Solid...my new word for the week, and can be obscurely used to describe everything over the past few days. Solid racing, solid competition, solid weather, and even solid lactate in the legs after 5 days at the Jayco Bay Series. Many of you may have read about Megan Dunn, the 16-yr old who took out the overall series. But what you may not have heard, is that it wasn’t easy! She was present in every winning break, covered every threatening attack, and won the hardest of the 5 stages this week...what a talent, please don’t invite her to Glenvale! The Jayco Bay Series, from my perspective, were by far harder and more entertaining than the previous 3 years. With a field of over 70, there were no big names missing from the start list, and with temperatures soaring over 40, there was no other place to recover than air-conditioned corners. On occasion we were forced to leave the room with Kath O’Shea and I setting off the smoke alarm at every opportunity, burning bread that we had stolen from breakfast no doubt.
Day 5 was set in Botanic Gardens. The final day...not that I’ve been counting down or anything! We started the morning with Amy’s Ride, followed by a brew stop, and a second breakfast. With GC so close, there was no way of telling exactly what tactics each team would play. Surprisingly, all 3 contenders, Dunn, Goss and Bates, made an early break of 7. With the added presence of Wood, Carrigan, Amanda Spratt and our own Helen Kelly (VIS), it stuck. I won’t lie, I felt awesome and was extremely disappointed to miss such a break, so when given the instructions from Anna to try and cross, I was the first to jump, four times in fact! But the only riders in the peloton strong enough had no reason to make the effort. So I rolled in off the back of the sprint, while Carrigan rolled in off the front of the break to take stage victory. Dunn became the youngest ever to win yellow, Goss celebrated her birthday one step down on the podium, and I was simply satisfied with 5 stage finishes and a hard week of racing.
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 5, Botanic Gardens, 45minutes + 3 laps
* Images courtesy of WomensCycling.net