Category Archives: Road

Barrow wins Mt Baw Baw

Anchor Point girls

Kelly Cycle Coaching along with athletes who ride for either ParkTrent Properties and Anchor Point/ParkTrent Real Estate VRS teams, raced at Mt Baw Baw last weekend.

For those who haven’t raced this event, it is a solid day with 3,000m of climbing over 100km.  The race starts in Warragul and finishes at the summit of Mt Baw Baw.

Justine wins solo

We had several athletes competing in this event for the first time and we ensured they all had adequate gears to get up the summit.  This included compact cranks and 28 to 32 cassettes.

Anchor Point girls

Notable results were:

Women’s A grade:
Justine Barrow 1st
Harriet Smith 2nd
Carley McKay 5th
Rebecca Stephens 7th
Kirsty Deacon 11th


Bob giving tips Harriet secondLachie
Pre race chat Justine post race
Pre race photos Pat Brett


C Grade Men
Patrick Brett 12th
Lachie Clarke 16th


A Grade Men:
Ben Andrews 11th
Mark Kelly 12th
David Randall 13th
Ryan Cottrell 15th
Kyle Thompson 16th
Cam Bush 17th
Jayden Cooper 19th
Dyl Thompson 20th
Paddy Burt 21st


Podiums at Junior States


Kelly Cycle Coaching had several podium results at State Titles in Wangaratta last weekend.

The State titles about experiencing racing, learning the tactics, and for some it is also about trying to win a title and/or qualify for the junior State road team.  Regardless of where you finished, it is about enjoying your cycling and doing the best you can. KCC had over 30 riders racing and it was great to see all them warming up under the tent, having fun and giving it a go. Well done to all of you.

Some notable results over the weekend included:

Time Trial Day:

Angus Lyons (ParkTrent) – 1st.

Angus has recently accepted a VIS road scholarship and we wish him all the very best with the next phase of his cycling career.  He has been with KCC since first year U17 and has accumulated VRS stage wins and podiums, 2 National TT titles and several State titles so far in his 3.5 years with us.  He is a highly respected rider by all his peers and gives back by being there to mentor the up and coming juniors.

Kirsty Deacon (KCC) – 2nd

Jordyn Hassett (ParkTrent) – 3rd

Eloise Vaughan (ParkTrent), Cyrus Monk (ParkTrent) and Maccie Carter (KCC) were all 5th.

David Randall (ParkTrent) – 6th

Road Race:

Kirsty Deacon (KCC) – 1st

Eloise Vaughan (ParkTrent) – 2nd

Jordyn Hassett (ParkTrent) – 4th

Angus Lyons (ParkTrent) – 2nd

Cyrus Monk (ParkTrent)- 3rd

Nick White (ParkTrent) – 7th

Kirsty wins the road race. Eloise finishes 2nd.

Jordyn finished 3rd in the TT and 4th in the road race

Carter wins Melb to Ballarat

Winner of Melb handicap

KCC rider Ewan Carter took the biggest win of his short cycling career on Saturday, winning the Melbourne to Ballarat handicap.

Ewan is focusing mostly on track racing, doing some CX and mountain biking for fun plus preparing for the upcoming crit season.  As a full time chippie, his strength lies in the shorter more explosive races, but entered the Ballarat handicap just to get some km’s in his legs.

Packing a very good sprint, Ewan waited patiently as the front group rode up the finishing straight.  With 350m to go, second place finisher jumped.  Ewan got his wheel and then timed his sprint perfectly, taking the win by a full bike length.

Well done surfie boy!!!

Ewan wins his first ever handicap race!!

Ewan Carter takes the win

Ewan and Ryan looking like "kings"

Ewyn Carter blogs about his Melbourne to Ballarat victory

by Ewyn Carter (2014 Melbourne to Ballarat winner)

“The Melbourne to Ballarat started for me off limit, 34 minutes in front of scratch. I sat on the start line unsure of how the race would unfold with no real expectations nor the knowledge of how handicap races played out. This was my first handicap, so finishing close to the front of the first or second bunch would have been a good day out. I had studied the course the night before, I spent all of a minute looking at the elevation, flat for 20k’s and than the ramp to Ballarat was long and steady. My strength in cycling is sprinting, I’m a builder by trade, and my days are pretty physical compared to most, so I knew that any group was my best place for the day to finish with a result. A solo attempt was out of the question with the stiff headwind and Time Trialling for me is pretty much non existent. However, The headwind did play into our hands quite well as it would become a race of strength and I new if we worked off the line as a group we’d have a chance to stay clear for at least the first quarter of the race.

