had an SMS from Shane couch commentating and confirming he'd seen the online results and I'd came in 5th (still in the prize money). Fantastic result considering over 50km of chasing.

The main tent had a spot to hand back transponders and get a free lunch which was greatly appreciated! The hot food went down a treat and I saw Sam from Hydralyte there who will be at Amy Gillett Grand Fondo too. Just after I said a big thank you and goodbye to Sam from Sam Miranda, the NRS women's race finishes and I jump straight into the car to head back to Shane in Melbourne.

... Things you think about when going max on the bike - why is there a worm on my shoe?

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