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Airport Toyota

Hilux Ute.4

Kelly Cycle Coaching is proudly sponsored by Airport Toyota.

Hilux Ute.4

We wish to thank Pasquale Scaturchio for his support in our cycling team and coaching business.  We look forward to taking our Toyota vehicles to road races, mountain bike/CX events and other cycling challenge events throughout Victoria.

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Mike Edgar Hilux 3

Carter reflects on his U19 worlds experience

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One of our Kelly Cycling athletes, Maccie Carter competed in the World U19 Road Championships in Doha in October, 2016.  We recently interviewed Maccie to ask him about selection process, how he prepared for this event, and what the experience was like.

 

How old were you when you decided to get coached by KCC and what level of cyclist were you?

I was 12 when I started cycling but didn’t start to take it very seriously until I was 15 which was when I started to be coached by KCC. I wasn’t very competitive either as a bottom age U17 rider, I was constantly getting dropped.

 

What were your aspirations when you started cycling?  

When I first started riding competitively my aspirations were to make to a high level in the sport, even though I didn’t think that was possible at the age of 14.

Finishing salute Maccie

Did you ever think you would represent Australia at U19 level?

Not really, but I always had it in the back of my mind, seeing a lot of my mentors represent the country at U19 level. I thought it could have been possible through a lot of hard training in the summer, but I didn’t really think about it too much.

 

So as an U17 rider, how strong were you relative to your peers at a State and National level?

In first U17s I couldn’t even compete against the top teir guys. By the time I hit second year I was a lot stronger so able to ride at the front at state championships and junior tours but couldn’t do that at a national level. At u17 nationals (2nd year) I was about in the top 25% in the country.

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So about 12 months ago you made a goal to make the U19 worlds team.  When you set this goal, did you struggle at times to believe it would happen?

Not at all, I put my focus on the three selection races and to race well in each of them. I took them all race by race and they were my little goals within the big goal of making the team.  I didn’t find this season that hard and that I would struggle to make the team but there is always doubt.

 

What selection races were part of the worlds selection events?

The three races that were a part of making the national team were, Oceania’s Time trial and Road Race, Mersey Valley Tour and the National Time Trial and Road Race.

 

We decided to compete in the Oceania road race only.  This decision was largely based on the heat which was in the 40’s.  How did Oceania’s go for you? 

We made the call quite early in the piece as the TT was on a course that didn’t suit me and the heat would’ve made me tired from the following day, in my eyes I believe that we made the right choice. The heat on the day of the road race was insane, but it was expected. Oceania’s couldn’t have worked out any better for me as I didn’t really expect a whole lot.  I was very active throughout the day being in 3-4 man chase groups to bring back eventual winner James Fouche. I was pretty cooked by the time we hit the Mt Alexander climb so I didn’t expect a whole lot. I climbed well to stay in the main chase bunch with riders being dropped on the stretch after the climb to the finish mainly due to the heat factor but I thrived on it and so did my team mate Alastair Christie-Johnston. Then it was really all or nothing to the line to catch the lone leader (James).

 

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Mt Buffalo hill climbing champs were removed the from selection criteria but we decided to race it anyway to help build towards Nationals.  How did these events go?

National hill climb wasn’t great for me as I had no taper for it and coming off Oceania’s I had high expectations. But it was a good race to do to get some intensity and solid climbing in before Mersey Valley tour. Even though I was quite fatigued leading into the race I still placed 4th overall on GC

 

Next came Mersey Valley.  What happened there?

Mersey Valley was alright for me. It started off very well with a 7th in the ITT which I was very pleased about. Then came the first road stage, I was looking forward to this stage the most as it had the infamous Gunns Plains climb which suits me very well. With a very quick start to this stage with attacks up the first KOM only 10km in we knew were in for a hard with cross-winds and misty rain all throughout the day. As we were going down the descent leading to the bottom of the climb there were many crashes which just added more carnage to the day. As we hit the climb I was feeling amazing and ready to go with any moves, we were about 2km up the climb when the first attack went I immediately went with it and then when I tried a counter attack my back wheel slipped out from under me and I came to a complete stop which put me behind the two leaders (eventual winners) and in the main race bunch of 5.

Stage 3 had come around with storm warnings the night before it was sure to be another rough stage, with 1900m climbing on the cards with 3 times up Weegena rd (2.5k climb averaging 9%). As I got stuck on the inside when the winning break went 7km into a 109km stage as I was not going to try and spend the whole time bringing an 8-man break with Seb Berwick, it wasn’t to be my day finishing +4:05mins down on the winner. Overall the Mersey Valley was great racing. I had great form coming into the race I just had bad luck due to the shocking conditions.

