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Australian Road Cycling Championships - NE
Sunshine Coast, Australia, September 3-12, 2004
Day 8 - September 10: Time trials: Sport Men & Women 19+; Pair TTs: Women U19 & Elite, Men U19, U23 & Elite, 15-50km
In they came, two-by-two, hurrah, hurrah
By Anthony Tan on the Sunshine Coast
Out again on the Sunshine Motorway, baby blue, cloudless skies dolluped with masses of sunshine and a cool breeze greeted the riders for the under 19, under 23 and elite pairs time trials.
Back after a two-year hiatus and first conceived in 2001, the unique format gives the chance for two riders from the same club to test their abilities against the clock, similar to the team time trial format seen at the Tour de France. Unlike the road TTT at Le Tour, however, where a nine-man group can finish with just five riders, the pairs TT must finish with both members, with the time taken after the second rider crosses the line.
Due to the compact nature of the racing schedule - the individual and pairs time trial, road race and criterium are held over four days - few riders contesting the championships actually enter all four events, the majority preferring to specialise in one or two, or three at most. As a consequence, participation in today's pairs TT was down: the women's under 19 pairs didn't have one entry, and the under 23 men had just the single, officials moving the pairing of Nigel Cooper and James Bondio (Gap Tornadoes) into the Elite Men's category, as at least three teams are required for a championship medal to be awarded.
Held on a 15 kilometre, mildly undulating out-and-back loop on the Sunshine Motorway leading to the now tremendously yuppified holiday destination of Noosa Heads, the TT course is one that suits powerful riders who can turn the 'big dog' (a.k.a. large chainring) at a high speed without letting Mr. Lactic get the better of them.
Riders encounter the only real obstacle of the day immediately after they leave the start house, a 200 metre-long, bitumen-lined uphill drag before the road levels out for a series of false flats over the next seven kilometres. While the parcours is ostensibly flat, the bitumen road surface won't allow for any freewheeling; smooth, hot-mix roads only start after roughly 5.5 kilometres, continuing all the way to the turnaround at the 7.5 kilometre mark.
Contributing to the need for speed is the forested surrounds: a dense succession of eucalyptus and gum trees line the course, so the natural wind-barrier will provide some respite for those worried about being blown about on their disc wheels.
With a three in four chance of a medal and one in four chance of gold, the Southern Cross CC pairing of Luke Cridland and Tyler Mclachlan cleverly saved their biccies and put all their eggs into today's pairs time trial basket, coming away with a 32 second win over Midland CC's Adam O'Connor and Jayden Veljacich in a time of 46 minutes 00.17 seconds. Third was another Southern Cross pairing, Keegan Aitchison and Christopher Guillan, who clocked a time of 49'27.99.
Southern Cross Cycling Club's Tyler Mclachlan knew he and his team-mate Luke Cridland had a good chance of winning, so he decided to give yesterday's individual TT a miss: "I thought most of the guys are only riding the individual [time trial], the road race or the crit, so I said, 'I'm not going to ride the [individual] time trial, I'm going to ride this and give it a bit of a go,'" he said to Cyclingnews.
"We've been riding together for a while training-wise, but we didn't spent any time together training for this. We just thought we'd give it our best on the day and see how we go. We know how each other ride - we've been riding together for ages."
'Bloody hard' was how his team-mate Luke Cridland summed up the ride. "It wasn't hilly, but the roads were just so dead, bouncing along... even when you were sitting behind, it was still hard work - the road didn't do us any favours. But you get that," said Cridland with a wry grin. "No one blames the course if you lose; you've just got to be ready for everything."
"The individual time trial is not exactly my thing, so today I just went through the motions. Today, we rode really hard," said second-placed Jayden Veljacich to Cyclingnews.
Added his team-mate O'Connor, "We'd seen who was entered, and thought we had a pretty good shot [at winning]. It wasn't too hard, the actual terrain, but the road, the wind and the heat all added up. We didn't do too much training together specifically [for the event], but we live close together and we ride a lot [with each other]. We've been riding together since we were under 13s. We just rode as hard as we could to the finish!"
Six teams of two contested the elite women pairs time trial, and with temperatures rising, so did the competition. In the end, it was the last to leave pairing of Jennifer Finlay and Anna Jones-Perrin (Hamilton Pine Rivers) who took gold in a time of 49 minutes 18.49 seconds, triumphing over two Lifecycle Cycling Club pairings, Wendy Habermann and Sheree Richmond (2nd) and Nikki Egyed and Liz Young (3rd).
"I actually just changed to this club to do [the race] with Anna,'" Jennifer Finlay said when asked about her motivation behind doing the event. We knew it was coming up in the Nationals, introducing the pairs again, so we thought, 'Yeah, I can change now, comply with the two-month rule, come over to the club and do the pairs.'"
With all three podium placegetters finishing around the 49 minute mark, the elite women's pairs was certainly the most closely contested event of the day, but Finlay said to Cyclingnews it was too difficult to judge where their rivals were at out on the course, the duo simply concentrating on sticking to each others' wheels and setting a good rhythm.