From the gun the Limit group took a couple of k’s to gel and I was sitting mid pack. I’d watched the pros ride since I was a grommet and knew that any form of disorganization would be the end of our day, so I went to the front and tried to set a solid pace, a few joined and with some stiff words from the more experienced handicappers all of a sudden the whole group was thrust into a metronomic state, and we worked as temporary teammates. I found this both exciting and confidence building. Again after watching the pros in action for many years on TV, a breakaway group can get a sizable lead all day but when they want to shut it down they turn the wick for a few k’s and the group is caught in the blink of an eye. I had this thought in the back of my find for the first twenty km’s and was constantly looking for flashing lights behind when I went to the rear of the group to indicate the impending catch by the group behind. But to my surprise we hit the first climb clear and relatively still all together. From my previous races in the VRS I’d always been smoked up any incline by more suited climbing riders so today’s plan of attack for me when the road went towards the heavens was to get to the front and set a tempo then roll through and remind my new teammates that this was a long battle to be run and tempo was needed. My max heart rate is 183 and we where climbing at 160, which was uncomfortable but manageable. I’d started eating early on the road and had a few packed pockets on my jersey and tried to get as much energy back into the system at any opportunity. A race of attrition and nutrition.

As the group continued to climb and descend, climb and descend, the rolling of turns continued. Tactically rolling turns was the best way to conceive energy anyway as sitting on the back would have required too many surges, consistency for me was the key. As we were rolling through I could see riders in more discomfort than I so my tactic changed in the pace line, as soon as there was a gap in the line I’d jump from the slow line to the fast always staying on the move forwards. This proved to be the best way to ride as we went from roughly 25 starters down to about 8 at the halfway point. More importantly no groups had caught us yet. My confidence levels had grown at this point and I all of a sudden relaxed. Heart Rate back to 130, which for me is perfect for a distance ride. The 8 of us continued up the road, seven working with one hanging on.

We kept climbing some long shallow climbs and some short sharp climbs too. I have relatives in Ballarat and have friends there to, so had driven the route a few times. We where ticking all of these climbs off, still without being caught and I knew that there was only really the reservoir climb left and rest was rolling, perfect for a sprinter. We descended to the reservoir and an officials car pulled up alongside and held a A4 piece of paper up to the passengers window with 3:50 written in big texta, my first thought was that person has really nice writing and the second thought was that’s a big gap to a chasing group! Relaxation in a big race like this for me went to another level. We climbed out of the reservoir heading for the loop. One of the more experienced handicappers left mentioned that the group behind would definitely make the catch and the win wouldn’t come from just our little group. I did some quick maths and thought the following group would catch us somewhere on the off-highway loop. So I kept eating and finished one of my bottles. Our group splintered a bit on the cohesion front as everyone now received the memo about the catch from the more experienced rider. For me this was a bit annoying as an advantage is an advantage and the later the catch the fresher we’ll be at the end.

We left the highway, and about halfway through just after the steepest climb of the day I turned to see whether the chasers might be in site and they where about 150 metres behind! Flashbacks of the pros where running through my mind, was the white flag going up, wave to the camera as you get swallowed up by the marauding peloton etc…. I’d been told by a few people about techniques when being caught by a chasing group, one being to sprint off your group and gap them while the fight for positions take places behind, crashes to occur etc….than let them overtake only at a couple of kph faster rather than blasting past in a flash. So I gassed it off the front when I saw them at about 25 metres from us. One came with me from limit and to my relief I was caught by the rolling chase group of about 8 and casually slipped into there pace line. This was going nicely.

