Sunday, 22 May 2011

3x TT Weekend. May 21st/22nd 2011

Three time trials, 64kms, in 23 hours. Wasn't as bad as it sounds, it was a blast. Last weekend 2xTT was good prep. I was hoping for a weekend where I could write up the events, no stories to tell, just racing and results. Hope was lost when lining up for the Northern Combine ITT registration. 15 people or so in the line, I noticed a hunstman spider looking half dead on the path we were standing on. "oh, spider...." side step *crunch*. Problem solved! I didn't want the little bastard crawling up my leg. Before I'd even scraped said spider off my foot, Jodie Bachelor (Cycling-Inform) lets out "SHANE! I was saving it!!!!" in a very-familiar-to-me nasty school teacher tone. Hmmmm. Well, not much I could do except shrug and let out "Kill or be killed!".... not helping the situation, but unless the thing was on a leash with a ball in its mouth - it wasn't a pet, it was public enemy #1.

Northern Combine ITT Championships 2011 - Balliang. 24km. May 21st 2011.

The Combine had previously played the hokie pokie with the MMAS1 category for the past few years, it was in, it was out, it was... whatever... I have an Elite license so can nominate either Masters or Elite for events. I nominated to race Elite this year. 19 on the Elite start list, 14 showed up. Perfect weather, low 20's, sunny, and a ripping northerly wind. The two riders I was watching were Nick Bensley (Sole Devotion) and Jake Sutherland (Total Rush). Bensely taking a 3rd at the recent Oceana TT champs in Shepparton, and 1st in the B Grade TT at the Canberra Tour. And Sutherland was last years winner, and always on form and up for a strong TT. There were a few other younger 'next generation' riders that have raced track for a few years and are capable of some quick times on the road too.

Being off last I was hearing all about the head wind on the way out and the super-fast return trip home from riders who were rolling in. They were right, it was a nasty headwind. The open road meant it wasn't too blustery, so it was head down and just crank into it. 12km out, 12km back, with the return trip being a lot faster. At about 8km I had a rider up the road that I was pegging back. I couldn't tell who it was until I was only a few seconds off their wheel at the turn, it was my minute man, Sutherland. Getting within striking distance at the turnaround was a good indication I was going well. I ripped out of the corner and had to back it off a little for the spin session home. 53/11 most of the way back. I sat 20-30m from Sutherland for a few kms and lifting again to pass him as we caught a few more riders. The road soon twisted to the right and became a little more tricky in the wind. One rider level pegging me for a few hundred meters, I was happy to have someone next to me, it was a good motivator to crank even harder.... but they were soon drifting backwards. 5kms to go, crank crank crank, wheels screaming at 55-60km/h at this point. Right turn and 400m to the line. 100m before I hit the line two oncoming cars swerve onto my side of the road. I became traffic director, with my hands and mouth as I crossed the line. "Caution Cyclists" signs up, people everywhere, oncoming rider, who drives into them? Top effort that. Finishing a TT is always a bit of chaos and agro at the best of times. Throw in some blind car drivers and it's all fun and games.

31:46 on the SRM. I rolled back to the line to check the times, David Morgan told me not to believe my own timing, as the official time was the only one they care about. He had a laugh then pointed to the 31:46 on the finishing sheet. Nice work! Spot on. Presentations were a little confusing as it included the handicap results (nominate your time pre-race, see if you can match it). I'd done enough to claim the fastest time of the day, and most importantly the Elite TT title, Bensley 2nd +51sec, Sutherland 3rd +1:20.

1  Shane MILLER      Hawthorn    31:46.22
2  Nick BENSLEY      St Kilda    32:37.51
3  Jacob SUTHERLAND  Brunswick   33:06.90
4  Luca GIACOMIN     Brunswick   33:19.67
5  Dean SANFILIPPO   Brunswick   34:09.33
6  Shaun O'CALLAGHAN Brunswick   34:44.30
7  Mitch COOPER      Brunswick   35:17.64
8  Thomas DAPCICH    Brunswick   35:34.73
9  James BUTLER      Sunbury     36:38.30
10  Stephen LANE     St Kilda    37:08.81
Full Results HERE

Cycling Victoria - Yarra Boulevard TT. 20km. May 22nd 2011

This is an Open event and is part of the Masters ITT series. A seriously high level field on the start list. National Road Series teams, Drapac, Genesis, VIS, Search2Retain all represented. It'd be an interesting test to see where I was against pro riders, and the next-gen riders stepping up through the ranks. With dry roads and the northerly wind making the course fast, I expected sub 30 minute times from Darren Lapthorne (Drapac, 2006 National Road champ), Alex Morgan (VIS), and Steele van Hoff (Genesis).