 

And the final selection event was Nationals.  You chose to do the TT and road race.  How did you go?  Did you race aggressively in the road race?

The TT suited me very well as it was quite a punchy course with not many flat sections to sit on constant power, I ended up with fourth which I was very happy with. As road race course wasn’t as hard, myself and my team mate CJ went in with a radical plan, which was to light it up last time up the climb and win 1-2. I was aggressive from the 2nd lap attacking up the climb to string out the field. Being in multiple breaks during the race to make peoples legs sore was another tactic that we went in with. Coming around for the last lap CJ let go a stinging attack that only I could follow and we bridged to the lead two riders about 30 seconds up the road. The attacks I initiated early in the race took it out of me and I died about 3km to go as the field was closing in on our 4 man break. They caught us up the finishing hill with about 200m to go and i finished a very close 6th with CJ just missing out on the title.

 

So you get the “phone call”, that you’ve made the U19 team.  Describe how that moment felt.  

Very surreal, you have that goal for 12 or 18months and you know you have done everything to get there. But it’s such an emotional moment that I can’t really describe.

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Winning the U19 State Champs before heading to the World Champs

 

Preparation for Worlds.  This was the hardest block of training you’ve ever done.  Was it tough both mentally and physically?  What kept you motivated during the days when your body was fatigued and you couldn’t find the power you wanted to?

It was so tough both physically and mentally, I was mentally fatigued from school and riding and I was just drained from going back to back everyday. I was kept motivated by the thought of showing people how competitive I can be in the world and and how much of an honor it is to represent your country. These are the things that kept me so motivated.

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How many hours were you trying to do in these weeks?  

I was doing about 20 hours a week, which is a lot more than what I was doing leading into the selection races.

You headed to Perth for a final 2 week preparation camp with the other two riders, Harry and CJ.  Was this block also hard?    You did some heat adjustment training – did this help prepare you for Doha?

The training block in Perth was really heat simulation sessions and doing threshold tt efforts to simulate what the race would be like. This block very hard with double sessions most days with the heat chamber and with limited recovery days, we were well and truly cooked by the time we hopped on the plane to Doha. The heat chamber was a game changer, and this helped a lot for Doha as we knew what to expect when we arrived. We can all be very thankful for everybody’s work at WAIS to make this happen.

 

So landing in Doha must have felt like walking into an oven with a hair dryer in your face.  35-40C and just roasting hot.    How did you warm up for the TT and stay cool at the same time?  

The warm up for the TT was very well setup as there was a purpose built house with every nation having a room to warm up in, and inside the house it was about 24-25C. The soigneurs were putting my towels around our necks, ice down our skinsuits and giving us bottles of ice for us to keep our core temperature down which was very important in such a warm location.

How did you stay hydrated?

I was having a lot of water before, during and after warm up. I took a 500ml bottle for the TT and got about three big sips in which was great to keep your mouth wet.

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The TT course had over 20 roundabouts and hair pin turns.  It was very twisty and hard to maintain any sort of rhythm.  How did you go in the TT?

I liked to the TT course a lot, it probably wasn’t a course that suited me but I felt that I could carry good speed through the roundabouts and it was relatively easy to kick out of them. I had a great rhythm in TT from the first roundabout, I finished 14th at the end of the day with an extended time in the hot seat. I was happy with my performance and gave it all my beans. I had nothing left at the finish.

 

Next came the road race.  Our most important advice was to get to the front and try to stay there.  Safer and less braking and accelerating.  How did you feel before the road race?  Nervous?  How did the first lap go?

I put a lot of pressure on myself before the road race as it was my last U19 race I’ll ever do and I wanted to go out with a bang. I was very nervous as Harry told us that it’s a crash-fest and very hard to get to the front early. We didn’t have a priority start, so we started close to the back of the 180+ rider field. The first lap went really well as me and my team-mate CJ moved up together and in the first 5km I was 6th wheel with the Slovenia-train riding the front at the time. After the first lap things settled down a bit but it was still very intense. I think we averaged nearly 47km/h for the first lap.

 

What was your hydration and fuel plan?

Cycling Australia had an amazing hydration and fuel plan which definitely gave us a leg up in the race. We ran 2L camelbak bladders under our jerseys to avoid the chaotic feedzones and two bottles of water in our cages. Then we would consume gels as needed throughout the race. This lowered the chance of the crash and we were more hydrated than a lot of other riders in the field.

