2015 Veterans Victorian and South Pacific Championships

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Vets Weekend Racing

I'm just getting back into a little racing. Last weekend I went to the outskirts of Bendigo to race with the Central Veterans for a nice 45km race in the warm sun. I was pretty hesitant that I would have enough fitness for B Grade men, but I was able to hang in to the final sprint and managed to come in 5th.

The next day we were in Ballarat with the family and there was a morning Criterium with Eureka Veterans racing and I joined in with the B Grade men again. The legs were a little stiff backing up the racing for the second day, but I tried to keep the pace on and even managed to attack a few times. I was not able to go with the guys in the intermediate sprint, but I was there for the final one and just missed Bob Morely who came down on the front at the last corner. I think I rolled in for 5th before going back to help Bob off the course before A Grade came through.

I had targeted the Maryborough Easter Vets Champs as a good option to get some more targeted racing and a little bit of fun.

Day 1 - Road Race 45km

With all our pre-preparation, Shane and I still made it to the start later than I would have liked. In no time at all I had changed, got on the bike and had a mini roll around to the start line. I'd heard that Slane was coaching a new lady who was going to be racing. I wanted to say Hi and introduce myself to Anna Davis and wondered how I would pick her out... turns out she was in Kosdown kit so it was pretty easy to find her!  We rolled out for the first few kms chatting and swapping notes on the coach.

Anna Davis, Nik McNamara, Von Micich. Photo: South Pacific Veterans Cycling Championships Facebook Page

With age groups combined it was always going to be a race within a race. The group strung out when the first hill came up around 15km into the course and the pace picked up and up! The rolling turns stopped and I was poorly placed to go with the leaders. Leap frogging riders from the other groups and trying to make my way steadily to the front before major gaps formed was unsuccessful. I made it up to Nicole McNamara who had just dropped off the leaders in Anna Davis and Dale Maizels.

We chased on and on for the remainder of the ride, but didn't manage to close the gap. Nicole and I worked together and I rolled across the line in 3rd. A very strong ride by the leaders and foretelling some exciting Time Trial performances to come.

Day 2 - 300m Sprint

There are some days I feel rock solid and other days I'd rather stay in bed. I had entered the 300m sprint as part of all the events of the weekend, but I was not feeling the love when I got out of bed. I had actually been practicing the sprints in the last few weeks and my technique was starting to come together pulling on the bars evenly without any pain now and getting low and aero when spinning up the engine.

My mental game was not strong and I started off too slow and finished off ok, but overall not a contender for fastest female time. Enough to set the winning time for my category, but I was pretty disappointed that it didn't come together on the day after all the practice.

Day 2 - 14.8km Time Trial

The same afternoon was the Time Trial over a pretty flat course. It was the first time I had taken the shiv TT bike out on the road since Tour of Bright. It has been seriously abused indoors on intervals and trips around Zwift Island.

First time trial in my HOT Aussie Champ TT Suit!  Photo: South Pacific Veterans Cycling Championships Facebook Page

It was great to get out and put everything together into the ride. I paced the course perfectly for what I had in the tank and current fitness. A win for my age category. Sometimes I wish you could apply those same things to every race (just apply x2 power please!). The ride of the day was not only Shane's blistering fast time, but also Anna Davis' fastest Female of the day at over 42km/h!

Day 3 - Criterium 20min + 2 laps

Such a SHORT crit on a pretty good course. All the women's grades were together again in this race and I wanted to be near Dale as we have raced closely together and know each others styles. We rolled out easy and before the first lap was completed I was in a break away with Dale and Anna.

I couldn't keep up the pace and dropped off the back of them soon to be picked up into the chasing group of Nik McNamara and Eliza Bergin. To my surprise Dale soon dropped back solo to our group and we had a group of 4 to race on with. At different points in the course we put pressure on, but it was an attack I put in 5mins from the end that snapped off the group with Dale in hot pursuit. She rolled through for a turn of pace and we rolled away with a gap to maintain it to the sprint finish. I'd won my age group, but wondered if I could give my sprint another go after the effort to get away. In the end I tried to jump when Dale went but stuffed up my gears and didn't have enough legs to keep it on to the line.

Day 3 - Recovery Ride in Ballarat

I jumped in the car and had Easter Lunch with the Micich clan in Ballarat. They had stuffed themselves over breakfast, so I got to indulge and over-eat at lunch. Jacob was itching to go for a ride and came downstairs ready to go in a hoodie, which was not going to cut it with the weather that had just rolled into town. The cold wind and threatening drizzle needed a wind-stopper jacket, so he loaned my Tinelli jacket for the afternoon's adventure.

We had a lovely lap of Lake Wendouree, up and down the lookout in town, up Dana St Hill and a lap of the crit course in Victoria Park.

Day 4 - Handicap 60km

The event was not officially part of the championship, however those in the know stay on for this little jewel. We had over 100 starters and I had 11 riders in my bunch starting 22 mins after the limit group and 17mins before Shane in the Scratch bunch.

As with most handicap races there was a lot of talk about staying together, working well as a team, not attacking each other before scratch comes through. It lasted about 15 kms and then turned into every other handicap race.

I knew that Shane would come through like a freight train and take no prisoners, so I just kept rolling turns and hoping like hell we would make it far enough up the road not to be too toasted to keep up with the general bunch that latches onto scratch.

We were caught a few kms before the left hand turn into town and there was no effort made by riders to keep left and allow the scratch bunch to pass safely.
I hung back resigned to back of the bunch and finished up a minute or two behind the mad fast riders knowing I'd had a solid ride and good day out.
Shane finished up with fastest time and Scratch KOM, so shouted Slane and I lunch before heading home. Great day out!


South Pacific Sashes for any occasion

Sash Party

Medals for the State Titles

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