Wednesday, 27 April 2011

UCI World Cycling Tour: Rottnest Time Trial

After Bif wrote:
I'll leave it to the man himself to honour the website with a report on C.C.Coglioni's first ever attempt at world title (qualifier).
I felt compelled to write something.

The night before the ride, I checked my bike. The noise in the bottom bracket was annoying but, I hoped, not life threatening; it would have to wait for a full service and rebuild by O'Dirty on the weekend before the 3 Dams ride. I also checked for glass; there was so much in both wheels I tried to recall whether I'd ridden back through Northbridge after a late night drinking session.

After my last effort making Uncle Toby's porridge for Waroona  the cardboard box would have tasted better  this time I followed the instructions, preparing it the night before with milk and water and letting it sit in the fridge. In the morning I made myself a nice Macchiato (to avoid having a bad one at the jetty), and enjoyed it with my porridge.

Leaving the house at 6:15, I took it easy on the way down and tagged along to a pair of riders doing a nice pace. They expected me to take a turn past Leighton, but I declined to save energy. Sunrise over Fremantle harbour was pretty, but I missed the photo-op. Arriving at B shed on time (6:45), I found the organiser, and picked up my ticket and bike tag. There appeared to be way too many TT bikes all boxed-up with unnaturally thin gaunt riders minding them.

I checked my phone; Bif's text of good luck was appreciated. The ferry ride over was smooth and uneventful. I decided to register first at the picture hall and then have a Macchiato at Dome. Definitely a mistake; it was weak and milky. I followed this with a choc gel and then did any easy warmup ride to Parker Point checking out the route and wind. My goal for the 18.7km was under 32 minutes (and optimistically under 30).

I returned to the picture hall start line and then decided to do a loop to Bathurst as my heart rate was still low  almost resting. I was a little surprised to see that some entrants had brought as many as 4 spare wheels (to be positioned around the course), track pumps, high-end bike trainers, and bike stands for last minute tune-ups. There were more pointy hats than at a KKK gathering, and nearly all riders had cheat bars, rear disk wheels, and booties. I felt woefully under-prepared.

My number was 33 and my start time of 10:16 came up quickly. I was held in the saddle, wobbling to show my nerves, and headed off too fast to be comfortable later. The first rider passed me near the 3km mark. Another two passed me before I managed to catch anyone. The half-way mark came up quickly but I was painfully aware that the first half of the course had been wind assisted. When I reached Bovell Way, the small climb looked way harder than I recalled. I was hurting for the last 6 km and could see that a sub-30 time was not possible. Still I hoped to break 32 mins. After being passed by 3 more riders I could see one rider about 500m ahead that I hoped to overhaul before the finish line outside the Lodge. I almost caught him and managed to hold off one more rider before the line. Forgetting to look at my time I knew that I was very close to 32 min. I spent the next 3km rolling out to Kingstown Barracks to cool down.

Back at the Picture Hall, I checked my time: 32.11. At least I did not come last in my age divisionBif posted an almost real-time update:
For those not following the live feed of events across the water I can report that The Doctor has finished a creditable 54th out of 71 finishers in the UWCT time trial, and 8th out of 10 finishers in his age group. He finished in 32:11.3 over the 20 km course for an average of 37.28 kph, just a little slower than the winning speed of 48.42 kph, but no doubt cheat bars were employed for that time. These results are not official yet, so could be changed if it's found any of the 53 riders ahead of The Doctor had more than just wheeties for breakfast.
No shower nearby so I headed around to the Basin for a dip. A little choppy but the water was refreshing. After 15 minutes in the water I felt that I could do it all again.

We had all been given a pack including a $20 voucher for lunch at Aristos. I assumed that this was just a discount voucher  but it was a nice surprise to get a full fish and chips for free  and their coffee was not too bad either.

After lunch, I did a tour of the Wadjemup lighthouse, and a light ride around the island. Taking a day off work and sitting in the shade watching the boats in Thomson Bay made my day. This ride was the best value event I've competed in. Hats off to the organizers for a special event and a special day. I'll definitely do it again next year   maybe on a TT bike  but will take the family and spend the ride's eve on the island.

PS. The official photos are here.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing ride. It’s a good thing to go on cycling tours, I appreciate your post.
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