Not much to report about the event itself. I hit the first turn at 5km 15 seconds faster than what I was aiming for. First lap 14:30. I could see I was up on both Lapthorne and Stuart Grimsey (both Drapac), and Masters Series rival, John Cain (TFM-Celtic). The others I didn't see to take note of the passing spot on the out and back course. Suffered like mad on the final climb, but that is always the case at Kew! 3rd for me, at an A Grade Open level event - has to be up there for one of my best results on the bike. Being 1st Masters rider gave me full points for Round #1 of that series too.

A Grade
 1    6 MORGAN, Alexander      29:26.97     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 2   12 VON, Steele            29:38.91     Chelsea & Peninsula C C
 3   98 MILLER, Shane          29:41.23     Hawthorn CC
 4    5 WATSON, Calvin         30:13.88     Carnegie Caulfield CC
 5   14 LEAPER, Tom            30:28.23     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 6    8 DOVE, Liam             30:33.07     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 7   10 WHITE, Timothy         30:48.03     Hawthorn CC
 8   16 GRIMSEY, Stuart        30:48.91     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 9   15 LAPTHORNE, Darren      31:12.97     Coburg Cycling Club Inc
10    9 CUMMINGS, Jack         31:13.29     Carnegie Caulfield CC
Full list published on Blackburn CC website: HERE

Serious race face. Comes before pain face.
Taped up bike. No more free ride advertising that brand....

Blackburn CC - Yarra Boulevard TT. 20km. May 22nd 2011

I'm still not sure why they run a second event, for 1/2 as much entry fee.... but 30 minutes after the CyclingVictoria TT a few of us lined up again for another 20km. There were a few riders in the mix who didn't do the first one, bringing fresh legs, they'd be the riders to watch. There were about 20 entries in A Grade and the start line was a little hectic. I was soon on my way, same plan of attack as before, just backing off a little as the legs were toasted. 5km turn around at 7:30. First lap 15 mins flat. Then the final lap was done with whatever was left. Power was 20W down from the first TT, but if it wasn't I'd be thinking I didn't go hard enough for that. I didn't crack under 30mins this time around, but a 30:17 was enough for the A Grade win and $50 envelope!

A Grade
 1  103 MILLER, Shane          30:17.60     Hawthorn CC
 2  102 LEAPER, Tom            31:32.13     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 3  109 PARLEVLIET, Cameron    32:32.54     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 4  108 COUSINS, Stephen       32:42.10     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 5  101 MORGAN, Alex           32:44.88     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 6  105 LAMA, Martin           32:47.91     Blackburn Cycling Club Inc
 7  185 BOWMAN, Vaughan        33:08.67     Carnegie Caulfield CC
 8  115 BOYDELL, Clement       33:20.85     Carnegie Caulfield CC
 9  113 KLAJNBLAT, Jake        33:34.29     Carnegie Caulfield CC
10  116 JOHNSON, Shannon       33:55.60     Preston Cycling Club Inc
Full list published on Blackburn CC website: HERE

Lunch money.... But I was only $20 up after $60 in entry fees

Leanne Cole has a ton of pics up on her site from both events. One of me here:

And Jarrod at has a few up too:

Five TTs in the past 8 days. Four wins, one 3rd. A nice swag of results that I'm happy with. The 3rd at Open Elite level is on par with, if not better, than a club level win. Next weekend it's back to the road bike for the Metro Road Championships. I'm not sure of the history behind country/metro and why they're split. I'm no city kid, but Hawthorn CC is 'metro' so I'll ride that, oh, and it's held 2hrs away in the country. Confusing much? Yes.

Random Visual.

I had my spies keeping a close eye on my Masters competition. We gathered a number of shots of big John Cain. We found something! It looks like he has been practicing his aero facial expression all summer. Here are five different shots of JC at the start line...... with his new 'aero expression' locked into place.

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