The prologue was a short 7k out and back TT, I felt pretty psyched for this as TT’s are a focus for me this year. I started pretty well despite being disadvantaged by not having a TT bike/ all the fancy aero gear with me. I wasn’t sure where to turn, there were marshals standing next to a cone having a natter so I screamed at them but they didn’t hear me, so I pedalled on… Then realising what had happened the marshals shouted at me so I came to an abrupt halt and turned round straightaway. Fuming that I had wasted valuable time I dug deep and tried to compose myself! What was so frustrating was that I really gave it my all, puking up in my mouth just before the finish (thought I’d share that!) and then to finish a demoralising 7th loser (as Hamish would put it!) At the end of the day it’s all training so a bit of unnecessary extra effort is good for me…
I was pretty keen to make up for the time I had lost on the lead during the prologue. Stage 1 was 2 laps of an undulating circuit with KOM and sprint points at stake. I attacked for the second KOM, Serena Sheridan (who recently won a silver medal at the National Champs) went with me, we kept pressing on over the top and the gap continued to grow so we both committed to staying away with 25k to go. I managed to time my kick for the line to take my first win of 2011, so was pretty stoked with that! Later that day there was a 30 minute crit to contest around a kiwi fruit store yard… a bit random! A 600m pan flat, corner infested course- not to my liking! I decided I would try and stay out of trouble as it was sure to end in a bunch kick, so I just sat in the bunch until 3 laps to go. I didn’t time my sprint very well coming out of the last corner so finished 3rd.
The final stage was another undulating road race starting at a very posh vineyard! A far cry from race sign on in grotty village halls back home! My aim was to maintain my 2nd place on GC and try and close the gap on 1st but I knew that was a hard ask as Serena is a very strong rider! The race was like a club run until the first climb, from then on it was like a wearing down process. By the final climb there were 3 of us left in contention, after numerous attacks/ counterattacks it was just Serena and I with 500m to go. She dropped back a few metres cunningly, which lead me to believe that she was suffering so I pushed on thinking I had it in the bag… With the line in sight she launched a final attack and I was unable to respond so was piped metres before the line! Morale of the story never assume you have won until you cross the line!! Anyway I won some nice NZ dosh and wine too!
I am now back in not so sunny Nelson, greeted to torrential rain- I got weird looks from passers-by out training this morning, people thinking I was completely mad. Little do they know that this weather would be considered a mere drizzle back home! But apparently it's raining back home, so I can't complain too much I'd rather be warm and wet! I accidently found myself riding on the motorway… always a delight to be overtaken by speeding trucks and consequently swallowing mouthfuls of rain water/road crap! This weather better not last as I need to get back on the beach to work on getting rid of my tan lines, my personal favourites are my sunglass marks that make me look like a badger and racer back lines!!
As you see below D of E has taught me a lesson or 2 in packing lightly...!!