Sunday, 1 July 2012

Powering Pedals to Prime Podium Position at Paraparap (CV Open IRTT June 30th 2012)

Presented with a pretty painful 28km parcours and with the threat of possible precipitation, Shane Miller (Kosdown) prevailed this past Saturday at Paraparap, peddling into top place in a packed field of participants. Waking on Saturday morning with signs of potential pig flu didn't prevent the perpetual time trialist pulling out a proficient performance. After proceedings, at presentations Miller was quoted saying, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.", leaving people perplexed.

ok, I give up... I was going to Dr Seuss the whole race report with 'p' words but it was promptly pushing me to psychosis... so no more 'p' words. Promise. Penis.

58 entries, 10 or more than last year at the same event in similar conditions. Cold. Windy. Winter. After acquiring a head flu from my lovely nephews I was contemplating a DNS and staying home.... but it was only 40 minutes of head-down-bum-up.... after a coffee or two I would be right(ish) to go. I decided to let the numbers on the Garmin tell me how I was going, they never lie.

I've raced this TT about five or six times before but still did a quick recon in the car before the race. Crosswinds, sweeping corners, some bumps to avoid. Same as last time. Always good to go over the key sections though. Back to the start line and to my now familiar 'set up and warm up away from everyone else' routine. Time ticks away twice as quick before a TT. Getting tied up chatting to everyone means no time to warm up and get everything ready. Give me sounds of croaking frogs over hearing someone inflating their disc wheel to 160 PSI for a road event.... There is a lot less stress when your equipment is set out ready to use, nailing a warm-up plan, and just rolling to the start line with a few minutes to spare.

Away from everybody!
(this was actually the cool down and me getting out of the rain)

Warm up... Nose plugs were Vicks soaked cotton wool to stop the nose-flow.....
(Yes I did remember to remove them, unlike a Chris Froome at the TDF last night, hah!)
The only shots I have of the event were from Stephen "Banana Man" Lane, who was juggling warming up and taking random shots with his new camera. I'll include others if they surface elsewhere.

#1 ranked rider, Blake Hose (Genesys) was a DNS so as #2 I was the final rider to start. #3 David 'Quadzilla' Kelly (Total Rush) was my minute man and undoubtedly the rider to watch. The start line is at a give-way intersection meaning your actual start time contains some element of luck... The luck of having no cars to give way to when the clock starts. "5-4-3-2-1......wait... wait... ok, now go". I was held two seconds longer for two cars. I asked the starters if I'd get my two seconds back at the end. This was agreed to as I rolled off into the headwind.

I didn't look up the road until about 10kms in. The Garmin was telling me all I needed to know, also what I didn't want to know, about 4% down... not good but still enough to keep cranking along. I could just see Quadzilla Kelly in the distance as we were enjoying a catch-and-release session with a few riders out to the turn around at 16km. Targeting other riders, getting around them safely, and keeping in front of them is a mind-game that breaks up the effort on an otherwise long lifeless road. I had gained 10 seconds on Kelly at the turn (12 seconds taking into account my start line discount). In the 12km back to the finish I could see I'd doubled that advantage, I just hoped my calculations were right.

Not my best ride, lucky the best I could do was good enough. Win by ~25 seconds (carry the 2!) over Quadzilla Kelly. In the mix Nick Squillari (South Coast Cycling) used all his local knowledge to keep the rubber side down this weekend coming in for 3rd place. John Cain (Giant Celtic) stomping home only a few seconds shy of a top 3 spot.

A Grade Open Men Top 10:
1  Shane MILLER        37:54.742
2  David KELLY         +0:22.902
3  Nicholas SQUILLARI  +1:35.131
4  John CAIN           +1:38.199
5  Stephen LANE        +2:27.059
6  James HENRY         +3:34.519
7  Gerard DONNELLY     +3:41.141
8  Luke KNOX           +5:28.912
9  Matthew JONES       +6:03.373
10 Mark FACEY          +6:03.458

Full Results

A minor shuffling of times from the initial raw electronic results was required for the final results to be correct. Times all had to be discounted 1 minute to get the final results, a small admin issue that was no drama..... However my already adjusted time of 37:52 became 37:54, I missed out on my two seconds in the bulk-adjustment...... lucky it wasn't a decider! Splitting hairs, sure, but this is what electronic timing should eliminate or correctly account for. I did a double take when signing for my prize money, $200 for the win last year so when I needed to sign next to "$70" I was a little surprised. Prize money isn't why we ride, but changed from last year? Same entry fee, more riders, 1/3rd of the prize pool. An A Grade Elite Open event win and I don't break even with entry fee and travel costs (only 100km from home too).

Geelong CC always do a great job, be it a club TT or Open event, but is it time we get event sponsors on board to boost the resources behind these events? This was a State Open! We need to promote the event to more competitors, more supporters, convert the interest in the sport to improve the racing side of things. Something as simple as someone taking a few photos of the riders in full flight goes a long way for showcasing events like this. Events that otherwise only exist in results archives. (side note, this is also why I bang out these reports. They're far from official, but I want to show people what we get up to... and maybe even encourage people sign up and race, or stop past a race and cheer us on.)

Why not Company X IRTT presented by CV and Geelong CC? Why don't companies want to get on board these events? It'd help make them bigger and better in all aspects. A TT on the same day the Tour de France starts for 2012..... in the middle of our road season...  Ivan Milat could sell the naming rights to that at a backpackers hostel, too easy, he'd at least give it a stab.

Hey Ivan, where is the TT mate?
"Down Forest Rd, jump in, I'll give you a lift there"

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