It just so happens that the first race of my International season was a time trial...not my favourite event as most would know. The course ran along the esplanade for 8kms, into a block head wind before a fast return. I travelled in the race car behind Spratty, and then filmed Bird off the start line on her way to what would have been a podium had it not been for a rear wheel puncture! I had no real expectations and could only gauge my performance on time trials from the week prior. I felt good, but my lungs seem to have given up when there was still a lot left in the legs. Maybe I’m re-adjusting from altitude? When the results came I was 30th, third in the U24 category. I was eager about the afternoon road race, 3 laps, and 75.9kms, with the only climb a poor excuse for a hill. A negative race meant the most exciting thing to happen came when Carla punctured and Rochelle crashed. Everybody remounted and all hell broke loose on the run into the finish. I was a long way back and finished 10th, slightly disappointed.
Day 2 was a chance to learn and improve on yesterday’s mistakes, aside from Carla who punctured again! On the way to Barwon Heads we came across a small car accident that friends of ours had been involved in. Half of the Landlink team had collided head first with a local Ute and although nobody was injured, Jenny Macpherson, Vicki Whitelaw and Josie Tomic were taken to hospital for observation and failed to make the start line. We were to complete 6 laps of a 15.2km circuit, totalling 91.2kms, and with strong cross winds for such short periods, it was evident the race would come down to a bunch kick. I was positioned well in the final kilometre, as one by one the team High Road girls pulled their turn. As the sprint approached Rochelle dropped the wheel of the three in front and after some slight hesitation I finally went around her. I managed to hold off the girls behind for 4th but was disappointed with my lack of attentiveness. A few more seconds on the stage moved me up to 18th on GC, with Spratt finishing 13th and Tiff 20th.
That night, as a small celebration, we went for dinner at a nice Thai restaurant before venturing to the chocolate room. I was game and went with the Chocolate sundae, while the others opted for a traditional Italian hot chocolate, of which none of them finished before leaving in disgust. The whole crew has arrived. Our team now includes Anne-Marie (masseur), Dr. Dave Martin (physiology), Rosie Stanimirovic (psychologist) and Michel Vermande (coach). As the cloud cover came over this morning, our scheduled team photo shoot began to look grim. We tried to angle to our best side and with three layers on it was hard to look lean! Our team managed a lap of the World Cup course, before brew, which came before massage. This afternoon I’ve had two servings of ice-cream. The first with my Mum and Dad in the form of a chocolate milkshake as they have arrived in Geelong to watch the racing. The second, a final dessert before the big day, let’s hope it doesn’t weigh me down!
Results: Geelong Women's Tour, Stage 1, Portarlington - Time Trial, 8 kms
Results: Geelong Women's Tour, Stage 2, Portarlington - Road Race, 75.9 kms
Results: Geelong Women's Tour, Stage 3, Barwon Heads - Road Race, 115 kms