It was my team mate Kelly’s birthday, so it was destined to be a awesome day. We were set for the double, am SKCC crits and pm Femme Vitesse Round 2. Sunday started off with a pleasant smash fest at the SKCC crits. Long story short, Kelly donned her birthday sash, riders went off the front left, right and centre, including Bridie. Kelly and I did not chase and Bridie came away with the win. Like I said, an awesome start to the day!
Femme Vitesse Round 2 was held at Richmond Boule, a 1.3km long hotdog course that was going to test the best. No one likes hotdogs, they are pure, pure punishment. Despite this, Kelly, Bridie and I were all there and pumped, we were going to be aggressive. So when we kicked off, the plan began and Kelly went off the front early in true birthday style. A couple of laps later I attacked, got reeled in, then I attacked again. I looked back this time and found myself with 20 ish seconds on the bunch in no time. They let me go. This was about 15 minutes into a 60 minute race.
Each lap I watched as the rest of the bunch started to string out and blow apart as riders tried to hang on with the fast pace. I can’t really remember but I think that Minda, Lauretta and Tayla from BCS were driving the pace, with Nicole Whitburn from Liv Giant, Tessa Fabry and Grace Phang from Kosdown, Bec Domange from WDP, Helen Kelly from Park Trent and my team mate Bridie were all being sucked along for the ride.
The wind was feral to say the least. Each lap got harder and harder. I was slingshotting between about 20 secs to 10 seconds lead. I was time trailing my guts out. After what could have been over 30 minutes off the front, I was starting to fail big time. Each lap I was getting slower into the head wind, so when Lauretta attacked to bridge, with Bridie on her wheel, they caught me within a lap.
I was a slight bit relieved that they caught me. I sat back in with the bunch to recover. Two laps later, as the pace slowed, I attacked again! The bunch caught me and then all of a sudden Bridie went, Lauretta was on her wheel, blink and they had almost a lap on us. They put a fair distance to us late in the race, there was no way we were going to catch them.
Lauretta 1st, Bridie 2nd. Our bunch sprinted for 3rd position, I was somewhere towards the back. There was no way I could have sprinted over Nicole, Bec, or Helen. I could barely get out of my saddle. My effort was rewarded in that I came away with Most Aggressive, Sufferfest Laps Leader and the Sprint Points. I also got 3rd on GC too. Total Rush won the teams classification for the day too. What an awesome birthday for Kelly and a great result for the Team!!!
I’m pretty happy with my efforts, especially considering last week I was recovering from being sick and raced like an angry sack of potatoes. It’s funny to think back to this time last year when I raced the last Cykel Series. I started in the Novice Category and ended up racing in B grade towards the end of the series. Only one year later and I am racing in A grade, sometimes I have to pinch myself. It is an something else to race in a team, working together with my Total Rush team mates makes the results all the more rewarding.
It was great to see so many teams, clubs and people supporting the Cykel / Femme Vitesse series, both in Bendigo and Richmond. Hawthorn Cycling Club and the Women@HCC had a strong presence in showing their support, along with Women’s Design Project showing off their new kit. I smiled to myself when I overheard men who have been around the racing scene for years, talking about how exciting it was to watch the high calibre of women’s racing – especially with such an “aggressive and riveting race”. What an exciting start to the year for both my Total Rush team and myself.
5 days until 3 Peaks 2014…..get on your bike and ride it (a really long way up really steep hills!).
Photos – Bridie’s, Craig’s or my own or used with permission from JXPhotograpgy.com or Peloton Cafe Gallery here: | You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @lowercasev