Tuesday, 28 August 2012


The day after the Rob Vernon I thought to myself... 'Maybe my form isn't that bad after all'
The second day... 'Scrap that, the form is GOOD and I am M.O.T.I.V.A.T.E.D'
The third day god wiped that cocky smile off my face and gave me a bad bout of food poisoning that saw me drop 5kgs over a long nine days without meals. I won't describe the intricate details, but bread and icy-poles became my staple diet, and showering my daily exercise. When I got back on the bike for a 1-hour cruise with best friend Ev, I wanted to cry for my 26km/hr average on a HR of 153, but I didn't have the energy for it. I suffered through two more 1-hour rides and wondered if my life will ever be without drama...probably not...who's life is?

I had seen the start list and to be honest, I had no idea who anybody was! No disrespect intended, it's just that I haven't raced on the road scene for three years and am not one to look up results that I don't spot on Twitter or Facebook. Luckily women's racing is very to the book. E.g Bicycle Superstore and Holden Racing Team send a girl each up the road. I bridge across because I know their girls comprise the majority of the bunch and won't chase. The bunch chase me because they deem me a threat, and the same two teams then counter-attack. Pre-empting the move, I jump on for the ride. So I found myself in a 3-up break-away with the only two girls in the race I actually knew...initiator Felicity 'Flick' Wardlaw and the in-form Miranda Griffiths. Really Peta? You don't eat for nine days and then you want to do a 90km time trial?

I knew Flick would pull strong turns all day because she is a hard b***h. Miranda on the other hand was content to sit on for the first 15 minutes before contributing to the breakaway. There was hesitance in her decision even after the time gap neared the minute mark, which said maybe the teams plan had been spoilt thank's to Flick's crazy break-away scheme, or that she was holding out and not fully committing to the break. We held steady at 1 minute to the intermediate sprint at the 37k mark where I put in an effort and took the sprint jersey ahead of Flick and Miranda. I felt amazing at this point but was suspect that it wouldn't last.

The chase bunch of Stephanie Ives, Lucy Coldwell and Lisa Barry had by no means given up and I feared for their pursuit of us up the climb. As I had predicted, the first KOM is where it all un-ravelled for me. Not surprisingly, Miranda rode to line honours and I really had to max out to get over Flick for second. In quick succession I suffered over the final KOM; a 6k dirt road section that doesn't even remotely resemble MTB'ing, finishing third this time behind Miranda and Flick. After freezing to death following Flick down the final descent, I went from bad to worse. I have no doubt the girls thought I was foxing. My turns went from 50seconds to 20 and I'm not sure if I was actually pedalling for 10 of those! I missed a few turns, and as the Bicycle Superstore guys in the follow car would know, I certainly wasn't playing coy...I was spent.

With 20k to go I wasn't sure if I would finish. I turned myself inside out to stay in contact as Flick continued to attack on the run into town. Despite the gap now a substantial 5 minutes, she was pulling massive turns into the headwind, while Miranda still seemed to be holding reserves. Eventually the race became negative so I led the final 2kms at a leisurely pace, conceding to third. The girls had no problems coming around me, with Miranda taking a somewhat easy victory over Flick. After being away from the road racing scene I must say that I was somewhat impressed with the girls racing, a comment you won't often hear from me! I was exhausted, satisfied and hungry...finally!

Results: Sam Miranda Road Race
Garmin: Peta Mullens Road Race
Photos: Courtesy of Jo Upton Photogrpahy and Darren Francis Casey