One day was hardly enough recovery time between New Year Celebrations and my first race of 2009, the Jayco Bay Series Classic. I had taken New Year’s day off the bike to rid myself of the foreign bodies still in my system. I couldn’t eat or drink, let alone exercise, so when ASADA pulled me aside after the first day of racing it was no surprise that my dehydrated body took three hours to produce a blood and urine sample! While driving to Williamstown I couldn’t help but feel like a seasoned veteran upon realising that these are indeed my fifth Bay Series; my fourth with the Victorian Institute of Sport. This year I lined up alongside team-mates Chloe McConville, Kath O’Shea and Jo Wall under the expertise and guidance of team manager Stuart McKenzie (our team was immediately down to four starters when Helen Kelly became a casualty to sickness).
Prior to race start I was persuaded into conducting not only an interview but a pre-race tactical lap. I realise that I just labeled myself a veteran of these criterium’s, but that doesn’t mean I have the media wit to describe the tactical features of every circuit! As if god had heard my reservations, I was then talked into doing some mid-race commentary and I’m hoping that somewhere among the swearing and panting I actually had something useful to say! Considering my initial expectations for the day, I found the stage a bit of a breeze. Josie Tomic (WAIS) launched off the front to take a solo stage win with Chloe the only rider of the remaining 15 game enough to attempt an unsuccessful bridge. Coming into the final round-about I was following the wheel of Belinda Goss (TIS), who pulled her foot and left us chasing up the back straight, but nevertheless I finished 6th.
Similarly to last year, I am housed at the ‘Chiefly’ along Geelong’s waterfront. This time I am rooming with Chloe and sharing a king size bed, a minor detail we are willing to overlook while enjoying the comforts of our very own spa and washing machine in a bathroom bigger than my bedroom! After a night of stealing the covers we were ready for stage 2, held on the long circuit in Eastern Park, Geelong. I chose to follow the moves today and save my attacking legs for tomorrow, knowing that the straight forwardness nature of today’s circuit leans heavily toward a bunch kick finish. Despite being present in many promising breakaway combination's, my tactical predictions were right, which will prove a good thing when my tactical laps go to air! My legs have seen better days so I was satisfied with 4th, watching on as Kirsty Broun (MB Cycles) claimed stage victory and the yellow jersey.
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 1, Williamstown
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 2, Eastern Beach (Long Course)
* Images courtesy of WomensCycling.net