I've been up to quite a few Bright training weekends with different groups, so I've come to expect most of them to be similar. Turns out I've been spoiled in the past.... Luckily I had a few others to ride with, the Garmin 800, PowerTap, and iPhone pumping tunes for company most of our rides.
Day 1 - Mt Buffalo. Rain, sun, fog, rain. Then a few laps of the TT course in the evening. Perfect!
|Mt Buffalo. 1337m above sea level. leet!|
Day 2 - We headed towards Falls, raced up Tawonga, got rained out at Bogong, turned back. Lunch in Mt Beauty and we were joined by the original mad-man himself, JayWoo, who rode with us back over Tawonga to Bright, on his fixie! Forever mad.
|Ice coffee done right!|
Day 3 - Rosewhite loop. No walk in the park as a few of the SKCC girls got on the front and drove the pace to Ovens. We passed a guy in Bike Hub kit who joined us. Turns out it was Wes, the owner of West End Bike Hub in Wangaratta. He knew who I was, as he also did the Wang CC 36km TT in early September. I picked his brain about the bike industry as he rode with us through to Mt Beauty/Tawonga gap turn off.
Alpine CC hold summer time trials on the Wandiligong course, the same as ToB stage 2. I thought it might be a bit over overkill bringing my TT bike, disc, and skinsuit. Was I bringing a gun to a knife fight? I'd put the word out on Twitter the week prior and it ended up being a solid turn out! Tully Lyster (State MMAS2 ITT champ), Ash Baines (Still in fine form from racing in Belgium) , James Boal (Search2Retain), the TFM-Celtic boys on their bling'ed up TT rigs, my Kosdown teammate Stephen Lane, and a handful of locals. Lucky I packed most of my go-fast bits! After 110kms in the hills in the morning, this TT turned into a perfect all-out Tour of Bright simulation!
|Stephen Lane - Brought a Shiv to the knife fight......|
|Hold that dog... right... there.... thanks.|
An open country road for the TT meant I had to dodge a tractor, a dog, and coming into the home straight I had to overtake a ute... at the exact same spot I encountered one in the 2008 ToB TT. I think that guy sits there in his car giving riders lead-outs to the line.... next time step on it Pop! The course was around 100m more than the official course, so the Strava segment time is a little quicker. Happy to go under 21 minutes, come race day and all the go-fast bits, that is the target!
Full Results: (Official results Alpine CC)
1. Shane Miller 20:57
2. Tully Lyster 21:30
3. James Boal 22:01
4. Ashley Baines 22:38
5. Gerard Donnelly 22:58
6. Boyd Friis 23:00
7. Stephen Lane 23:28
=8 Sean Wilkinson 23:42
=8 Allan Thrum 23:42
9. James Fox 24:31
10. Brendon Dean 24:32
11. Chris O'Brien 24:50
12. Laurie Lyster 25:24
13. Mark White 25:52
14. Mark McDoguall 26:27
33rd road TT for 2011, and 31st TT win for the year. The strike rate is still pretty good.
Day 4 - Hotham. Dead legs, sun shining, tunes cranking, pedal stomping. With Stephen Lane on my wheel I started out way too hard, then kept riding way too hard, all the way to the top. Tapped out a PB up there too. If I can keep that kind of form through to December I'll be happy.
The ascent was pretty good, but the descent was spectacular. I've learnt from the best by following JayWoo down a few big descents over the years, he would drop out of sight like a rock. I could never keep up with him. He knew every corner, every bump, and how to throw his bike around like it was on rails. At the time I could never match him, but with the map display on the Garmin 800 now showing the corners in pretty good detail - I'm getting close. So tunes pumping, sun shining, I chased the ghost of rides past down Hotham back into Harrietville.