 

What happened at about the 90km mark?

At the 90km mark I was moving up on the outside of the bunch when the rider in front of me clipped the wheel in front of him and I was down before I knew it. The rider behind had ridden straight into my hanger so my bike was unrideable. By the time I had a spare bike the field was already 2:30min up the road so that was race over. I was pretty gutted not to finish my last ever junior race, but that’s part of the sport. It was an amazing experience, and I really appreciative of the opportunity and the support that was provided by the Cycling Australia HPU.

And finally, I would also like to thank my coach, Helen, at KCC, having a great coach has been such an important part of my progression as a cyclist.

 

So congratulations on an amazing experience Maccie.  What is next on your calendar?  

Well, I have just ridden my first Nationals at Buningyong in the U23s and finished 15th in the time trial.  In 2017, I am juggling Year 12 as well as my cycling but looking forward to adapting to the next level of racing now that I am out of juniors.

Most aggressive rider: Bec Stephens

Rebecca Stephens - Most Aggressive Rider, National Capital Tour, 2016

Kelly Cycle Coaching athlete, Bec Stephens earned herself most aggressive rider after stage 3 at National Capital Tour.  We asked her all about the event and how she raced the tour.

 

National Capital Tour: Rebecca Stephens

Prologue – what was the course like?

It was a short time trial, only 7km long but very tough. It started out flat for about 1km then a steep downhill straight into a steep uphill, turnaround, and then back down and up the same hills to finish at the start.

 

Was it tricky to race this style of course? (ie going out too hard, saving legs for the climbs etc)

I found it very tricky to get this right. It was not the type of course where you could just try and hold threshold, it definitely needed an ‘over and under’ approach but anyone who went too hard on the first hill to the turnaround certainly paid for it on the climb back up to the finish. I was in that camp a little bit myself. I was really struggling to put out decent power towards the end and lost quite a bit of time in the second half but I was treating this TT as a learning experience so wasn’t too worried.

 

Stage 1 – what was the course like?

A 77km long road race consisting of 11 laps of a 6.3km long loop course finished with a ride out to the top of Black Mountain. There was some confusion during the race and we were mistakenly sent around for an additional lap of the loop so ended up doing 12 laps and racing about 85km all up.

What did you like about the course?

The course was very exciting; it had a bit of everything. In just over 6km it included 6 corners, one of which was a tight hot-dog style corner, plus some descending, and a climb. It made for really dynamic racing as there were lots of good opportunities to attack and get out of sight, and it required good climbing legs and smart positioning in the bunch to save energy.

What did you eat and drink?

Probably not enough! The extra lap thrown in really made me hurt. It was quite a warm day for Canberra, the sun was really beating down and I think I’m just not used to racing in warm conditions yet after the Melbourne winter. I drank 2 full bidons of sports drink and ploughed through a couple of rows of shot blocks and gels. I was starting to cramp up by the end and could have used a bit more food and probably a saltier drink mix.

 

The final climb up Black Mountain – tell us what happened?  Was it all together at the base and then it exploded?

Specialized rider, Lucy Bechtel, had been solo off the front for quite a while and the bunch just caught her at the base of Black Mountain. The climb kicks up straight away into a double digit gradient and that did immediate damage. I was positioned mid-pack and was already picking my way through riders pretty much as we were exiting the corner onto the climb. The bunch got broken up into very small groups straight away. Black Mountain is only short, about 3km from the base to the car park, but it was steep enough to completely break up the field and most riders crossed the line on their own. I finished in 19th spots two and half minutes behind the stage winner, Lucy Kennedy from High5 Dream Team.

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Stage 3 – what was this course?

This was a much flatter course than the prior day. It started at the Stromlo criterium circuit and then headed back towards central Canberra for 3 laps of a 20km loop, then back to the criterium circuit to finish. All up the race was about 70km.

How did you race it? 

The plan for the team this stage was to be aggressive and try and be represented in every break. One of the riders for CBR, Emma Viotto, is quite a decent sprinter so we were working for her and trying to give the big teams plenty of work to do. I tried to initiate a number of breaks but the course didn’t make it easy as it mostly used big, wide, open roads. Pretty much everything was getting chased down immediately but I managed to get away on the last lap by counter attacking straight after another move had been brought back. I was in the right spot at the right time and attacked down the left hand side of the road just the bunch was drifting to the right and sitting up. I was away for a little while but only had a maximum gap of 20 seconds so I knew I was getting hung out to dry by the pack. I still rode it as hard as I could to maximise the work that other riders were having to do to pull me back. It all came back together about 10km from the finish and ended in a bunch sprint.

