Monday, October 8, 2012

September Racing!

Whilst I'm not really focusing on racing at the moment and am mostly just doing some base training, I’ve done a few races since getting back on the bike, all of which were extremely supportive of women’s racing and deserve a shout-out!

St Kilda CC Road Champs.

I wasn’t going to race. For starters I’d promised myself that I wasn’t going to jump straight back in to racing everything and anything, and was going to enjoy some base training properly. 2nd, I was in my 2nd week back in to training, so I thought I’d get my butt kicked and that it’d be a pointless day. But after some convincing I agreed to go, because it was club/world champs afterall, and it turned out to be a good solid day on the bike. I managed to get in the break and then went on to do a 60k 2 up TT with Lucy from Holden whilst her team mate Miranda was up the road solo. Lucy then broke me after a few attacks, and I solo’d in the last 15k and held off the rest to claim 3rd.


Amy’s Gran Fondo

Whilst this is a Gran Fondo, there’s also an element of racing involved with Prize Money up for grabs for first 3 in each age category. Being in the Under 30’s category, there was some tough competition with not only Lucy who’d kicked my butt last week, but several AIS/VIS/SASI riders. As we were all set off in different waves and therefore had no idea how the other girls were going, I figured I’d just take the day as it came, and if I felt bad I’d just enjoy the lovely ride. The intensity hurt, and I was definitely lacking in the top end, but I was travelling ok so pushed it all the way to the end. I managed to get in a good group by the top of the climb, with Nic Whitburn & her super domestique Conan, as well as Rob Crowe and a fair few strong riders. I grovelled along clinging to the bunch until we reached the final climb of the day and just rode up as hard as my very close to cramping legs would let me. Turns out I just did enough to come in 3rd in my AG which I was stoked with!

I highly recommend the Gran Fondo if you’ve never done it. It was amazing getting to ride along the Great Ocean Road with no traffic and 4,000 of your closest friends. The climbs and scenery are spectacular, and I can’t wait to go back again next year.. Hopefully a little fitter though!

Damian Mcdonald Memorial

The Damian McDonald Memorial is held in Eildon and ran by the Blackburn Cycling Club. This year they have been extremely supportive of women’s racing by offering 2 grades and very generous prize money, so it’s unfortunate that the weekend clashed with another women’s race held on the other side of the state the previous day. If not for that I envisage there would have been many more starters!

Women’s A set off with the Men’s C Grade bunch, in total there might have been about 20 or so of us. The skies were threatening to open up, but thankfully we stayed dry and the worst we had to contend with was the rather strong wind. Things were fairly neutral the first lap of the lake, and it wasn’t until we hit the ‘Skyline’ climb that things heated up. It didn’t help that I thought the climb came about 10k later in the race and so wasn’t really prepared for when a couple of the whippet U17 riders in our bunch lit things up straight away. Confirming we were in fact on the climb, I grabbed their wheel and clung for dear life. The first 1.5k of the climb averaged almost 9%, and then eased off slightly for another k or so, then there was a flat section where I was hoping for some recovery, but as our group of 7 was keen to keep the rest of the bunch at bay the pace was on. The last 2.5k was again a solid gradient, and though I was really starting to feel the lack of real hard racing in my legs, I managed to stick with them over the top. Our group then worked nicely together for the last 40k, with only 1 guy sitting out turns.

As I had the women’s win stitched up, I led out the sprint into the final corner and watched the guys battle it out. The juniors took the podium places after some very strong riding all day.

A big thank you to Blackburn and all of the sponsors of the race, hopefully we can get a much bigger field of women next year!