2013 Australian Masters Games

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The Australian Masters Games is a massive competition for all sports... one of which is Cycling!

It is a friendly, open, well organised event. The Games covers track and road cycling events. I competed in the road race, time trial and criterium over the week.

Time Trial

A new (to me) Time Trial course was on the menu for the day out the back of Meredith. We arrived early before the first rider started to drive the course. It was rolling hills, out and back, single lane roads, and a fast finish.

Holding good form

The calm morning soon whipped up a little wind, a speckle of rain and I was off 30mins after Shane's start. My intention to warm-up on the road soon vanished - preparing everything after unpacking the car took up all my time! There was enough time to do the last tune up on the trainer, then it was time to go up the road to the start line. They were running an extra 5mins late so I practiced my u-turns on the road.

Out the road everything clicked into place. Pacing went well, legs felt good, position on the bike was solid, back to my other helmet so no problems there and wheel choice was perfect.

On a mission

I got sand blasted on the return leg by 4 cattle trucks in a row coming head on along the single lane road. There was NO WAY I could get off the road and no escaping the plumes of red dust that I ate. All part of racing on back roads, I'm sure the rest of the competitors had a similar experience.

A journey
I got back ecstatic that I had exorcised my TT demons from last week and felt prepared for the Australian Masters Championships next week. I had also won GOLD for my category!

Podium Shot

Von, Jo and Dale SKCC TT Medalists

Road Race

My category M1 was combined with all categories up to M4 and reduced to around 63km. So it was going to be a tough day out there! The wind was a little stronger, but the sun was out and we got started rolling turns into the 7km head wind section. There was a big dipper before a long drag to the right hand corner that we would complete 3 circuits on. My gears crunched climbing out of the dipper and I slid back a few spots before the long drag section. We kept the pace on and rolled turns and then attacked before the right hand turn and we had a nice cross wind and about 6 riders left.

Cornering like a pro! Photo: Jo Upton Photography

Rolling turns around the circuit along the side wind and head wind sections, we kept pushing through waiting for the next side wind section and the much anticipated tail wind. There was a moment when the pace dropped and the group lacked cooperation to roll turns so I attacked on the outside and picked up the pace. Deb Richards rolled through for a turn, then Dale Maizels also made it across and contributed to the pace making. When I looked back there was nobody else left and we'd hit the tailwind section.

The route

Flying along with the tail wind we had the first descent and I was not the only one screaming YAHOO! Up the climbs we were pacing and then hitting each other, trying to break up the group again. No avail, we completed the long drag back up to the 2nd lap. Rolling turns and eating and wind and more laps, this time on the tailwind hill section we hit each other again and again. I did a final attack-sprint over the top of the last hill and pushed over the top to the drag up to the final lap, while sitting on Deb's wheel the elastic snapped and I was unable to keep up with the pace.

I was done for the day, but with 1 more lap, the ladies took pity on me or needed help into the headwind section and sat up for me to get back on. I had my last gel and knuckled down to help out as much as I could. We came into the back side wind section and Deb pulled away. I couldn't close it, Dale couldn't close it either. I tried to sprint across and only got half way. Dale made it back up to me and we were in the tailwind section and chasing. We chased all the way home without catching her. When we got to the final hill that dropped down to the finish line, I told Dale to go ahead and rolled back into the finish line, coming in third overall and first in my category.

Windblown podium pic


With low entry numbers, our categories were again combined and the race reduced to about 30min plus 2 laps. I was excited to test out the legs on the Geelong Eastern Beach course near the gardens that I'd seen the Bay Crits race on in the past and now it was my turn to give it a go.

Arrows show opposite direction than the way we raced.

As the 10 of us rolled out, Kerrie Baumgartner was in the lead and I was in second wheel. I wanted to be first through the technical right hand corner to stay out of trouble and Kerrie obliged as we hit the head wind section.

I drove the front for the first lap, looked over my shoulder and we were down to 5 riders. Kerrie, Dale Maizels, Renee Nutbean, Jo Riley and myself. We all took turns at different sections, the home straight had a side headwind and the beach section had a great tailwind that gave a little assistance up the kicker of a hill back to the home finishing straight.

Renee, Von, Dale and Jo in the Masters Games Crit

At the 2 laps to go I knew we had to do something different to break up the race. I hit the hill a little differently and pushed over the top to meet the head wind hard. I heard someone on my wheel yell, "Keep going" as I pushed into the red zone, I swapped turns with whomever came over the top with me. It was Kerrie! We'd kept a gap and made some headway from the rest of the ladies on the main straight. This effort had taken its toll on me and I was in "struggle town" by the time we passed the line for 1 lap to go. The ladies were just in sight behind us, so I kept the pace on solo while Kerrie flew up the road and I managed the time gap to finish 2nd across the line and first in my category.

3 beautiful gold medals

I am excited and proud to announce my new personal sponsorship with Specialized and Bike n Bean. In the coming weeks I'll have my new 2014 bike to test out with great anticipation to see the differences between racing on a men's frame and women's specific one.

Bike racing is an amazing sport that I love and have been a part of for years both racing and volunteering. It is fantastic to be recognised as an ambassador for the sport and to receive such generous support. I will post up pics when I get them!!

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