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Congratulations on winning most aggressive rider.  Is this the best result you’ve had so far in your cycling career?

Thank you! Yes, I’d say this was my best result. Even though it wasn’t for a win or a place, I certainly didn’t expect to win any jerseys in the NRS this year so I was pretty excited to get on the podium for something!

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And lastly, stage 4 – the criterium.  What was this course like?

The criterium was held at Stromlo Park which is a dedicated closed-road course. It’s pretty flat and has sweeping bends rather than sharp corners so the racing here is normally very fast.

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And the weather was horrendous.  How did this challenge you?  Was it hard to maintain position.

It had been raining for a few hours prior to the start of the crit and it didn’t really stop while we raced either. The course doesn’t drain well so there was a heap of water and mud on the track which made visibility incredibly difficult. I think everyone was very aware of how dangerous the conditions could be so a lot of caution was exercised during the race. Even so, I did find it really hard to hold good position and ended up floating close to the back of the bunch. Every time I pushed up I would then lose spots through the corners because I just didn’t have the confidence to go as hard as I normally would. I was a bit disappointed with myself about this because I recognise that racing happens in all weather conditions and you need to be comfortable racing hard in the wet. Something else to improve on next time!

Bec Stephens – Athlete Profile

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Kelly Cycle Coaching has been coaching Bec Stephens for 4 years now. She started with us as an entry level C grade rider. She is now the captain of our Pitcher Partners/Kelly Cycle Coaching womens A grade VRS team, and has been doing several NRS events this year.

We interviewed Bec to find out why she enjoys cycling and what makes here tick.

Name: Rebecca Stephens

Age: 31

Current occupation (if working): I work a head office job for ANZ.

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Academic studies achieved or currently undertaking:

Completed a double bachelor degree, Media Studies and Law.

 

Age you got into cycling:

I was 27 when I started cycling.

Bec Michael Paddy

What type of riding do you do (mtb, CX, road, etc):

Just road. I’ve been on a pump track once…on a road bike, but surely that counts for something!

Your favourite efforts you like to do:

Threshold efforts in the hills with maximum effort surges/attacks thrown in. So painful but so, so satisfying.

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Your favourite place to ride:

For local training, I think at the moment I’d have to say the Dandenongs. The scenery is just so nice there and there is such a great variety of climbs, you can always find something to cover off the efforts you need to do. Kinglake and the surrounding area is an extremely close second.

Your favourite food after you’ve done a long ride: Ha, how long do you have?

OK, after a long weekend training ride I love scrambled eggs with sourdough multigrain toast, avocado, and maybe some haloumi or fetta. Plus coffee, always coffee. Everyone who knows me will know I’m fibbing if I don’t also disclose that I’m quite partial to a cake or pastry of some sort if the ride justified it!

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What is your biggest cycling achievement so far:

This is a hard one because when I started riding I came from such a low base that I can still remember many ‘big’ achievements along the way which now don’t seem so huge. I can recall the first proper training ride I attempted in 2012 where I covered 25km and was totally spent and felt I’d achieved something pretty major! I used to think hill training meant going to the Kew Boulevard, not even kidding.

So I think I’d have to say the biggest achievement hasn’t been a specific race or particular outcome, it has been maintaining resilience and persistence and continuing to believe that if I kept working I would keep improving and the next level of competition would slowly come to be within my reach.

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What used to be hard for you in cycling that you can do now:

I was terrified of descending or even going around any corner really when I first started out. With lots of practice and plenty of coaching I’ve been able to develop descending and cornering skills that allow me to keep up with the rest in high level races. Barring the occasional mishap, I actually really enjoy going fast downhill now!

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What are things that you are still mastering in cycling:

My bike handling skills still have plenty of room for improvement. For example, I can’t bunny-hop very well and doubt I could get enough air to jump a gutter if push came to shove. In general terms my handling skills aren’t at a high enough level to give me confidence to always hold onto a tight spot in the peloton but it’s something I’ll be working on. Time trialling is another Achilles’s heel of mind that I’m working to improve.

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What is it about cycling that you like so much:

Cycling works for me on so many levels! At the simplest level, the act of riding a bike is just so much damn fun. There’s something really exhilarating about the fresh air, the scenery passing by, the fun of using your own body to propel a fast machine, the whirr of wheels on road, and the simple pleasure of getting to the top of a hill or arriving at a coffee stop.

