Monday, December 19, 2011

New Team, New Race Series, it's all very exciting!

Well the first round of the Cykelevents Women’s GP has been run and won and the newly formed Total Rush Women’s team were proud to be on the start line!

3/4 of the team with one of the new Bikes - Kelly will be back on deck for the next race!

With the forecast for the day Hot and Windy, it was always guaranteed to be a good days racing, starting with a 1.4km Prologue which then determined the grading for the afternoon Criterium. Best placed from the team was a stomping 3rd from Tanya, with both Carly and Amy finishing in the top 8 of the field, securing all of the team a start in the Div 1 crit later that day. Nicole Whitburn (LIV/Giant) proved it’s not just sprinting she’s a gun at, taking out the prologue win.

The Div 2 race was ran not long after the conclusion of the prologue, so we had the chance to recover from our all out effort and chat with some of the other girls. It made the day great fun being able to set up shop nearby to all our friends and the friendly rivalry was being bantered around!

Cheering on the Div 2 race passed the time quickly, and before we knew it, it was time for us to line up to race on the flat fast course. Only 700m in length with some not too technical corners, and a headwind up the home straight, it was always going to be a tough course to establish a breakaway on, which was demonstrated by the earlier race.

Lining up for the start of the Criterium

The team worked brilliantly together, with a pink jersey being represented in every move off the front, however the other teams were working well too, with everything being brought back together. At the 35 min mark the intermediate sprint lap was called, and the Hawthorn teams World/Aus pursuit champ Meg Marsh jumped on the front for their lead-out to keep the pace high. The sprint was taken by The Goddess of Thunder, without much contest, with Total Rush just finishing out of the points in 5th. Unfortunately there was a crash on the final corner coming in to the sprint, taking out one of the SKCC & RACE team members and neutralizing the race briefly while the peloton regrouped.

The team in action
Most aggressive for the day was definitely Karen Hill in her last race with the SKCC/Giant Women’s team, pinging off the front of the bunch multiple times & proving that not all triathletes have just one gear! In the end however it was apparent the race would be determined by a bunch sprint and after 40 laps of the course, the 3 to go was shown. The teams all started rallying and fighting for position, with Meg Marsh again taking the lead at the start of the Bell Lap and almost succeeding in splitting the peloton down the back straight with the tail wind! Sensing the dropped wheels, Amy tried to get a head start on the bunch in to the final straight, however was overtaken by the sprinters with Nicole taking out a comfortable win ahead of Kate Finegan (RACE) and Madelaine Pape (SKCC/Giant) just getting over the top of Tanya, Amy & Carly who finished 4/5/6 respectively. This puts the team in good stead for the Team Series win, bringing us in 3rd position. With a full team of 5 planned for the remaining 3 races, we should be able to improve the teams standing by the end of the series.

What's a race with a bunch of women and a camera without some shenanigans?
All up a great day out for the first race as a team. Having only picked up the new Specialized Amira Pro’s from Total Rush 24 hours before and ridden about 20km each on them prior to the race, it was a great result, and one that we plan on improving upon over the rest of the series! The bikes ride like a dream, and we all can’t wait to put in some serious km’s on them over the coming summer months.

First race winner, and series leader - Nicole "The Goddess of Thunder" Whitburn (LIV/Giant)

The next race in the series is the 29th January at Casey Fields, hosted by the Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club, I hope to see you there – racing of course!

For my results and info go to -

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things don't always go to plan.

So this weekend just gone was the annual trek to the Victorian High Country for the Tour of Bright.

The car was packed -
 The (very cool) numbers were picked up and pinned on -

The bike's were all dressed and ready to rumble -

And then I woke up on Race Morning and the illness I'd been trying to hold off all week had completely taken hold.

It's fair to say that I was miserable. I'd been looking forward to racing for weeks, and to end up barely able to roll up to the start of the race to see the girls off was devastating.
I ended up spending the weekend trying not to pass on my germs, and helping out those that were still racing. Along with trying to sleep as much as possible to get better.

It's now almost a week later, and I'm still sick. I've hardly ridden my bike and I'm just trying to stay positive with only 4 weeks left until Nationals.. Fingers crossed I get better soon!