Our group was now aprox 12, with four from limit, heading to Gordon, at a quicker pace than the last 10 km’s! Relaxation was back after calming myself down from the sprint off the front of the limit group. Eating, drinking, keep the next group from catching, new teammates, fresh attitude, focus on the finish. On the tailwind section I went to the back of the group to take stock of who was in this group and try to assess the danger, who’s a sprinter, who’s a climber, who sprints. Unfortunately I only knew one other, my clubmate Lynton. He’s good at all three of the above! Not knowing the other riders did make me nervous a bit for a bunch finish, which wheel do you take, so with 20km’s to go my time would be spent closely observing riders looking for fatigue signs, climbing strengths and who was looking pretty cagey for a sprint. I get pretty chatty in competition so was sussing people every now and than even laying a few false seeds that I was suffering and hurting etc…The officials at this point gave us a gap of 5 mins. I knew the finish would be from this group after another calculation. So gels were the food of choice. I did have a moment on the loop, I moved out of the pace line to clear my nose one handed and rode through a pot hole the size of a kids wading pool, managed to pull of the save. Got a few pats on the back from the fellow riders for the effort. I think the Russian judge would have given me a ten if I came a cropper as we where doing 65, and the tarmac usually wins those battles and the ditch to the side of the road looked like a ditch more suited to the Swiss Alps. Just goes to show you, can be in a winning position one second – a hospital the next.

I continued in the pace line until about 5km to go and realized that a few where missing their turns, so I made the decision to conserve and let others pull me to the line. The sprint was going to be uphill, so I needed the energy to be at its best. A few continued pulling hard with 2km to go, but the majority where thinking as I was and were sitting on. We made the turn to the castle. I knew the finish was still a k to go so I went to the back and was last. I thought this was the best place to be to cover any sprint. The group was still driving steadily in the left gutter with 500m to go no sprint as yet, so I moved up the right side to be about 6th about 4 wide. Those on the inside were boxed in, an I was controlling the boxing. Lynton than opened the burners with 250m to go and I knew this would be the selection. He’s strong and sly as a fox, so that was it – get his wheel to 50 to go, and try and hold the others off who followed me. But we’d gapped the rest quiet easily and significantly. The win was out of us. 50m to go I went to his right, should have been his left, the non windy side, but I had heaps of strength left and just ripped it to the line. That feeling was super surreal. I didn’t feel relief or excitement or anything really. It only felt like there where 12 riders to beat. I didn’t see any of the NRS boys or anyone else, as I’d expected, so the weight of winning a bigger race like that was kind of lost on me and still kind of is.

I have a cycling coach. Bob Kelly from Kelly Cycle Coaching. This race wasn’t really a massive focus for me. I’m planning to try to do well at the criterium and track disciplines going forwards so this was sort of seen as a training ride at race pace. Bob and his wife Helen do a great job. I’d encourage riders to seek a structured program once in their racing careers as it gives you good goals to strive for. I used to just ride my bike thinking I was getting fitter, but having a plan and structure has really accelerated my development and makes me want to achieve higher results. I work a rather extreme schedule so to have a timetable for training takes the pressure off that little bit as someone else is making the decision for you. I know it’s an added cost and how far do you get the bank budget stretched already these days but Bob and Helen cater for all.

For me the future holds criteriums and track events. I’ve just started on the track down at DISC and absolutely hang to get on the boards and hook my bike around the banking. I encourage every rider to put it on their riding bucket list. I race every Thursday night now with Northcote and Craig Neiwand puts on an awesome night of racing and motor pacing. No cars, no rain and good times. I think this helped with my sprint and ride in the Ballarat. It gives you that extra 5% that seems only to be available to those who win.

Long term I’d like to position myself as a rider of a similar pedigree to a Shannon Johnson or a Hayden Bradbury, older fellas who are still stomping and making the young ones hurt. The riders we have are surely some of the best in the World, and when they go overseas always dominate. I feel fortunate to be involved in such an environment and other riders definitely inspire me to want to race at higher and higher levels. You don’t have to win races all of the time to enjoy cycling though. I still leave my Garmin at home occasionally and just ride my bike for the release. Recently I was up at Wangaratta helping Bob and Helen with the junior state titles. I took my bike and just simply got on and rode. 4.5 hours later I came back, all country lanes, cattle, sheep, sunshine, magpies swooping, canola fields etc… Thats the beauty of cycling, enjoyment isn’t about first place, it’s the journeys we take as individuals and newly found unexpected teammates.

