Once again, I was off to Australia. This time it was to compete at the Oceania Road Champs. I was racing in both events – a 27km time trial and 105km road race.
The racing started off with the time trial. The course was basic, out and back. On a flat, dead piece of road. We were also lucky with the conditions. There was basically no wind – Actually, I wouldn’t have minded some hard-core winds, as that’s what I usually get back at home. But nevertheless, I wasn’t going to complain.
Time trialling isn’t that exciting to write about. Pretty much, I went out hard. Started to die. Pushed through it and kept going hard! Got to the finish line smashed, and happy with my stats. Then was over the moon when I found out I won the u23 title as well as having the 3rd fastest female time.
However, there was no time to really let it sink in. I had to focus on recovery and get ready to perform well in the road race the following day.
Leading into the road race, I was a little nervous as a lot of my competition had fresh legs from not riding the time trial. But I had to put this aside and believe in my training. I really like the road race course. It was hilly, with a technical down hill and no easy sections. These sorts of courses suit me, where the racing is just hard core from the beginning. To make it even tougher, the weather was cold, and it was pouring with rain. Rain makes the racing seem a little miserable, but once we had started I enjoyed the harsh nature of it!
The race was on from the beginning and a Mike Greer Homes rider Libby attacked off the front and soloed it for over a lap and a half! During this time the bunch was on and off with little attacks trying to get way. Some more action started on the start of the third lap, where the bunch blew to bits up the long climb. After the climb the race turned quite tactical, with no one wanting roll on the front. Everyone was saving themselves for the last climb – where the fireworks really went off.
Attacks happened from the base of the climb and the pace was on to the very top. The last corner, another attack went, and I just lost contact to the wheel in front. Four rider’s road off with Georgia just up ahead of me. Across the top, the four riders were hitting it out. They had about ten seconds on me and I managed to hold pace along the flat section. There was no way I was going to give up and was able to catch Georgia on the downhill. We managed to work our asses off and catch back onto the front girls along the flat section after the decent. This was such a hard effort, as the girls in front were drilling trying to not let us catch. It was such a relief to get back on!
I probably should have sat on the back for longer and recover, but I made a bit of a silly move and did some pull throughs. When Grace Brown launched her final attack, I was on the wrong wheel. My legs were then too smashed to bridge the gap across to Grace and Sharlotte. The rest of us were all pretty whacked, so it ended up becoming a battle for the under 23 title.
I went around the final corner in second position, then hit it with 200m to go to win our little bunch kick. I couldn’t quite believe that I had just come 3rd over all and won myself another Oceania title as an u23. To top it off, my teammates also rounded off the podium and made it a kiwi clean sweep!
This trip would not have been possible with out the help from Mike Greer Homes Women’s cycling, and the support from my parents – Patrick and Tammy. Also, a huge thanks to Tasmania and the Oceania federation for putting on such an amazing event. Can’t wait to be back next year and defend my titles!