After a magnificent breakfast and coffee at Château de Reeckman, Von and I headed into town to catch up with Wes at the local bike shop, onto Cafe Derailleur, then out to the sale yards to watch the young snappers battle it out against the clock for their state titles.
I was last off with #1 number on the bike. My pre-race warm up was as good as it gets on a freezing cold drizzly day. I hit the start line feeling good and got into a standard rhythm early on. From the 6km u-turn onwards I had to fight a little harder than normal, the rhythm was gone, the wind was up, and so was my minute man, Matt Clark. He was having a flyer! At the turn into the final 3km there was only about 10 seconds separating us against the clock. With a sold tail/crosswind to the line I buried it to the final turn to the sale yards, 200m from the line. I sat up from the TT bars, touched the brakes to get a feel of where they were, picked my line, planted my outside leg... I gave myself plenty of run-off room, almost clipping the inside witches hat marker.
Then I was weightless.
What......? Smack. I lost the front end and ate shit. Nothing pretty about it. I rolled around on the road pretty unhappy with myself for a few seconds before getting up. I wasn't going to DNF so close to the line. The marshals were soon there helping me get moving while I gathered my chain back on the big ring and scampered across the line.... surprisingly still in 3rd place only 17 seconds off 1st place Matt Clark. On the podium, in the money, and wrapping up the CV Masters TT Aggregate - celebrations on the back burner for now. I'd broken a few things and myself in the process.
A Grade Full Results:
|1||Matthew Clark||Wangaratta Cycling Club INC||25:09.2|
|2||Jason Spencer||Blackburn Cycling Club INC||25:11.9||2.758|
|3||Shane Miller||St Kilda Cycling Club INC||25:26.8||17.609|
|4||Stephen Lane||Coburg Cycling Club INC||26:02.5||53.302|
|5||Tully Lyster||Wangaratta Cycling Club INC||26:29.4||01:20.2|
|6||David Sturt||Carnegie Caulfield CC||26:31.3||01:22.2|
|7||James Timmer-Arends||Latrobe City Cycling Club||26:46.0||01:36.9|
|8||Sam Fuhrmeister||Seymour Broadford Cycling Club||26:48.0||01:38.8|
|9||Gerard Donnelly||Carnegie Caulfield CC||26:56.0||01:46.9|
|10||Harry Hanley||Carnegie Caulfield CC||26:58.0||01:48.8|
I rolled around to the car park and headed straight to the car to get warm. There was a some bark off my arm and leg, and that oh-so-common feeling in my right arm. If you've done a collarbone, you'll know what I mean. With the now-on-scene ambos unwilling to give me a green whistle, Von drove me to the Wang Hospital Emergency for x-rays. As a frequent faller in the area I was already on file. Bonus!
Ever wonder what happens when you break a collarbone with a pin in it? This:
My 4th collarbone break. With the help of a few good people we were back in Melbourne on Sunday morning. By 2pm Monday I had the referrals, specialist review, training program updated by the coach, bike dropped off at the carbon wizard, and I was kicking back on the couch watching the cycling on Eurosport. The one thing I can't fast-track is the time it takes to heal. Actually, they will if in 10 days the bone isn't healing, it'll be plated up.
I didn't just crash my bike on the weekend. I lit a fire of motivation. I am now more focused than ever with my push for the Masters Nationals TT up in NSW. With the people, support, and sponsors I'm fortunate enough to have behind me, 8 weeks is more than enough time to bounce back. Watch this space.