I’d like to thank the Ballarat City Council, Ballarat cycling club and the Victoria Police. Without them this event wouldn’t happen and it needs to have another 104 years of racing to come. I’d especially like to thank those who held warning flags, stopped traffic, put out signs, barriers waved the chequered flag, drove the lead cars, you know who you are and without you, this race definitely wouldn’t happen. Thanks CV for organising the event also, you guys are breeding the future so old blokes like me down the track can say we raced with an Angus Lyons or a Cyrus Monk or a Jordyn Hasset when they are winning Paris-Roubaix or La Course for the girls.

See you on the road or track enjoying cycling together.”

Ewyn Carter

Success at U19 Nationals


Kelly Cycle Coaching had 3 U19 riders (ParkTrent team) compete in the National Road Championships last weekend.  With 15 of our U19 riders doing Year 12 this year, most of them had to forfeit the opportunity to compete due to SAC’s and other study commitments.  Notwithstanding our small representation, we managed to achieve a 3rd place in the TT (Angus Lyons) and a top 20 in both the road race and criterium (Cyrus Monk).

Ben Andrews (a first year U19 in the ParkTrent team) also competed, mostly to gain valuable experience of Nationals racing.  He had some bad luck with being caught behind a crash, but took a lot away from the competition.

Well done to Angus Lyons, Cyrus Monk and Ben Andrews on your results at U19 Nationals.

Angus takes 3rd

Monk wins Gippsland Tour

Cyrus Monk - ParkTrent Men's Team

ParkTrent rider Cyrus Monk recently won Gippsland Tour over the Queens Birthday long weekend.  At 17 years old, this was a fantastic achievement by Cyrus.

KCC asked Cyrus to write about his tour.  Here is what he had to say.

Stage 1: 6km individual TT at Heyfield.

A downwind time trial made for fast times and small time gaps. I came in in second place in a time of 7:15 at 51km/h, 10 seconds behind the leader James Henry.

Cyrus Monk - ParkTrent Men's Team

Stage 2: 3 laps of a 26km flat road circuit with a 2km hill in the middle, Heyfield.

Had decide I was going to go for Kom competition so took Kom points first time up and soon after early break of 3 riders established. Break got out to 1.5 minutes by the bottom of the climb on the second lap. At this point I surged off the front of the bunch with fellow Warragul U19 Jayden Manintveld in tow. At the mid point of the climb I was still going as hard as I could to break the race up and Jayden had lost the wheel. Just cresting the climb race leader James Henry, Satalyst Giant rider Kane Walker, African Wildlife Safaris rider Jarryd Jones, and 15 year old leongatha national track sprint champion Tom Mcfarlane had made it across to me.

We worked together down the other side of the hill to catch the break but as soon as the catch occurred the pace went off and the bunch was allowed to get back on about 10km down the road. Approaching the base of the hill on the final lap a group of five riders were allowed to roll off the front and had approximately 30 seconds at the base of the climb. This time up I launched several attacks to try and break up the field but by this stage I didn’t have much left in the tank and no one else had any desire to keep the pace on so after catching the break the bunch stayed together with just a few riders dislodged. In the final sprint I positioned myself on Tom’s wheel knowing he would be one of the fastest but with around 300m to go James Henry road up next to me with the intention of boxing me in and stopping me from picking up any time bonuses, ultimately he succeeded and I was forced to dart up the inside only to find even less space and settle for fifth position and a bonus 2 seconds on GC with Jarryd winning the bunch kick over Kane and Tom. This put me 8 seconds behind James and 3 seconds behind Kane coming into the third stage.

Stage 3: 2 laps of a hilly 38km circuit at Leongatha.

This was without doubt the toughest stage of the tour so I knew if I was going to win the GC I’d have to win it today. The stage features a 6km, 4% hill in the middle known infamously as the Mardan climb. After testing my climbing legs they day before I was looking forward to this hill. Undulating journey out to the climb was filled with opportunistic attacks by a range of riders trying to give themselves a head start with a group of five including Jarryd Jones taking a 20 second lead around the corner signalling the start of the climb. I decided to test the legs of myself and other riders in the bunch by pushing the pace up the steeper early sections of the climb which resulted in the peloton quickly catching the break and me quickly losing motivation to do any further pace making.

