I had planned on getting to this event by train however once getting to the train it turns out that the line was closed so from Cannington I had the rest to ride to Champion Lakes. Luckily I left earlier than expected so I had extra time to cover the distance.
On arrival I found the SPR tent and again the drooling over the new bike continued 🙂
After storing it safely with SPR people I went to fetch my numbers and timing unit. Headed down to the unmarked, unsigned start line around 9:15am.
The start was delayed around 15 minutes waiting for one of the races to come through. Our start was un-organized. No real procedure seemed to be in place. I found myself at the front next to a team and when the guy randomly started counting down and got to zero I went. Having made the first turn and looking back saw they were releasing people at intervals after just saying you all seem to know what your doing so you can go together. Wasn’t going to go back doesn’t matter wasn’t a race anyway. The first team started rolling through and went off into the distance.
I got my rhythm and settled in. The first lap seemed to fly by and wasn’t long until I passed my first person. Must have been from an earlier race. Average for the first lap was 33.5 kph
The first three laps went by and I still had my average around 33kph. On the fourth lap the wind started to pick up on the far side of the river. I was already out of water so sent an SMS to Peter Mah begging for another to be delivered. Working through my Gatorade mixed bottle I got to the start line saw no water bottle and thought this is going to be a long 30kms without water. However on the next time through Peter was on the side of the road waiting with water. After a short pitstop I was back on my way for the last 20kms.
One rider I’ve seen around a few times before had been dropped by his team and he tried to suck my wheel but when I stepped up the pace again he exploded. By now my pace average had dropped to 32.5kph. Destroying some more bunnies down the back straight and with help from a slight tailwind and some dancing on the pedals I cruised in the high 30s and low 40s. Last lap and with the end in sigh off to the left it was time to push for the final 7kms. After getting out of the rowing complex and back onto the road I sucked down a gel I had been saving.
Rounding the hairpin at the far end of the course it was now the run home. At this point the pace car went past me. I noticed the people I should have been seeing and passing were not around. Was a little puzzled by this. However I was on the home run and the gel had kicked in. Back up to the high 30s and low 40s approaching the left turn to the finish I couldn’t wait. I was spent. Over the bridge and right onto the final straight. Out of the saddle and dancing on the pedals for a sprint to the inflatable finish banner. My first chance to get down into the lower gears of the new bike. Just before crossing the line I glanced at the speed 45kph. Loving the new bike apart from the issues in my last post. Crossing the finish line the remaining SPR guys were screaming and cheering screaming as I crossed the line.
I was spent and after handing my number back sat down for five minutes before having to ride home again. Great event can’t wait for next year.