"Yeah, they were tough," said her hot but hardly bothered team-mate Anna Jones-Perrin when asked about the race conditions. "We did the individual time trial yesterday, and I think the conditions were a bit tougher out there today - the wind, and the road... it was like pedalling through glue.
"It was full-throttle yesterday, but today, it was a bit easier in your head, because we'd seen the course yesterday and we knew the road what going to do to us and had a better feel for it," she added.
Asked how much time these two had spent riding together before the event, the girls looked at each other, grinned, then hollered, "It's the first time - we've always ridden against each other!"
"We meet up for coffee, though," mused Jones-Perrin.
Backing up after a convincing win in the individual time trial yesterday, Sydneysider Peter Milostic teamed up with his Penrith Panthers CC team-mate Sean Brunt and stormed around the Sunshine Motorway to earn him and his buddy the elite men pairs time trial championship. Milostic and Brunt finished over three minutes clear of the next best pair, Uni Cycle Club's Peter Foster and Peter Herzig, and almost seven minutes ahead of third placegetters Brad Glennan and Kevin Margetson (St George CC).
"I think yesterday, my body slowed itself down without me even realising, so I don't think in my mind I saved myself yesterday, but I think my body did," said Brunt to Cyclingnews when asked if he saved himself for today's two-up TT test.
So, was yesterday's champion of the individual time trial doing double the turns? "Oh, at least!" he said.
However, Milostic was quick to praise his team-mate, saying it was an effort in itself just to find someone to commit to the event.
"The thing is, you've got to have a team-mate to do it from the same club; Sean's a husband, a father of four and works a full-time job, so to me, it's a big commitment to say he's going to come up here and he did it and we succeeded," Milostic said.
Added Brunt, "I just tried to do my best to stay on his wheel as best as long as I could and take a few turns whenever possible. When we were going up a hill or into a bit of a head-breeze, I'd just try to take a turn then to keep Peter out of the wind for a while and vice versa; he knew when to come around when I was starting to slow, because he didn't want to blow my legs up and lose me off the back, and that worked pretty well, I think."
Both riders said the breezy, cloudless conditions made the 45 kilometre effort all the more difficult, saying they preferred the damp conditions of yesterday, but Milostic also said when the going gets tough, the stronger riders do better.
"I felt surprisingly good," said Milostic. "I felt a bit heavy-legged in the warm-up, but it seems that you're body's ticking over, it's awake and alive. We eased off a little bit on the last lap because a win's a win - doesn't matter by how much - and now I'm just thinking of tomorrow."
"For the past three years up here, I haven't finished the road race, so I hope to finish it. Sometimes, it's very difficult to back up; when your main goal has been achieved, to try and refocus a day or two later, it's pretty hard. I'll go there with the intention of first finishing, and if a result comes from that, so be it," he said.
Images by David Magahy/www.goldcoastphotography.com
Pearl izumi Sports Class women Time trial 1 Emma Mews 29.52.28 Pearl izumi Sports Class men Time trial 1 Shannon Moir 22.42.60 2 Matthew Ryan 0.58.27 3 Luke Chippindale 1.58.20 4 Troy Hoskin (Intraining) 3.04.80 5 Jeff Barker 3.36.24 6 Glenn Woodrow 3.52.56 7 Daniel Warne (Ffast) 5.11.15 9 Simon Hunt 5.46.09 10 Glen Hendry 6.20.15 11 Brett Meyer 7.03.69 12 Cale Anderson 7.54.76 13 David Rosenthal 8.15.67 14 Nigel Petrie 9.48.41 Under 19 men Pairs Time Trial, 30km 1 Luke Cridland/Tyler Mclachlan (Southern Cross CC) 46.00.17 2 Adam O'Connor/Jayden Veljacich (Midland CC) 0.32.83 3 Keegan Aitchison/Christopher Guillan (Southern Cross CC) 3.27.82 DNF Jacob Kerswill/Max Theodore (Sunshine Coast Cycle Club) Elite Women Pairs Time Trial, 30km 1 Jennifer Finlay/Anna Jones-Perrin (Hamilton Pine River Wheelers) 49.18.49 2 Wendy Habermann/Sheree Richmond (Lifecycle Cycling Club) 0.36.88 3 Nikki Egyed/Liz Young (Lifecycle Cycling Club) 0.41.33 4 Sonya Keay/Julie Uebel (Hamilton Pine River Wheelers) 2.48.88 5 Kerry Auguston/Anna Habeck (Illawarra CC) 3.52.78 6 Audrey Quick/Rachel Rademaker (Blackburn Cycling Club Inc) 4.16.59 7 Brooke Condon/Emily Phillips (Blackburn Cycling Club Inc) 6.43.19 Elite Men Pairs Time Trial, 45km 1 Sean Brunt/Peter Milostic (Penrith Panthers CC) 1.05.13.55 2 Peter Foster/Peter Herzig (Uni Cycle Club) 3.13.14 3 Brad Glennan/Kevin Margetson (St George CC) 6.45.92 4 Nigel Cooper/James Bondio (Gap Tornadoes) 11.05.17