At a deeper level, I love cycling because it has taught me some serious life lessons. Cycling has allowed me to prove to myself that I’m not hopeless at all sports. People often ask cyclists who arrived at the sport later in life, “where did you come from?” meaning what sport did you transition from. When I hear this question, my answer is “the couch”. By tackling various cycling challenges of increasing difficulty, my brain has gradually cottoned onto the fact that I am actually a really capable person who can do hard stuff if I set my mind to it. Cycling has made me change quite a lot as a person.

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One of my favourite cycling quotes comes from Christine Majerus (rider for professional team Boels Dolmans) who said “It doesn’t matter when you start. You don’t have to be impressed by the boys and girls that started at eight, nine, or ten. Just keep going. Everyone can start at the beginning and go somewhere.” That’s why I love cycling.

 

Your aspiration in cycling is to: keep riding at a national level and become competitive there. At a stretch, hopefully get to race my bike overseas someday.

Women race at Amy’s Otway Tour

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Kelly Cycle Coaching had several riders compete in Lorne over the weekend at Amy’s Otway Tour and Amy’s Gran Fondo.

Bec Stephens and Fiona MacMillan competed in the NRS event, held in memory of Amy Gillett.  The crit was a hotdog (up and back) along the main street of Lorne.  Both ladies did well to hold their own against top NRS riders.

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Bec was with the front group until 8km to go in the road race, when she was unhinged.  A great effort given she was racing with a fractured rib from a fall at King Valley NRS.

Amy’s UCI Gran Fondo – qualification event for the UCWT Championships, France 2017

Riders who competed in the Gran Fondo included Peter Quibell, Rob Mitchell, Nicole Butler, Glen Hutchinson, Damian Bovalino, and Paul Scouller.  Our major sponsor, Michael Hay (Pitcher Partners) also completed the event.

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Nic Butler looking a bit weiry after finishing 7th in her age group

Man and hound enjoying the festive kids ride

Man and hound enjoying the festive kids ride

Thousands of riders waiting to start

Thousands of riders waiting to start

"Hutchie" nervously smiling before the 2,000m of climbing started

“Hutchie” nervously smiling before the 2,000m of climbing started

Saffron Button – athlete profile

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Kelly Cycle Coaching is profiling various athletes so you get to know some of your fellow Kelly coaching riding mates.  So here is Saffron……..

Name: Saffron Button

Age: 20

Current occupation (if working): Alameda Homestead Nursery (nursery worker)

Academic studies achieved or currently undertaking: 1st Year Bachelor of Business – Marketing at Swinburne

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Age you got into cycling: 12

What type of riding do you do: Road and some MTB

Saff on the rollers warming up

 

Your favourite efforts you like to do: VO2 on/off

Your favourite place to ride: Dandenongs

Your favourite food after you’ve done a long ride: Big Breaky (eggs and loads of veggies)

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Saff with some of her Foundation Technology team mates

 

What is your biggest cycling achievement so far: 2nd at Fred Icke in Women’s B/C Grade Combined (VRS)

What used to be hard for you in cycling that you can do now: Climbing

What is something that you are still mastering in cycling: Descending

What is it about cycling that you like so much: I like the amount of food you can eat, so many kilometres rewarded with so much good food :)

My aspiration in cycling is to travel the world on my bike and race at an international level

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U19 State Champion

Finishing salute Maccie

Kelly Cycle Coaching athlete Maccie Carter, soloed to victory in the road race at the U19 State Road champs last month in Wangaratta.

Maccie has recently been selected to represent Australia at the UCI Road World Championships in Doha, so he was in a solid block of training during the State road and TT champs.

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Notwithstanding his heavy legs, he finished 2nd in the TT then attacked on the final climb up Taminick Gap and soloed to win by nearly 2 minutes.

Young Phoebe Thompson in her first State Champs rode well to finish 5th in the road race, after getting dropped early and chasing back on.  Well done.

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UCWT Championships, Perth

Wayne Hildred - Australian Masters Champion, 2016 and former National Road Champion, Elite Men

Kelly Cycle Coaching had 4 athletes compete in the UCWT Road and Time Trial Championships in Perth last week.

Our best results were Seda Camgoz, 4th in the time trial and Wayne Hildred also 4th in the road race. They both missed the podium by 10 seconds.

Seda Turkish skinsuit Seda 4th Seda after her TT  TT Seda Wayne in Kelly Kit Wayne post race Wayne rolling out

Damian Bovalino finished 25th in his age category and James Black was 97th, in their road races.

 

Ally Rose’s adventures: 3 Peaks Challenge

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Kelly Cycle Coaching athlete Ally Rose Ogden has recently had her article published on the Bicycle Network website. 

