Friday, 10 June 2011

Northern Combine 3 Day Tour 2011 - Day 0

Team S. S. Minnow.
Hopefully I'll be in a position to report on the daily action from A Grade. Team Kosdown have a great line up this year, a few of us have the form to aim for a podium spot.... and after our win at the "Hell of the West" one day classic, we'll be closely watched by the other teams/riders. Snagging the win at the HoW has taken some pressure off me coming into the 3DT, no questions about form, it was enough to win last weekend, so should be good enough to mix it with the top hitters this weekend. If not, I'll switch to work-horse mode and go for a gallop in the TT.

There's a fair amount of luck involved in a four stage, three day race. And I may need it after the saddle at the Metros and rear spoke at the HoW..... There is a follow car with spares, but as a GC contender there isn't much hope of getting back on post a wheel change. This isn't the ProTour, and I'd expect the challengers to hit the front and hammer it if any contenders are sidelined. Anyone not considered a GC threat can slip up the road and gain a few seconds on the bunch too. Back in 2009 a 52 second lead by two riders on Stage 1 was enough to secure them both podium places. A rider who missed his TT start also soloed away for a 5min stage win in Stage 3 as well, with no impact on overall GC. Two examples of how a tour is a lot different to a one day race. Time bonuses down to 5th place means any bunch sprints on 1/2 roads will be dangerous as hell.

Stage 1 is around the well worn Lancefield loop tomorrow, hopefully something interesting will unfold. We're ready for anything and our plans could change in a second depending on how things end up. My main aim is to stay out of trouble, grab any opportunity that pops up, but my focus early on will be Stage 2, the Time Trial. 6kms isn't an ideal distance for a time trial, it will be over in a few minutes. I know what power I can hold over that distance, so the plan is simply to peg that number and fight it all the way. No tactics, equipment is sorted, position is sorted, no stress, just watch the Watts on the SRM. This will be my 14th time trial for the year, not including track pursuits, so the prep is automatic. (TTs #15 and #16 are in Geelong next weekend).

Carbo loading is done, blerk, after a quick 45mins on the Richmond boulevard on the TT bike.... where I had another encounter of the wheel-sucking kind. 1km from finishing my last interval Mr High-Helmet-BMC spots me approaching, but doesn't swing over to the left to let me pass. He swings wide, right in front of me, then gets out of the saddle to latch onto my wheel as I swerve to the wrong side of the road to pass him, or more accurately, to avoid hitting him. I'm not a rolling TAB, I've no idea why I attract so many rolling punters. Thanks for the motivation to crank that final section buddy!

3 Day Tour Info Links:

Official Website:
Official Program: 3-Day-Tour-Tour-Program-2011.pdf  (that isn't on the official website..........)
Somewhat Official Facebook Northern Combine Group: Facebook

I'll try tweet out anything of note, results, etc, if/when I can. But for now...... Let's race!

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