Gravel rash, tan lines, filthy hair and eating just for the sake of eating...I’m glad the tour is over. Within 48hours I will have changed my hairstyle, waxed my eyebrows, shaved my legs, painted my nails, spray tanned over these lines, and most importantly…picked out an outfit to celebrate my 20th birthday this weekend! I am writing this while seated in Qantas club on my way home to Melbourne. By now, most of the girls are at home unpacking their bags after leaving on the 3am bus to the airport. Some may not have slept, as last night we had a small celebration for the likes of Olivia Gollan, who, as of today, is retired. From here I have a week off the bike, for the joys of things such as shopping, ice-skating, salsa dancing and whatever else it is that I decide to entertain my time with. But first, a quick account of what took place on the final day of tour for the team (Pictured L-R: Josie, Spratt, Me, Bird, Tom Tom, Carla).
The backdrop (above) looks picturesque, but not much can be taken in when racing a point to point 6.5km time trial into a block headwind…lucky I didn’t ‘race’ it. Instead, I was able to save the legs to help the team in the criterium. The last day of competition had finally arrived, an important one for Carla as we were hoping to improve her 8th on GC. It was also an opportunity for Bird to have a shot at the stage win. With one minute intervals I was curious as to whether I would be caught out along Marine Parade. But that didn’t happen, even when positioned on the hoods, at 20k/hr in the 39-25! To my surprise, even after losing 2.5 mins to Kristin Armstrong, I wasn’t even last! On the other end of the scale, Bird managed top 10, with Spratt, Carla and Tiff top 20. Josie would have managed a good position had she not been penalised a ridiculous 10 seconds for false starting. She said she was a little 'too' keen to race.
After a short drive to the criterium course, and 3hours to spare before racing, we set up camp and received lunch and massages in the main street of Wellington. There were a few peculiar looks from local bystanders, many jealous comments from other teams, and no doubt that as members of the AIS...we get spoilt =) The race was just as I remembered; windy, sketchy, technical and fast. I did a dodgy and took two laps out after being caught behind a crash; Bird did well with her brief criterium history, while Tiff impressed all involved by completing the whole race! The girl has stitches in her elbow and can’t even brush her own hair! The remainder of us finished in the bunch, with skin, pride and young rider jersey intact. The GC did change, but not for us, with Carla retaining 8th, and Spratt 17th. It’s a successful start for the team, and as for me...my climbing form can only improve...seriously…it can’t get much worse!
Results: NZCT Women's Tour, Stage 5, Wellington, Time Trial, 6.5kms
Results: NZCT Women's Tour, Stage 6, Wellington, Criterium, 1hr + 3laps
Results: NZCT Women's Tour, General Classification