Halfway up the climb on a flatter section two club members were allowed to roll off the front and had a 30 second lead at the Kom, I pushed the pace a little in the last kilometre of the hill just to have a look at the effect it had on the others as I drifted back through the peloton after taking the remaining Kom points, I noticed James was not looking as good as he was yesterday. The bunch rolled along for the next half lap to the start/finish with James and Jarryd doing most of the work on the front, the two man break had a 1.5 minute lead at the finish line, I was not worried as I knew the course was a tough one to stay away on. Shortly after hearing this gap Jarryd rolled back and ‘suggested’ (no quotes will be used) that Kane and myself, who had been sitting on the back the previous 10km, contribute to the pace making. I had no desire to catch the break so soon but thought it better to oblige than to make enemies in a race with no teams involved to start with.

After 5km of chasing from Kane, Jayden and myself the break came back into sight and it was apparent that one had ridden away from the other, I stopped working as I realised they were not going to stay away much longer. I positioned myself on the front during the decent before he climb to stay out of trouble and make sure no one rolled off the front. At the base of the climb there was one man (a reasonable climber) still up the road with a 30 second lead. At this stage I had decided I was giving it everything from the bottom and not looking back, which I did. I attacked at the base of the climb with James and Jarryd on my wheel. Initially they let me go which was the worse case scenario as I knew they would work together with the rest of the bunch later on to chase me down.

I continued to push the pace through the middle flat section and caught the rider who had now been riding solo on the front for 15km and made a point of the effect this had on his legs as I asked him to give me some help. Shortly after on the next rise in gradient I looked over my shoulder to see that he had lost contact but luckily the bunch was well out of sight, I carried a one minute lead through the Kom. From here on it was simple, one man against a bunch of fifteen, fortunately I had the head start. I new I would lose time on the long decent so made the effort to push up the few little bumps before the drop back down to Leongatha.

After this stage I didn’t look back until around three kilometres to go to see that I still had around a thirty second gap, however from here it was a tough uphill drag to the finish and I knew they would be going a lot quicker than I was. I managed to grovel over the final hill and came around the final corner to put out a pathetic sprint for the line in an uphill finish with nothing left in the tank. Shortly after crossing the line and falling in a heap on the side of the road I looked around to see a group of 3 including Kane a few seconds in front of the rest of the bunch crossing the line. In the end I one by 9 seconds after spending 25km off the front by myself. Due to the extra 10 second time bonus and my rivals failing to feature in the bunch sprint due to their efforts in chasing I now carried a 12 second lead over Kane and 13 seconds over James into the final stage.

Cyrus - tired but happy

Stage 4: 4 laps of a pan flat 20km circuit at Yinnar.

To win the GC from here all that was required was to finish in the bunch along with all my closest rivals given the time bonus for winning was 10 seconds, easier said than done. I came prepared to be chasing down attacks all day and my presumptions were not untrue. The race was very cruisy for the first half lap while people tried to get their legs working again after yesterday’s sufferfest.

At this stage I was leading the Kom competition and still wanted the prize money and glory of getting this in case my GC hopes fell through so I put in a surge to take the first Kom. Shortly after this, as I expected, Jarryd put in a series of attacks which I was forced to chase down given he was only 30 seconds behind me on GC. On the 4th attack I was starting to tire decided to let him stay out front for the while in the hope that he would do himself more harm than good. This plan was ruined when Jayden jumped across shorty after. The next two and a half laps consisted of me and two Latrobe Valley members keeping the break in contact while the rest of the bunch got an armchair ride in flat, windless conditions.

At one point after I’d put in a long turn on the only uphill section of the course and we’d got within 15 seconds one of the LCCC members, Danny Gafa, who I have raced with and been beaten by for many years (who also gives Brenton Jones a run for his money in a sprint) told me not to catch them this early or the others would attack me, this proved to be useful advice as we let the break back out to around a minute at the start of the third lap. By this stage I had burnt a lot of matches over the last three days of racing and it was lucky a few other club members helped a little with the chase, how ever the gap still remained. After the Kom on the third lap Gafa and I decided it was time to reel the break in and by the start of the last lap it was all back together.

