After spending 10 days in Bendigo, I decided it was time to make the 4 hour trek home on Monday, not without the added bonus of peak hour traffic through Melbourne...yay (sarcastic)! The following day I decided to go for a lazy hour, but instead came across local cyclists Sam, then Darren, then Shannon, and after three hours realised that it's just not possible to perform secret training anymore! To relieve myself of the difficulty of completing a recovery ride, I followed up with a massage, and ruined all of that with my favorite pastime...gym...another sarcastic yay! While in town I was adamant to catch up with some friends that were quickly becoming strangers, so Darren, Shaun, Niall and I treated ourselves to a 10 course Italian Siesta feast. I didn't have time to ponder the delicious meal, because once again I was headed back to Bendigo...
I found myself with what I call 'driving legs' on Saturday morning, which simply means dead, lifeless limbs. So I hit the road for 40 minutes, most of which I free-wheeled, in preparation for the Metropolitan Road Championships that afternoon. As I was driving to the host location of Newstead (a small town outside of Castlemaine with a population of less than 500), it started to rain, so immediately I turned the car around and headed back to Bendigo. Less than a kilometer later, having convinced myself that I was weak, I directed myself back to race start. I seemed to be the only one with perhaps a brain?..because I was apprehensive of the weather. As the girls were warming up in spitting rain, I got dressed, fed and oiled up in the back of my car, before rolling to the line for a 1pm start.
The pace was casual enough for conversation for the first ten kilometers, before Chloe McConville asked if I would like to 'mix things up'. Of course, I politely replied 'no thank you', and watched as the first attack of the day was chased immediately. Through the second string of climbs on the circuit gaps began to form. Stephanie McGrath and Chloe found themselves with a small 20m lead, and as the girls were suffering I decided that this was the time to 'go'. I attacked with Jo Hogan on my wheel, picked up our two recruits, and the rest is history. Two laps later, when Steph, Chloe, Jo and I had been rolling through turns for 60kms, I had another change of heart, and decided that it had been WAY too early to 'go'. Despite the distance, it had been a great break-away group with a shared work load helping us to catch the U19 boys who had started 5 minutes in front!
Into the third lap we were given a 3 minute time gap. Jo then lost contact as Steph punished us up the climb, but despite her efforts a three up sprint prevailed. Steph led it out (by mistake) giving Chloe and I a drag race to the line. I had a sudden burst of freshness to take the win (pictured top), with Chloe a close second (above right), Steph third (above left) and Jo holding out for fourth. Nicole Whitburn finished a fabulous fifth after spending the majority of the day solo. When a gossip de-breif during warm down had taken place, I posed for presentations, hand picked a t-shirt from race sponsors A'qto and got the hell out of there! Within the hour I had arrived in Bendigo and am now headed to Melbourne with MTB's in tow. Now no more typing for me, I need to save my energy for the 6hr Solo MTB Enduro that Jarrod and I are racing tomorrow. Idiotic? It's very questionable...
Results: Metropolitan Road Championships, Newstead, 90km Road Race
Photo 1 and 3 courtesy of Arnaud Domange Photography
Photo 2 courtesy of Jarrod Partridge at jxpphotography