A breakthrough TT. I tried something different and it worked. I clocked a 25:38. 1st place by a few minutes, I knocked 2 minutes off the club record, and only 16 seconds off David Pell's Open TT record on the course in 2010. A world away from my previous times on this course.
I've decided to go over to South Australia later this week for the SA State Masters TT Championships after all, so I'm keen to do exactly what I did at Newstead. If I can hold those numbers in that race, and through to the Masters Nationals I'll be going well. The plan is to lift a little more with the next six weeks of training, and chasing a few more one-percenters with equipment. For every check-box ticked chasing more speed there are two more added to my list. It is getting all very focused, serious, and expensive. But I'm still having a hell of a lot of fun maximising my performance potential (to borrow a term of someone who's helping me get there).
I wrote about Southern Vets allowing MMAS1 riders to compete the other week, so Sunday it was time to put the welcome mat to the test. Perfect weather for a 78km road race around a 8km circuit at Somers (on the coast, it is the mainland opposite Phillip Island). I had no idea what kind of racing to expect, or the numbers in each grade. Turns out SVCC are very popular! I'm not sure of the exact numbers but there would have been 30-40 riders in each grade (A-F). No problems with my rego, straight to A Grade and no issues with my Elite CA license.
Neutral to the first corner onto the circuit, a right turn, where I took a look back and saw a larger bunch than I expected in A Grade, then more easy tapping for a few minutes. Of the 40 or so in A Grade I'd only seen two riders I knew. Hopefully this meant nobody knew who I was either.... so at 5mins I took off. The bunch let me go before a solo bridge across to me by #25 in Hampton Cycles kit. The two of us swung turns and kept an eye on what the bunch wanted to do. Still 72kms from the finish, it would have been a long day, but anything is possible so I kept cranking. #25 soon dropped back and told me to go solo. Still waaaaaay too early I told him to just sit on and I'd ride. Less than 1/2 a lap later he'd recovered and started rolling turns. The bunch was hovering 300-400m back, never letting us get too far away.
At the 26km mark the bunch had reeled us in. Most of them still rolling through turns at the front even after the catch was made. After getting chased down I wasn't going to contribute to the work, I wanted an easy sit for a while! Over the next few minutes there were a number of attacks, all went nowhere as they were quickly shut down. Legs hurting now after the break and marking moves, the rest of them had to be hurting too? So I attacked. This time a small group made it across from the main bunch. Rolling turns at this point is vital for the move to stick, and when a few riders didn't pull through after two of us had just ripped our turns on the front, I wasn't happy. I didn't know who they were, or what they were doing, I didn't even look back, all I knew is that there were a few not pulling through and trying to make break stick. My vocal frustration was soon met with protest about MMAS1, first race, etc. I was expecting it, so no surprises there. While difficult to debate at high speed, there were a few words thrown, lessons learned, and apologies given. We were soon down to five and rolling turns escaping the main bunch.
The five of us cranked out the remaining 44kms, getting out of sight of the bunch for the last few laps. At 2kms to go I jumped from the break a few 100m from the top corner. I had a good gap by the corner and ripped into the final 1km which had a slight tail wind making it a quick run to the line. At 250m I was able to sit up and take in the win, my first scratch race in a few months, my first race with SVCC. The guys in the break battled it out to the line a few seconds later. I owe them all a coffee or two for their work!
After the race there were drinks, beers, and plenty of happy people standing around enjoying the sunshine. The whole show lived up to the standards everyone talks about with SVCC. I've asked SVCC for more information about Len Laycock too, I'll post it up on here. After winning his race I want to know about his cycling career.
A Grade Results:
1. Shane Miller
2. Stuart Cameron
3. Mark Thompson
Lab Rat Update
Two familiarisation sessions done, tomorrow we get into the final (real) four 1hr TTs. I don't mind an indoor session, but not having my precious numbers to stare at is hell.
|Rule #1. Be Aero. Always. Shannon Johnson and I at RMIT.|