Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Amy's Gran Fondo 2013 and a 'roadie showdown' TT with Geelong CC

After a very successful 2012 Gran Fondo with Team Hydralyte, we were invited back again for this year's event. Von and I were happy to be back in bright orange for the day. Entry sorted, kit supplied, the brightest of bright orange drink bottles, and 4000 other riders to share the road with. We've been looking forward to this for a while.

Like last year, Geelong CC lined up their calendar to run a TT on the day prior not too far from Lorne. This is always a good heart starter for the following day.

Geelong CC - 23km ITT. September 14th 2013.

For something different and to save space in the car by packing only one bike, I challenged SLane to a road bike show-down. No TT bikes allowed, no clip-ons, no changes to stem height or saddle. Everything else was allowed. Fast wheels, skinsuits, TT helmets... which put us in the aero category. Just how fast could we go on a road bike dressed up?

SLane looking very serious

Which way?

Turns out pretty fast! I was only 45-50 seconds per lap (x2 laps total in the TT) off the pace from when I rode the Shiv TT rig on the same course. Even on our tricked-up roadies we managed to slice the wind faster than the others and came in with a 1-2 result!

Top 10 :
1  Shane Miller    31:42.053     15:50.045                   44.145
2  Stephen Lane    33:11.063     01:29.010     16:20.610     42.769
3  Noel Jacobs     34:41.087     02:59.034     17:17.231     40.435
4  Tony Butler     35:09.030     03:26.977     17:18.106     40.4
5  Ned VOLK        35:12.408     03:30.355     17:22.554     40.228
6  Mark Kelly      35:20.660     03:38.607     17:27.760     40.028
7  Adam Touzell    35:25.934     03:43.881     17:36.215     39.708
8  Nathan Townsend 35:53.382     04:11.329     17:32.819     39.836
9  Shaun Kinna     36:17.816     04:35.763     18:00.318     38.822
10 Matt LE MAITRE  37:20.933     05:38.880     18:34.420     37.63

Full Results (MyLaps)

Amy's Gran Fondo 2013

We were up early on Sunday morning for the Team Hydralyte official photo at event HQ. A lot of familiar faces in orange including Ray Jarrett. Europe one week, Victoria the next, the flying mullet is living up to his namesake!

Our registration numbers meant we were starting 90 seconds behind the 'priority start' NRS guys. To make the most of the opportunity I was keen to see if we could reach the first group before the climb at 38km. I'd get a good hit-out on the front, switch off, then wait for Von to roll past and I'd do the rest of the ride with her.

After a solid chase and moving through the pack I managed to reach the front a few times to help drive the pace. It is a somewhat calm place right on the front after pushing for position among hundreds of riders. I cracked a few times, sat in, worked my way up again, before calling it a day and enjoying the ride. I made it to the 38km point/KOM start with the lead group..... and just in time to dodge a few riders and their bikes spread out across the road.

Von and I met up 1/2 way up the climb, now my day got really tough! "Up, down, steady" were the only words I heard her say for the next two hours as we weaved, picked, dropped, caught, chased anyone else we encountered on the course. Everyone we came across was having a great day out, enjoying the ride in the true spirit of the event. This isn't to say people weren't 'racing' as hard as they could mid pack, they were. Playing Sherpa for Von was different experience than the typical 'race mode' I'm used to. At one point she asked me to pull over for more water, then chase back on and give it to her. What!? Sounded like way too much hard work, so I handed her my 2nd bottle as we blasted past the final aid station.

We crossed the line together at about 3hrs30mins. Knocking only about a minute off her time from last year, and just out of the prize money in 4th for her category. It must have been Pete Simpson on the PA system on the finish line as he read out our names and knew some of our past racing exploits. The post race cake and free pasta back at the event village was some of the best food I've ever tasted. Then again, almost anything tastes good after three hours on a the bike. SLane and Von headed back to the village to collect their UCI medals. Turns out I wasn't fast enough to qualify for the World Masters in my age category. Less fondle, more fondo next time! Can't wait for 2014, we'll be back again!

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