Firstly, Thank you to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for granting us a long weekend in June to celebrate your Birthday. If her Majesty doesn’t already know, in the cycling fraternity, celebrating the Queens Birthday is often tagged as the ‘Tour’ of weekends and the Bikegearnow Northern SuburbsThree Day (3DT) is probably one of the most recognised 3 Day Tours on the Victorian Long Weekend Cycling Calendar.
The 3DT TORQ/Bicycle Superstore Women’s Road Team (Grant Norton – Bicycle Superstore Albury and 3DT team manager, Nadine Le Mescam, Claire Dallat, Vic Luxton-Bain and Flick Wardlaw) decided to enter the 3DT as a team training exercise for the next National Road Series race in Narrabri, North West NSW.
|The Girls Start of Stage 1: Vic, Nadine, Flick, Clare|
- Saturday 8th: 60km Road Race (90km for Men….suckers)
- Sunday 9th: 6.4km Individual Time Trail and 74km Road Race
- Monday 10th: 84km Road Race
Up for grabs were 4 Stage wins with time bonuses for wins in 5 x KOM’s and 3 x Sprints as well as taking home the 2012 General Classification (GC) 3 DT Title.
Saturday was ‘not-so’ typical Victorian winter’s day; it was freezing with drizzly showers, making it a hard decision to know how many layers to pile on. At one stage the wind vest, arm warmers, leg warmers and booties were on then they were off then they were on then finally I opted for just the arm and ear warmers, oh and my race kit. Our team race plan was to go in any break away, work out the strengths of other riders and go for what bonuses we could snag on the day. We did exactly that, and walked away with a 1st and 3rd placing for the stage, and both KOM and sprint time bonuses. Clare, making a come back from long term injury, has started to see the hard training pay off by finishing 3rd in the final bunch sprint across the line. Vic and Nadine both worked super hard throughout the race by making smart and aggressive attacks!!! I had the words of my coach ringing in my ear ‘just be aggressive and try things you wouldn’t normally feel confident doing in the National Road Series’….so I did, and managed a comfortable stage win as well as KOM and sprint.
Going into stage 2 & 3 the next day we were in a pretty good position but needed to work to secure and maintain GC win and keep Clare in the top 3 of General Classification.
Sunday morning was rather frosty but with sunny clear skies. For the second morning in a row, Grant left Albury at 4am, making the 4 hours trip down to look after us. He had the tent, chairs, wind trainers set up for when we arrived then did a mechanical check of our bikes to makes sure we were in good running order. Unfortunately Nadine was unable to race the remainder of the tour due to suffering a nasty head cold.
As we warmed up for the 6.4 km ITT the cold southerly winds were slowly picking up, making the warm up super important to ensure blood flow was pumping through the working muscles and heart rates were elevated ready to hit the ITT hard and fast. We all smashed it.........and left Stage 2 holding both 1st and 2nd in GC.
6.4km ITT Results (no TT bikes /wheels allowed)
- 1st Felicity WARDLAW 7:29.59 / 51.3km/hr
- 2nd Clare DALLAT 7:47.51 +18
- 16th Victoria LUXTON-BAIN 8:27.63 +58
Stage three was a 71km out and back road stage. Starting just 2 hours after the ITT, there was defiantly some residual ITT fatigue in the legs, but knowing that everyone else was is in the same boat made it a little more reassuring. Our team aim was to further protect Claire’s GC spot, we do this by taking as many time bonus points as we can which prevents others from getting them…sounds harsh but that’s just road racing tactics, and I’m still learning new ones every race I do!!!! The peloton stayed together for pretty much the entire race, a few attacks were made but nothing worth chasing down as there was enough strength in the chase bunch to reel it in pretty quickly without using too much energy. This meant it was going to come down to a sprint finish…..the pace started wind up with about 5-10km to go. Madeline Pape (St.Kilda) was working hard at the front with strong riding from Nadine O’Connor and the Liv/Giant Crew.
Monday was another frosty morning start to the 84km road race, a 4 lap course which included a short-ish but solid climb each lap. Trying to predict if the race was going to be aggressive was difficult, so we went in with a plan to work as a team to keep Clare’s 2nd spot on GC. An very early solo break was made by Carly Williams (Total Rush). As risky as it was, it paid off, as she managed to keep the lead the entire race. Her fellow team mates making sure the rest of us did not come within reach of the stage win. As Carly was further down in GC ranking we did not see this as a risk to both our GC positions, however at one point the lead was out to over 4 minutes. Some great team work by Vic helped bring back the lead to 2 minutes. The 2km downhill sprint to the finish line was fast and furious as many tried to scramble for 2nd and 3rd position. Team TORQ/BSS were driving the pace and crossed the line in 2nd and 8th same time position.
Congratulations to race organisers and officials and to all the riders, it was a great three day tour and it was made more enjoyable by the friendly and good sportsmanship amongst the women riders.
Thanks to Grant Norton from Bicycle Superstore in Albury for his time and dedication over the weekend. Get in and visit Grant at BSS……….he knows his stuff.
Thanks to TORQNutrition for fueling the TORQ/BSS girls over the weekend. Get on the stuff as its great…especially Banoffee energy gels!!!