Tuesday, October 29, 2013

State Team Time Trial

I love this race.  It is so different to anything else you do on the road.   Often road is focused on who can make the best short lived allies but inevitably it comes down to everyone for themselves when the white line approaches.   Its a dynamic I struggle with.

The TTT is different.  It is about understanding the best machine that can be made out of the requisite team parts - and making the best effort you can with the riders you have bought together.  I enjoy it.

working together is the path to success - and doing it well take practice!

This year at the last minute I jumped into a team organized by fellow HPRWer Mel Symon.  I love Mel.  Her attitude to racing is top notch.  When everyone starts looking at each other in the bunch Mel will go - more often than not with parting words like 'Stuff it I'll go. I am not scared".... See what I mean?

Mel gathered together a good bunch, with Dyane Hannan and Donna Fyfe rounding out the four.  We managed one group practice before Donna got ill just days out from the race with tonsillitis.  Emma Moloney thankfully stepped in at the last minute allowing us to still race with four.

warming up with a red bull 
On race day we realized we had some tough competition from the GC Cats girls - so much experience with Helen, Sharon and Laurelea.  Race was on!

As we lined up in the midday sun it was hot - well over 30'.  Everyone went into their own quiet space thinking about whatever they think about on the start line.  For me I just breathe and say the count down.  I try not to think about anything other than the process of starting smoothly and not crashing on TT bars in close quarters.

We headed out and I followed Mels instruction to lead us out.  Not having practiced together it was difficult to know how our pacing would be relative to each other so we'd have to work it out on the road!


TTTs are hard on your pride.  Some days you grovel at the back and have to miss turns for the greater speed of the group.  Some days you get to ride at the front and provide strength for others - all the while watching their measure of suffering.

Mel realized in the first half the pace was slowing too much for her so called herself off and sent us up the road.  I noted when the Gold Coast girls passed us and counted the time to the turn around.  Off 6 minutes ahead - we needed about 3 mins to hit the turn and be on par.  It was almost that to the second - we were still in this.

Well - all I can say is I am very impressed with Dyane and Emma.  They definitely gave everything they had.  I couldn't have asked for more.  Dyane had just come back from a couple of weeks overseas holidaying in irish pubs and it is was her day to feel the pinch.  Emma seemed to get stronger on the way back and rolled great turns.  In reality we were messy and all over the road - but then we had never ridden together before race day. We didn't talk anywhere near enough - it is impossible to talk too MUCH in one of these things (why is this making me think of Sharyn Smith :) ) - and hearing with a TT helmet on is a black art! I constantly rode off the front like a horrible team mate and proceeded to get angrier and angrier with myself for letting the girls down... which unfortunately makes me ride faster!  We got the calls sorted in the second half and did this less.  This is where some practice time would have come in handy!   Still the point is to make the most of what you got and we did that.

Dyane completely buried herself, Emma was a beast, and Mel made a tough decision for our overall good - and while the gold coast girls ended up quicker - I couldn't be more pleased with being part of the silver team.  It should be noted Mel rode a massive ITT to finish solo just minutes behind us. Thanks ladies!




Liz N said...

Hi Rach,
I really love reading about your cycling adventures. I have done a few rides with Mel and she seems very strong on the bike.

liz :)

PS - one day we shall meet :)

rachel edwards said...

Thanks Liz! Maybe one day I should post a ride for anyone who reads the blog! we can go for a roll and coffee and talk bikes in person! :D