Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Going in to Battle!

Battle on the Border appears to be the QLD version of the Tour of Bright. A QLD long weekend with grades A-C for Men, Masters and Women, plus some juniors racing! 500 competitors over all the grades, but no mountains to ride up, some lovely warm weather and a location next to the beach. Sounds pretty great to me!
The depleted team!

The Pro sign on board..
We went in to Battle already outnumbered. 2 team mates had been detained by their places of employment, and a 3rd was recovering from injuries sustained in the previous NRS fight. We tried to call in reinforcements, however several girls made the decision not to come which they would later regret when they saw all the photo’s of most of the peloton enjoying their recovery time at the beach.

Day 1 was a 7.2k TT in the morning. I’d decided not to take the TT bike because it’s a major hassle to fly with, and then couldn’t find my clip on bars before I left. Oh well! Carly and I both posted solid mid field rides about 1m20 down on the super TTer Beck Wiasak of Suzuki.
Putting the feet up between stages on Day 1. Probably Instagramming the sh*t out of it...
 A couple of hours later and we were kitted up again on the start line of the 98km road stage. This race had a couple of steep climbs, some rolling hills, and a lot of bumpy water damaged road! Almost 70 girls in the bunch, with the usual first day jitters, plus the fact that the lead Police vehicle didn’t know how to control traffic, resulting in cars on the other side of the road hurtling at us at 80kph, it made for a stressful race. I thought I’d made it through safely until just over 10k to go where someone went skittling sideways in front of me, and I was on the deck. Chain back on the bike and a quick chase through the convoy and I was thankfully back safely at the front of the bunch. Ruth Corset, super mum, ex National Champ, having only just retired from the Euro Peloton, attacked up the climb on the 2nd lap of the course and solo’d away from everyone and took the win comfortably by a minute. I finished in the main bunch, thankful to have most of my skin still intact.

Hot weather, hot racing!

Day 2 and more sunshine, today’s stage was another loop – 85k and 2 goes up the QOM of the day. Not steep or long enough to split the bunch unfortunately – which 12 months ago is not something I ever thought I would say! – but long enough to cause a fair bit of pain. At the start of the 2nd lap I was caught napping at the back of the bunch again, and missed the move of the day. Steph Ives, along with Zoe Watters & Narelle Hards managed to get away from the bunch and were never seen again until the finishing straight! After the 2nd time over the QOM I tried to get across, and whilst I could see them up ahead, the gap was too far and the bunch too intent on not letting anyone else away. Another bunch finish…
Vollies from the local TAFE gave us free post-race Massages! Pro!

The great thing was, our race was over by lunch time, this meant that we got to spend the afternoon recovering at the beach and eating Gelati from the local ice cream store in Kingscliff! I could get used to that kind of lifestyle…

My kind of recovery...
3rd and Final Day was a technical 1.1km Crit circuit. I was excited. Traditional crits don’t suit me as I’m clearly not a sprinter, but the fast technical ones are becoming a favourite of mine. The goal was to stay safe up near the front of the bunch and have a crack if the legs were there nearer to the end of the race. Well I did, and they were there, but nothing was getting away from the Pensar Hawk team. VIS superstars Chloe and Lisa were super active throughout the race, trying to get a break established, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Ruth showed how amazing she was by basically controlling the whole race herself, marking all of Chloe’s attacks, and then in the end leading out the last 2 laps and still winning the bunch kick when it was apparent her sprinter wasn’t able to come around! I managed to get around some dropped wheels and fight my way back to the leaders and finish off the tour with a top 10 on the stage.

Whilst I would have liked to have gone better, overall I’m ok with how the tour went. How could you be unhappy with weather like we experienced?!

Special thanks to Nadine Le Mescam and Ryan Moody for the photo's. And to Nadine for helping both Carly and I out during the racing. Made life much easier.. And those Banoffee TORQ gels.... Rocket Fuel!

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