Weight-loss Challenge Progress

Stage 1 - 4 kg down!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Death Valley Time Trial

Saturday's crit had left a bad taste in my mouth. I had stuffed up the sprint and was off the podium. Sunday I was backing up the crit with a time trial in the hills. It's a well known fact that it has taken a while for me to make friends with the hills and I was nervous. I woke before my alarm and was packed an in the car in record time. I had checked the list 3 times and knew I had everything I need to ride the time trial. Everything except the money to pay for the entry fee!! Thanks to Liz Leyden I was able to scrounge together the entry fee and was now locked in to race.

After a brief warm up I headed off to the start line, or should I say up to the start line. The hills were already hurting, it was going to be a long day at the office. Sitting at the start line we could see the first hill of the day, except I couldn't remember seeing it on the profile because you only see the big ones on the profile. It was a tough day but I stayed upright and enjoyed the downhills. There were a few hills towards the end of O'Brien Rd that had a real bite to them but I coped ok with most of them.

As the times started to get posted I was nervous as to how my hill climbing buddies had gone. Bec got me this time by 21 s and I was happy that I had managed to minimise the damage. My only problem then was the second lap I had to do with the girls.

1. Rebecca Halliday 1.19.20
2. Holly McClellan @ 0.21
3. Anna Kauffmann @ 1.18
4. Lorraine Schutz @ 3.01
5. Liz Leyden @ 5.19
Full results here

Bring on recovery week!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stan Gurney Memorial

If I had to pick my least favourite course to race in Perth, unfortunately, this would be it. Today's criterium course was basically a hotdog with an S bend in the middle of it. Both U-bolts were tight but it was the roundabout that took today's one and only casualty, with Clare Mclean sliding out shortly into the race. The race was tough and because of the tight u-turns it was very difficult for anyone to get away. Sarah Kent was the only one to really get away from the bunch but her attack was short lived. Jess Allen was also very active within the group, keen to get away. I tried to be active early on but failed to get away. I was then in defensive mode as Sarah and Jess kept the pace high for most of the race.

Photo by Troy Coulthard

The real race dramas came with 2 laps to go, when a very strung-out B grade began to pass us. On an already tight course there was some interesting passing going on. Whilst everyone managed to get past and away just after we got the bell, we soon started to gain on them as the pace picked up for the sprint. Sarah Kent took charge early with Jess Allen on her wheel. I was following Bec and in fourth wheel, not exactly where I'd planned to be going into the final straight. I lost some distance on them coming out of the roundabout and wasn't able to make it up. It didn't help that we were catching B grade. Hopefully next year the U-turn will be past the finish line and not on it. It's an interesting experience braking before you hit the finish line to avoid T-boning someone.

1. Sarah Kent
2. Jessica Allen
3. Rebecca Halliday
4. Holly McClellan
5. Liz Leyden

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wandi 20km TT

I've only just started to appreciate backing up. Basically, this involves smashing yourself one day and then smashing yourself again the next day with no recovery in between. It looks like a few coaches have used the Easter long weekend to get their athletes to hurt themselves as much as possible before going back to work, to rest.

We were out at Wandi for Easter monday. Luckily, it is not in my best interest to do an 80km TT at the moment, so rather than compete in the ATTA championship, we were lucky enough to be able to complete just 2 laps of the course. Played around a bit with gear ratios and pedalling styles today to see what would happen. It's hard to say exactly what the difference or benefits were because I think I would have been in pain no matter what gear was chosen.

I felt like I was on the verge of cracking for the last 15km of the course. The only reason I felt good for the start was because of the massive tailwind down Wandi Rd which meant that even in my hardest gear I was spinning. The aim was to come home hard, try to blow up but hold on and I think I succeeded. There were a few points on the course that I was a bit concerned about overdoing it but I think that's how I need to race otherwise I conserve too much.

Coming out of the last bend I really wanted to power home and got out of the saddle. About two strokes later, sunglasses falling off, drool dripping down my face and just not looking pretty in general I was snapped by a very eager looking photographer. Not looking forward to seeing those snaps! I know, I know, TTs are not about looking pretty. Anyway, shortly after the start of my power surge I realised how far there was to the finish. Yikes - I quickly reassessed and made sure I didn't take it to a full sprint because I definetly would have died before the line. Luckily there were no photographers on the line, I'm sure Mouse had a bit of a chuckle.

After a short recovery Bec and I crawled home. I showered, ate and then proceeded to sleep until dinner time. My brain has still not recovered.

Jess Allen managed the fastest female time for the 20km, this time by 20s. I came out on top of the Fleet girls and it's good to see we've got a bit of friendly rivalry going on at the moment, and we're all hungry to beat each other.

Full results here

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bibra Lake 16

To me, the Bibra Lake 16 seems like one of the most popular races in the ATTA calendar. It was another opportunity for me to try and break the 40km/hr mark and with the right conditions was definitely possible. I'd checked out Sarah Kent's record the night before and was aiming to hit her split times. After the first half lap I was a bit concerned that I'd gone out too hard. I held on during the second lap but the wind in the second half of the lap was a killer. I stayed focus for 95% of the race which seems like a record for me. I was hungry for a win today.

A win was not to be. Two girls were travelling faster, Michaela Anderson (7s) and Clare McLean (4s). None of us managed to break 40km/hr, I missed out by 12s!

Full results here

I feel like my aero position has slightly improved after some last minute changes but still could be better. A huge thanks to Liz King for the booties, whilst they're not everyone's cup of tea, I love them!

Have just picked myself up off the floor after being put in a coma after my hills ride with the girls and now I'm off to finish my Easter shopping. Enjoy your Easter, ride safe.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Peter Clark Classic

I wish I could tell you about how awesome the race was yesterday but I am struggling to focus on the screen.

We had a great turn out of strong women to race A grade on a new course in great weather. The race was tough and, apart from slowing down for the boys in the middle of the race, was fast.

The race winning break-away was made by Sarah-Jeanne Fraser (Eddy Holland's Bicycle Services), with Mel Hoskins (Plan B), Liz Leyden (Hub Racing) and Jess Griffiths (Cyclemania). Jess couldn't stay with the group and came back to the peloton.

Sarah won the sprint over Mel (2nd) and Liz (3rd). The bunch sprint was won by Jess (4th) over Bec Halliday (5th, Fleet Elite). Sam Woods (Budget) had started the bunch sprint with about 300m to go and was fading fast in the last 50m, I was gaining on her but I don't think I caught her by the line in the fight for 6th place.