For those who wonder what is involved in riding a LONG way in a day, here is how Ally Rose approached the day and how she coped with the challenge of the 3 Peaks Challenge.

Article by – Ally Rose Ogden

Pain, pleasure or persistence? Many have wondered, including myself at times, what it means to be a cyclist – or more specifically, what drives the hundreds of our kind, labelled by the community as no less than ‘crazy’, ‘obsessive’ or plainly ‘insane’, to spend whatever free time we have pedalling on a machine that 200 years ago didn’t even exist. It is a culture that cannot be explained to an outsider and it was not until I had completed the Three Peaks Challenge that I really appreciated that a combination of all these factors was essential for one to truly distinguish oneself as a cyclist.

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Confession- I didn’t actually start out as a cyclist, but rather a runner and later on a triathlete. It was though my triathlon, that my passion for cycling was born when I realised through a school project, that it was in fact the cyclists who had the greatest advantage in triathlon and not the runners. As a result, I joined a cycling club and despite the many achievements following trips across the country to compete in athletics or triathlon events, I fell in love with the world of bikes.

Fast forward about a year to November 2015 where my mate Xabier, hill climber extraordinaire, mentions to me a ride he’s entered in March called the Three Peaks Challenge and asks whether I wanted to do it. I didn’t know much about the ride at the time, only the name really- which probably accounts for my inexplicable response of ‘Sure let’s do it!’. Albeit, when I actually went home and looked up what we were doing I almost fell off my chair. 235km is a VERY long way. Yet, the stupid and maybe delusional person that I was, decided to throw myself into it anyway. However, as it was only 3-4 months out from the event, all tickets were booked out. I soon found myself before Christmas, frantically scrambling on the Three Peaks Facebook Page for not only a last minute entry, but accommodation to go with it!

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As the months and eventually weeks approached, I found myself overwhelmed. I would actually have to do this. This was no longer an abstract concept: a map on a website, a date on a calendar, a discussion on a forum. I was no doubt intimidated – the longest ride I had ever done previously was 130km, more than 100km less and in no way close to the elevation Three Peaks offered; however, I still couldn’t contain my excitement.

So the day finally arrived where after a night’s worth of fitful sleep, I woke in the dark to join another 2,000+ riders in which can only be described as a surreal moment. With our, Garmins, lights, fuel and bikes prepped and prepared, there was nothing left to do but sit on the start line and have faith for the forthcoming day.

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Another confession- In the second half of 2015, I had found myself losing sight of what had originally drawn me to the sport of cycling. After a bad fracture in my wrist, and subsequently being off the road for close to 12 weeks in a period leading up to the World Duathlon Championships, I found myself chained to the wattbike/trainer for the duration of my recovery. I was soon caught in the trap of training for results rather than enjoyment; and even after my wrist had recovered, I still questioned if the stress was all worth it. The Three Peaks came at a time where I really needed to reconnect with riding for the simple love of riding, rather than for accolades, recognition or chasing a win. Even Xabier, my Three Peaks riding partner and fellow racer admitted it was almost refreshing to be involved in an event that didn’t require stressing about tactics, position and a sprint to the finish line.

Confession number three- In the two weeks leading up to the event, I was involved in two nasty crashes; both of which resulted in other people being taken off to hospital with very serious injuries. Although I wasn’t seriously injured, two of my bikes were and I had been left with rattled confidence. There was even some doubt, up to 3 days before the event, if I would in fact have a bike to ride on. I did make it however, and so did a bike. However, I was not prepared to take ANY chances in that first descent. Despite my wariness though, the descent of Falls Creek could only be described as a pleasant and almost surreal experience. Although congested, nobody was complaining about the first 30 km being downhill. With the ‘peak’ of Tawonga Gap soon following the descent’s conclusion, Xabier and I found ourselves constantly making jokes of Tawonga’s validity of ‘peakness’ compared to the other two that loomed. To be perfectly honest, we tried to not take the ride too seriously. Although we obviously ensured proper hydration and nutrition, and understood the enormity of what we were undertaking; our conversation less focused on the ride itself, but often consisted of debates over which of the bikes surrounding us deserved the higher appraisal!

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It was during Hotham that I was able to really appreciate why people ride, without the need for a reward in crossing the finish line first. Maybe I had become delusional after 30km of uphill, but for the first time in a long time, I was climbing without stress of numbers and figures. I wasn’t focused on getting to the top, but rather enjoying the journey. That said, the last 10km too many times dashed my hopes; having me thinking I had reached the top before another 10% ramp awaited me around the corner!

