Victorian Masters Time Trial and Road Race Championships

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I've got a real love for Masters age based racing. It's what got me off the side line and to pin a number on when I was out supporting Shane racing. Five years ago I remember that nobody was entering Masters 1 for women and not much had changed over the years. Last year I was the only entry and this year I tried to push and promote through my circles for ladies to come and race with me. There was some success with one other rider joining in for the TT and two others coming out for the road race.

Time Trial

Entry numbers aside (nobody is loving racing in this wintery weather),  there was still good spirits out amongst the riders and unseasonably good weather!

The time trial was held under good conditions with a heavy fog lifting in time for my start. I was allowed to wear my bootie covers to race this week and my new TT bike was ready to roll! I had been resisting an upgrade on the TT bike for some time, but with this new setup - I can't believe the difference is has made.

Shane and I have been working on body positioning, bike setup, pacing strategies and more fine details to make all the hard work on the indoor trainer feel great when out on the road. Don't get me wrong - it's all still hard work :)

Without any fan-fare, we lined up for the Time Trial and were underway along the 21.7km course. It wasn't windy, the road surface was ok except for the back part of the course that felt like cobble stones and I only had 1 car come head on at me in the final finishing straight that was single lane with no shoulder.

I was pretty happy with my time knocking off 1:03 from my personal best from the last 2 years, but knew I had paced the course wrong and could have ridden it better, setting a better time. It was enough for fastest WMAS 1 and a Gold medal.

Road Race

Back out to the same area near Lang Lang for the road race the next day and it was actually clear skies and not blowing a gale. The WMAS 1, 2 &3 were combined into one race. I had written all the turns & distances on my handlebars as it was a long and boring ride alone last year when the race blew apart.

We rode out as a group and rolled turns to the bottom of the climb where the pace picked up and a few riders started to stretch their legs. Nicole Ternel (WMAS1) set the pace initially then Sam Abbot  (WMAS3) rolled through like a steam train. I jumped on the back of her hoping to hang on a little up the main part of the climb. As she swung off the front I rolled though and kept the pace on. When I looked back we had just made a bit of a gap off the front. Sam was an energizer bunny and kept urging me on and working with me up the climb. Every winter meal and small treat felt like it was weighing me down as I climbed steadily away from the group.

As we crested the top of the range at about 21km into the 47km race, I could see we had a great gap of a minute or two. What I didn't remember was the extra climb back up before the long flat section home. Sam took off up the climb and was just within sight as I came over the top and descended. It was a long solo 15km ride back to the finish line and on a long flat road, 1 minute is a long way away. I managed the gap to the next rider that was coming up behind me to finish well.

In the end I won WMAS1 and the rider chasing was Nicole who came in second for our category and Sam won her category of  WMAS2.  Full results are available on the Southern Masters website.

Many thanks to Shane for being a super soigneur over the weekend and to Stephen Lane for the great coaching with HPTek. The pic below is from the CV Open TT at the start of the month with my new bike.

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