Another break of non GC contenders rolled off the front on the last lap but this time Kane helped myself and Gafa keep it within striking distance. In the final run into the line I jumped on the wheel of a fellow club member who launched from 800m out just as we were catching the break. I went with this knowing that as long as there were no time gaps I would win the GC. Unfortunately he ran out of puff 300m from the line so I was sat on the front from a long way out and rolled by Tom who took out the win followed by James with me coming in third and taking out the GC.

Thanks to Bob and Helen for the Park Trent opportunity (and a special thanks to all our ParkTrent sponsors) which is helping my racing a lot even at the club level! Really pleased with how everything’s going and looking forward to maybe having a crack at racing against these guys mentioned in this report in the future.

Lyons on podium at Mersey Valley

Angus finished 3rd in the TT at Mersey Valley

Kelly Cycling athlete Angus Lyons had a great time trial at the Mersey Valley tour recently to finish in 3rd place, only 20sec off the win.  Angus rides for the ParkTrent men’s team.

Angus also ended up in a break for 70km the following day, only to be caught a few km’s from the finish.  He held on to finish 9th.  The final stage saw Angus on domestique duties where he lead out three cycling collegues who ended up taking all 3 podium places.  A great lead out Gus!

Angus finished 3rd in the TT at Mersey Valley

Monk 2nd at Phillip Island

Cyrus Monk finishes 2nd in the A grade race

Kelly Cycle Coaching took a strong ParkTrent men’s and women’s team to Phillip Island, in conjunction with an Essendon SKODA team that included Rob Tigello (former Australian Road champion).

An early break in the Men’s A grade field featured Rob Tigello, Alistair Crameri, James Cummings, Angus Lyons and Cyrus Monk.  This break last 6-7 laps and as it was caught Tommy Nankervis, Cyrus Monk and two others went clear.  This group of 4 stayed clear and eventually split into two groups, with Tommy and Cyrus ahead by 30sec.

Cyrus finished 2nd about 10sec behind the solo finisher of Tommy Nankervis.

In the combined men’s B and masters category, Ewen Carter was our highest finisher in 12th place in a fast bunch kick.

The women had some success in the team trials with them winning their B and C grade events, respectively and 4th in the A grade.  Josie also sprinted to a top 10 in the road race held in wintery wet conditions, an hour after their time trial.  The women’s race had many attacks by Kara Richards, Harriet Smith and Bec Stephens (ParkTrent) but nothing stuck and it came down to a fast finishing sprint, won by Lisa Hanley (Hampton Cycles).

Cyrus Monk finishes 2nd in the A grade race

Well done to all riders who competed in very cold and damp conditions.

Below are some links to photos taken by Jim Morey.

Mens A grade are at:

Mens B & Masters:


Club races:

Tour of South West

Jordyn won the B grade crit

Kelly Cycle Coaching took 25 riders to the Tour of South West over the weekend.  The weekend was a great success with numerous top 10 results.

ParkTrent was strongly represented with 18 athletes racing.  They came away with 2 wins, a 2nd, and a 3rd in GC, plus a number of other top 10 finishes.

The Essendon SKODA men’s U23 team had 2 top 10’s in the crit on stage 3.

We also had some good performances from a number of our masters riders.

Eloise won the C grade crit

Jordyn won the B grade crit

Eloise wins the C grade crit

Simone Peirce finished 2nd in the road race and 5th overall

Hamish Haynes finished 7th in the road race on Stage 1

Other great results included James Cummings (6th in the criterium), Liam White 9th.  Carley finished 5th in the TT on stage 2 and 10th overall.

Pre-race snooze

Mt Buffalo Hill Climbing Champs

Ethan Berends and Eloise Vaughan

Kelly Cycle Coaching returned to Mt Buffalo for the Uphill National TT and Road Race Champs.

Some great results by several riders.

We had two riders on the podium, Ethan Berends (3rd road race) and Eloise Vaughan (3rd GC).  Jordyn Hassett missed the podium by 20sec, finishing 4th in the TT.

Great riding by everyone who attended.

Ethan Berends and Eloise Vaughan

Hall qualifies for UCI World Cycling Tour


Kelly cycle coaching athlete, Liz Hall (ParkTrent Cycling Team) recently flew to Perth to compete in the UCI World Cycling Tour Qualifying Time Trial and Road Race.  She came home with a silver and a gold.  A great effort Liz.  Here is her race report on how each race unfolded.

Report By Liz Hall.

