Cycling Victoria Castlemaine Time Trial and St Kilda Time Trial Championships

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Cycling Victoria Castlemaine Time Trial

Harcourt again hosted the Open TT for Cycling Victoria and the categories were ability based/graded.

I tried pretty hard not to put too much pressure on myself battling a head cold that everyone in Melbourne seemed to have caught, but as Shane was racing I thought I'd give it a go and see how far off pace I might be.

The weather rolled in as we were headed into town and the roads were wet. I jumped on my road bike to do a bit of a warmup on the course, with Shane and Stephen. The road surface was pretty good and Shane loaned me his awesome HED 90mm deep carbon front wheel. The bike looked slick with this teamed with my disk wheel (sorry no pics). All of a sudden, the time disappeared while doing a warm up and it was show time in no time!

By this time the temperature had dropped again and it was drizzling, windy and pretty demoralising. I rolled up to the start line and noted that one of the officials was from NSW! That is a long way to go for a TT, but it is much appreciated :)

The ride was pretty tough on the uphill way out. I remember the helmet starting to fog up, and it was a little better at the turn around when I started going downhill on the way back, I passed a rider and could see Grace Phang behind me was gaining time.

Within the last few kms Bridie O'Donnell flew past me like I was standing still. There was not much left in my legs and I pushed to the line with my minute rider tussling on course not to lose any more time.

In the end I came in 4th, only 12sec off the podium behind Grace Phang in 3rd, Rachel Ward in 2nd and Bridie in 1st place.

St Kilda Time Trial Championships incorporated with the Northern Combine Championships

One of my first TT's in 2011 was out at the Northern Combine in Balliang and I came in 3rd for the Women's Grade.

I thought that there would be a strong showing of the A-Grade SKCC women for this event, so I entered the Masters 123 grade to race against riders closer to my own ability.

The previous few days in the lead up to the race had been foul weather with high wind gusts, rain storm and SNOWMAGEDDON on the Victorian Alps.

Races had been cancelled at other venues, but we were GO for the TT out in Balliang. There was no rain, but the wind was strong and cold. I'd found a quiet spot to setup the LeMond trainer and got started on the warmup.

Warming up
This week I started to feel much stronger and clearer in the head and my sessions (all indoor this week) were starting to show better numbers so it was going to be good if I could reproduce that on the road.

Start Line - staying calm before the storm. Photo: Jenny Miller

Everything feels different in extreme conditions. I used the 50mm front wheel and the disk wheel and was reconsidering my choice on the way out into the killer head wind. The first segment was awesome until I hit the cross wind and nearly had my bike fly out from underneath me. So I focused on holding my aero position and pushing my weight onto the front bars to spin, spin, spin. Before the turn around I'd passed 3 riders and saw there was a guy 1km back in the muddy shoulder trying to fix his wheel. I hope he hadn't crashed!

I had quite a few cars on the course and a memorable one was the 4WD with a trailer that swung between me and an oncoming rider instead of slowing and waiting a mere 10 seconds for us to pass each other.

With the massive tail wind on the way back, I was FLYING! All I could hear was my breath and the ripping sound of the disk wheel. In the cross wind section I lost all my speed and nearly decked it on few more corners, but managed to get through unscathed.

When I drove the course, I noted there was a big pothole on the last corner and we'd swing into a head wind so it was going to be a dangerous corner. Again there were two more cars coming through the intersection so I slowed down and it allowed me to take the last corner really slow. Later I heard other riders were caught out and crashed or misjudged that last corner!

I finished the last section and was going to roll up the road to cool down but was nearly swept off the bike again so I cooled down on the trainer away from the wind.

It was so great after I'd packed up to chat to the 2014 SKCC development squad ladies and remember back to 2011 when I was in their shoes, but back on that day the weather was not so bad!

The final results showed I had won the WMAS123 and to my astonishment, was also the fastest female SKCC member.

Women Masters 123 podium

I skimmed through the results and it seemed that I had ridden the best time for a SKCC female member, and to top it off Shane had topped the men's list and we had dual podium and club champs.

Sharing the top step

Gaelene from SKCC confirmed the results and we took a couple of podium shots. The real presentation will be later in the year, but for now I'm chuffed to SKCC Club TT Champion for 2014!

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