Monday, 27 September 2010

2010 Australian Masters Road Time Trial Championships

Last year I studied the MMAS1 field in detail, this year, not so much.  Daniel Brickell (Budget Forklifts) #3 is the current world MMAS1 Road Race champion, and had ripped out an excellent prologue in NSW a few weeks back.  Damien Turner (Team 2XU) #2, my minute man, was a local Ballarat rider who was third overall in the National Elite Road Race in January.  Ben Johnson (Footscray) is a strong TTer.  QLD rider Lucas Nicoll had placed 4th in their Elite TT championships a few weeks ago.  I could have kept diving into the result sheets, but that really has no impact on how a TT is ridden.

During my warm up I found my TT go-to man, John Cain (TFM/Celtic), who'd demolished all MMAS4 competitors to find out what time he had posted and his speed.  John clocked over 45km/h, so the course was fast and the wind direction was kind.  You'll see my reaction to hearing John's speed in the video posted below.

I was off last, with number #1 pinned on my back.  I'd been given a talking to by one of the start officials that I needed to do that number proud.  Sure, no pressure chasing Turner who had been given a good write up in the local paper the day before.  Turner had even tee'd up a follow car.  Not sure why people have follow cars for short TTs, are wheel changes allowed?  There is no provision for this in the Masters rules that I know of.  But on the up side it gives me a larger object I can see up the road to check my time gaps.  As I was last off there was a policeman standing around waiting for them to clear off the road, I asked him if he'd be my follow car with lights and sirens, but he refused.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!  It is easier to ride a time trial then try to write a race report about the actual effort itself.  The road itself wasn't closed, just well marshaled. 2kms up the road was a T intersection with traffic lights.  There were some witches hats put on the course to separate bikes from cars, I think, I took the car line.  If the course is signed, and I've got a number on, then I'm not riding in a bike lane!  The wind wasn't quite head on so the 90mm front wheel was a little more work than the 50mm I'd run on the same section of course the week prior.  I was edging closer and closer to Turner's follow car so I knew I was gaining on him on the way out.  I was only 5 or 10 seconds off him at the halfway point, but it took a few more kms to reel him in.  I passed him just as the road kicks up at the 15km mark.  A few minutes later I successfully navigated the side road detour off the main road and kept on the outside bars for a sprint to the line.  The SRM read a touch over 46km/h! Even faster than last week and power was within 1% of what I've been cranking out, given it was a quick course, thats all I could do.

After rolling to a stop, Turner arrived behind me with his follow car.  The old boy driving winds down his window and says to me "Bloody hell, you've got a motor! You were flying!".  Turner reckoned I had the win easily, but there were a few others in the field I had to watch.  Brickell didn't time himself but his partner said I was about 15 seconds up on him on the line, so at this point I knew I'd out paced two of the main contenders.  Ben Johnson did something in the high 25's so I had at least a minute up on him.  The result sheets were soon posted up at the golf club - Von runs over and congratulates me - I'd won it.  22 seconds up on Brickell and 60 or so up on Johnson.  The official times were all listed one minute fast 23:40, not 24:40, but the time gaps between riders were correct so that's what counts for the championship. 

Back to back National MMAS1 Road TT Championships.  Job done.  I was interviewed by a reporter from the Ballarat Courier, asking me what it meant to win.  After the last few months from hospital beds to chasing TTs around the state trying to get as fast as possible before the Nationals, the win meant a hell of a lot.  The Courier went on the official time posts which states I did 50km/h, maybe next year, this year I did 46.something.  So its time to dust off the road bike and hit the hills, Tour of Bright will sneak up fast and I'm looking forward to some time up there in the big hills preparing for that race, well, the Stage 2 time trial at least. :)

MMAS1 IRTT Results (corrected):

Rank  Rider Name      Club                           Time
1  1 Shane MILLER     Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club   24:40.96
2  3 Daniel BRICKELL  Sutherland Shire CC            25:02.09
3  6 Benjamin JOHNSON Footscray Cycling Club Inc     25:48.21
4 11 Lucas NICOLL     Hamilton Pine River Wheelers   25:58.51
5  2 Damien TURNER    Ballarat/Sebastopol C C        25:59.39
6  4 Adam MURCHIE     Footscray Cycling Club Inc     26:10.42
7 10 Simon WELSH      Coburg Cycling Club Inc        27:21.46
8  7 Craig HIBBARD    Randwick Botany CC             28:05.50
9 12 Wayne GEBERT     Coburg Cycling Club Inc        28:10.01
10 9 Ben HARRIS       Parramatta CC                  29:02.30
11 8 Benjamin DOUGLAS Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club   29:07.99
12 5 Ben YOUNG        St Kilda Cycling Club Inc      33:41.15

In the race for unofficial time of the day (and the dogs breakfast of the timing results across the grades) it looks like I snagged that from Mark Fenner (MMAS3) by six seconds.  I caught up with Mark at the crit and we were both surprised that we'd put time into Peter Milostic - a legend of the discipline who smoked everyone last year in Canberra.

A big thanks to everyone who's been a part of this:

  • Blackburn CC, Geelong CC, Ballarat/Sebas CC, Wangaratta CC, Northern Combine, and Coburg CC for all holding TT events throughout the year and allowing visiting riders like me to compete.
  • Raoul Luescher from for his expertise in everything speedy.
  • My TT arch rival John Cain for consistently posting strong results and making me train harder! 
  • Andy Choy over at BikePro for a quick turn-around on my HED Stinger90 tyre swap last week.
  • Kosdown for their super slick skinsuit, proven to be really speedy!
  • Nat McColl - My physio post the crash in May.
  • The Ballarat Courier for a great almost-full-page write up! Article link. 
  • Von. Again, for everything. xxoo :)

So what's next? I'm not done yet, lets do it all again next year. I can squeeze more speed out of these legs with a few tweaks here and a new frame there.. If anyone wants to come along for the ride - let me know!

The guys over at TFM-Celtic made this video of still shots from Friday.  It captures the day in a way that I can't match with words:

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