Jordyn Ally Rose

I had decided from the very beginning that it was not an option for me to fail to reach the finish line. This did not, however mean that I found the experience remotely easy, nor that I was always in positive spirits. Ironically, it was during the descent, not the climb of Hotham, in which I had started to doubt of my abilities. My body had started to feel the toll and although we had passed the 100 km to go mark, we still had a long way to ride. I can’t describe it any more accurately in that during that descent, in an almost altered state of consciousness, I had quite literally felt like falling asleep (pretty scary when you’re travelling at 50+ kph). That section towards the Omeo rest stop was probably my lowest point in the ride. Although ‘only’ having ridden 160 km, my mental strength was really starting to fail me, I’m not even ashamed to admit that I called Mum with the opening line of ‘give me some motivation’. We were at around the same pace as the 11hour group, so I knew we had some time, and at no point was I seriously considering quitting. I was going to fight till I could literally ride no further, but I was starting to question if I had eagerly bitten off more than I could chew. I knew though, that I had no choice to get back on the bike and continue the journey.

MtHothamViewA

It was only later on, and by that I mean about 20 minutes down the road, that I discovered the Hydrolyte they were feeding us, really did have a purpose. Unable to eat at the Omeo rest stop, I had instead guzzled two concentrated drinks and had subsequently started to feel noticeably more alive. In hindsight, I had not adequately replaced the salts in which I had lost in the 7 hours I had been riding. Although I was hydrated and fed, I had only consumed one electrolyte drink in that time. My body had started to react to this lack of much needed salts in my system and coupled with the warm weather, I had not coped well as a result.

BrightViews

It’s truly amazing the connection the mind and body have with each other as there was a direct correlation with my body’s recovery and the return of my motivation after I had consumed the much needed electrolytes. To be honest, I think I had Xabier questioning my state of sanity for a while as I had quite literally gone from 0-100 in my energy levels. From that point, I found myself becoming vocally motivational at almost ‘personal trainer level’. For more than an hour I was like a high school cheerleader, chattering nothing but how far we had come and how comparatively little we had to go. Although this outward motivation was directed at others, I was partially using the opportunity to inspire myself. The excitement for the Three Peaks had returned and with this regaining of energy, I was starting to think that we could really complete this.

The Valley

The Back of Falls: It was the monkey on our back and the climb in which so many cyclists and cycling forums had eloquently described as ‘soul destroying’, even without 200km already in the legs. Keeping this in mind, I had beforehand told my super speedy climber of a riding buddy to go on ahead and complete the climb at his own pace considering he’d be needing all available momentum get up with his 25 back cog (I never had any doubts he could make it to the top with that gearing, but how he did never ceases to amaze me). Never have I been in so much pain for such a long period of time. Not only was the nature of the climb enough to push any cyclist to the limit, but due to the large amount of fuel I had consumed in the lead up, I was feeling inexplicably sick. Never in my entire life has every cell in my body screamed at me so loudly for me to quit. But there was only one way up and only one way to get there. I knew that the pain I had been in then would be nothing compared to the pain I would be in if I decided to give up. So despite my having to get off and walk at times, feeling as if I had to throw up, I still never stopped moving forward. Every 100 metres felt like an eternity and I subsequently have questioned the strategic placement of this climb. How many people (including myself) would surely decide that this hell wasn’t worth it if it wasn’t so close to the finish?

But with heavy legs, arms that could barely support my body and a state of pure exhaustion, I finally reached Trapyard Gap. 12km later I reached the summit of Falls Creek and ultimately the finish line of The Three Peaks Challenge; crossing it with the ever smiling Xabier who had come back to ride with me after already crossing the finish line himself. It was truly a moment I will never forget. The absolute joy of simply completing this challenge is one thing, but us to do it as two sixteen year olds made it all the more special and something that can never be taken away from us.

Sunlight on the mountains

Cycling is more than just a sport. It’s a lifestyle and a community in which only those who are a part of it can understand. The Three Peaks helped me to reconnect with my riding in a way that doesn’t relate to accolades or a leader’s jersey; but instead for the pleasure it brings along the journey. Pain, pleasure and persistence- one aspect alone cannot be attributed with the cycling culture because none can be achieved without the presence of the other. But most of all, cycling is not a lone sport, but one that needs be shared. I know that this ride, would have been a much less enjoyable on in my memory, if it hadn’t been shared with a mate.

The Three Peaks Challenge undoubtedly leaves a mark on all that strive to conquer it. It has certainly left its mark on me.

