Sunday, 13 November 2011

2011 Hanover ConnectEast Ride for Home (75km TTT with Team VIS)

After a busy season of time trials I jumped at the chance to join Team VIS for the 75km Team Time Trial on EastLink. Alex Morgan was recruited as their Youth Ambassador so we had to bring good legs on the day to see if we could help him (and the team) get up for the win. With a maximum of 10 riders allowed, we only had the minimum - a team of 6. This meant we had to stick together for the full 75km. A last minute change saw Mitch Barry thrown into the deep end with us replacing Nick Aitken in the line up.

As Alex was an event ambassador, we had our own VIP area, and met the event organisers and sponsors. They were all full of smiles at how smooth the event was running (perfect weather too!) and they wanted to know a little more about our riding. 

Team VIS: Alex Morgan, Liam Dove, Eric Sheppard, Jonathan Lovelock, Shane Miller, and Mitch Barry.

The benchmark time was 1:45:32, set last year by Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part, who were starting behind us on the start line today. The team I had my eye on was the Giant-Celtic boys, their team time trialling is second to none... but today we were hoping it would be second to us. We were all surprised to learn we'd be up against 42 other teams! 

At around 6:35am we were the 9th team off. No warm up, that's what the first few kms are for. No team plan, no team order, we rolled out and stuck in the same formation for most of the ride. Our turn lengths varied depending on what form we were in, and kept that way through to 15km to go where Alex Morgan showed us why he has a set of world champion stripes. My position in our group was on Alex's wheel, I wish I could say I had an arm-chair ride watching him rip his turns, but it was anything but! The kid slices through the wind like it isn't there and I was having to crank out the watts just to hold his wheel. 

Into the tunnels we blasted down at 80km/h each way then suffered up the two climbs. At 2km to go we could see the chasing Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part team coming out of the first tunnel. The time gap to us wasn't huge, or something we could calculate after 73kms of riding flat out, so we went all-out to the line, leaving nothing to chance. 

1:36:46. 46.5km/h for the 75kms. The first hour was the fastest, just under 49km/h. We knocked around 9 minutes off the course record. 1st place. We soon all lined up on the podium and were interviewed by Monty and Crowie. Monty picked me out from the bunch as I had the least hair, and made sure the crowd of onlookers knew I was about twice the age of my team mates. Cheers Monty. :)

Simon Gerrans presented our medals and said to me "Must be that TT position mate", which cracked me up after crossing paths with him on Beach Rd the other day and me Tweeting about it

Top 5 Teams:
1. Victorian Institute of Sport    1h36'46''
2. Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part  1h37'46''
3. Giant-Celtic/CCCC               1h37'47''
4. Elwood Canal Peloton            1h47'52''
5. PwC                             1h50'12''

The TTT event on the empty freeway is an absolute must-do. Being part of the VIS team for the day and bringing home the win for them, was pretty cool. Maybe I can convince them to start a high performance Masters program?

Channel 9 were there, but their coverage of the event was only a few seconds on the news. The Age will have a lift-out on Tuesday that might have some happy snaps, for now you'll have to make do with mine....

How long was your...... warm up Jono?

Morgz likes his water.... wet!

The real voice of cycling - Keeno

Keeno and Geero

Malvern Star.... don't sponsor me so I won't say "Cool pic!".. 
Team VIS roll out

Panorama. Bike-o-rama!

1 comment:

hptech said...

did you get a day pass or did you have an eTag?