The UCI World Cycling Tour is the amateur version of the professional World Tour and includes the World Championships for Amateurs (19-34) and Masters.  There are Masters rainbow jerseys on offer at the championship final each year.  The UWCT Perth Tour is a qualifying round and consists of 3 stages – a 20km time trial around Rottnest Island, an 81km circuit road race around Perry Lakes and a hilly 106km gran fondo from Fremantle to Kalamunda.  All three courses were also used in the NRS Tour de Perth.  Podium place getters and the top 25% of finishers in each UWCT category qualify for an invitation to the World Championships (in Slovenia in 2014).

Liz Hall - ParkTrent Women's team qualifies in both the TT and Road race

Time Trial

There was aero bling aplenty on show for the Rottnest TT. After 40-50kmh winds the afternoon before, I was relieved that we had an almost still morning for racing, with only a gentle breeze of 13kmh.  My start off the ramp was good, with optimal gear selection to get me out of the barricades.  After negotiating two sets of railway tracks, I was able to settle into the aero bars as the course wound around the south side of the island.  The course was quite technical, always up or down, and with a few tight twisty turns. On one early hill I had to move to the bull horns to stand up over a steep pinch and a tight ‘S’ bend and a right-hander into a narrow track near the end also required me to get off the aero bars, but otherwise I was pretty much able to around the course down on the bars.  I was well and truly in the ‘hurt’ box with a few kilometres remaining.  I had no way of knowing how I was going against the favourite, as for some odd reason she had been off first. As I approached the finish I could hear Gav and a few locals screaming encouragement, so I dug deep and pushed the last uphill section into the finishing barricades as hard as I could. After slumping over the bars and a roll around to cool down, I found myself in the hot seat, and ultimately had the fastest time of the day and the gold medal.

Liz accepting her gold medal for the TT.

In the starting gates

Road Race

The road race was a tricky affair, as all the women under 50 raced together.  The largest groups were the under 35s (challenger class) and my own age group of WMAS4. The strategy was to keep an eye on your own category competitors whilst racing smartly in the pack.  One WMAS2 woman (a former ironman competitor and strong time trialler) slipped off the front after 3 laps of the 8km circuit. There wasn’t enough power in the remaining WMAS2 group to chase and the challenger class women decided to let her go as it didn’t affect their own race.  I managed to position myself well in the bunch.  However, recent crit racing accidents back home and an unfamiliar peloton made me a little tentative into the corners.

Liz Hall being congratulated by Matt Keenan

After 5 laps, the course changed to turn up a very nasty KOM of 7-12%.  The challenger women lit it up the first time on KOM, but I managed to stay in contact.  The second and third times up the hill saw me temporarily dropped from the main chase group, but I was able to get back on before the longer drag up into a headwind along the Indian Ocean.

In action - in the TT

Finally the elastic broke for me and the other remaining WMAS4 competitor.  This time, she got back onto the small chase group and I didn’t.  Despite eventually being unhitched herself on the run to the finish, I was unable to catch her and finished with the silver medal.

Gran Fondo

After having already qualified for the worlds, this race was not such a pressure cooker for me. The gran fondo had a neutral mass start out of the heart of Fremantle before the timing kicked in around the 22km mark.  It may have been ‘neutral’ by name, but it was very much on like donkey kong as we sped headlong towards the hills.  The front bunch was being driven by pros from the Tour de Perth, including eventual overall gran fondo winner Travis Meyer.  As soon as neutral was over, the bunch snapped into 3 groups, with me in the third! I worked hard on the front of a small break, picking up some small groups along the way, and despite poor organisation, we eventually caught the second group just before the first climb of 9km.

Two of my category competitors had been hanging on the back of my group and hit the first hill with me. My legs felt heavy, feeling the effects of the previous 2 days of racing, and both those competitors passed me at a steady pace up the climb. I managed to catch them after the climb, rode with them and a couple of guys through undulating national park terrain for a while, before finding my legs and eventually dropping them. With most of the climbing done, it was a far more enjoyable ride to the finish. Without knowing what women were lucky enough to be in the front group, I had no way of knowing where I had placed overall or in my category.  As it turned out I was first in my category and 4th woman across the line. Taking into account my placings in the TT and road race, this also gave me the WMAS4 GC win.

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