– Ally Rose Ogden

Black wins JK Lambeth memorial race

JamesBlack_GSC Handicap_july2016_with other winners

Kelly Cycle Coaching cyclist James Black won the 70km JK memorial handicap road race in Geelong last weekend.

James is a masters rider who does most of his training around Williamstown, the You Yangs and the Great Ocean road.

James is currently in training for the Gran Fondo World Championships to be held in Perth over the first 4 days of September.  Riders wanting to compete in this event need to reach a qualifying time or placing at a selection event.  James participated in a NZ road race to achieve his qualification.

JamesBlack_GSC Handicap_july2016

Below is a race report written by Mandy Hoskings:

JK Lambeth Memorial Race 2016

Out and back Forest Rd, Larcombes Rd, out and back Nobles, out and back Forest Rd to Grays, Hendy Main, finish at Larcombes Rd (A) 70kms.

The inaugural running of the JK Lambeth memorial race saw 40 racers brave the elements today. Donning every article of warm clothing in the wardrobe was a good call. Even Juddy wore his arm warmers…yes it was that cold! Now throw in 25 kilometre North Westerly winds with gusts around 35kph and a 70 kilometre undulating course and you have a tough race to contest.

Limit riders Ken Mansfield and Ian Sumner were given a whole 47 minutes head start on Scratch. Gavin Gamble and John Bell (33 mins) had to wait 14 minutes before they could set off. The 26 minute bunch had two of their bunch fail to show on time, so Mandy Hosking, Joe Gulino, Graeme Wilson and new to the club James (watch this space) Black took off with no expectations…track turns was call from the get go.

Tina Stenos and Paul Bubb received their instructions and were given the choice to start with the 14 minute bunch or take off in a bid to catch their bunch…they chose the latter and to their credit stayed away for a considerable time from the large group containing the rugged up Juddy, Vic Mason, Dave Spence, Pete Ladd, Robbie Nicholls, Paul Beasley, Paul Bird and Andrew Booth; whom had been dragged a bunch having won last week’s Rocket Ascent.

The 9 minute bunch took off 38 minutes after limit and reports say they worked well until they were reeled in at the last turn around in Forest Road by scratch, 2nd and 3rd scratch. Visitors from Footscray, Steve Firman and Mark Micallef, (who has just returned to racing after a horror crash that saw him hit by a car and catapulted along the road, sustaining terrible injuries, which also smashed his beloved bike in half; may she rest in peace)…were in the mix until Steve punctured.

Back to the front of the race, John Bell had ridden Gavin Gamble off his wheel racing up Nobles Road and rode solo until catching limit, on the second trip down Forest Road at Gum Flats Road. Ian Sumner jumped on and hung on until the 26min bunch (who’d collected Gavin Gamble) came sweeping by, led by James Black, Graeme Wilson and Joe Gulino, with Mandy Hosking trying to keep up; Ian dropped soon after.

The chasing bunches combined and bearing down on the bunch, James called out to Mandy, John and Gavin to “Have a go, we’ll stay away if we all work.” The three managed a few turns, but Graeme and James were pulling such strong turns, the bunch disintegrated to just three turning into Grays Road…10 kilometres from the finish.

A strong tailwind saw James, Graeme and Mandy hitting 43kph at the end of Grays. A quick check to see if a chase bunch was threatening saw the three breathe a sigh of relief until Graeme discovered he’d punctured. Graeme left James and Mandy to ride away at Jack’s corner and finish off the race for the one, two. Shame, as “Graeme had ridden like a champion and deserved a place.” said Mandy.

The speeds hit by the combined scratch bunches were insane, spitting out riders left right and centre. At the top of the chicane the bunch realised they were racing for the minor placings.

James Black had Mandy riding on the rivet in the strong side headwind up Hendy Main to the Larcombes Road final 700 metres. Mandy sat up leaving James to take out a well deserved first place, by 15 seconds and a good 150 metres. With Scratch giving it a red hot go to the finish, Mandy had to get a wriggle on to the line or be caught. Anthony Seipolt crossed the line a good two bike lengths in front of Josh Williams, who was followed by Noel Taylor, Tony French, Nick Brown, Rich Lyle, Dave Warren and finally Vic Mason.

JamesBlack_GSC Handicap_july2016_with other winners

As always the race could not be conducted without the support of our club officials and marshalls. A big thank you goes to everyone that helped out today. Special thanks to Rob Lambeth and his Stepmum Norma for putting up the awesome trophy. We’ll be looking forward to next year’s race!

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