We do love a road trip! Bec and myself loaded up the Liv Rav4, cranked up it’s gluteus maximums warmers and headed up to Canberra last week for NRS National Capital Tour, 4 stages of racing over 3 days. Traditionally Canberra’s Tour’s have been some of the hardest on the National calendar and sure enough this one lived up to the reputation.  Racing for Liv/giant was Bec, myself and Justyna Lubkowski (who flew in like a pro, making us a nice compact team of 3 for the weekend)


For stage one’s 17km ITT our aim was to ride within our self’s, looking to feel good for the following solid road stages, also as Bec and myself did not have TT bikes losing a little extra time was always going to be on the cards. It was windy and hard, even when trying to not go hard you just had to! Overall however the results ended being nullified,  due to a large percentage of the field having some issues with the on board sat nav and some unforeseen marshalling issues, the road crew to man the corners being involved in a traffic accident on route to the course. Basically riders went every which way, some headed into Canberra, some did loop de loops round roundabouts and some cyclocrossed over medium strips, prep for next seasons cross season possibly? The result…. stage places and jerseys being awarded but no GC times and the field to start on the same time for stage two.
Saturday’s stage two was going to be a tough 120km with almost 3000 meters of vertical clim
bing. Starting in Canberra’s centre and heading out via the tourist route to Honey Suckle climb, 8km’s of climbing to the finish, rather steep and nasty in p
arts. Knowing my slight lack of Km’s the thought did cross my mind that a tail light may be needed. The first QOM was a rude wake up at less than 10km in. The race was raced on and off from word dot, the climbs being the on button, this and Canberra’s dead road’s made for a very solid day, thinning out the bunch along the way. The race up the final climb saw some tactical racing and lots of attacking. I don’t really know what happened though as when I hit the climb I decided to go to the back and make the whole convoy sit behind me whist I pedaled at 45RPM, all my attempts at trying to tell them I really wasn’t going to motor pace behind them up the climb if they all went past didn’t work so they sat there and didn’t see any of the attacks either. It did though sound like some great racing up there from all reports and ended with Ruth Corset from Pensar taking out the win from Katrin Garfoot, and Bec had and awesome day to round out the podium.
The out but not back finish and being a rider only, no support crew team, had us hitch hiking for a lift 60km back to Canberra luckily we and bikes all got all squeezed in somewhere, Thanks for getting us back Peta Mullens and crew and Cheryl Hulskamp! It would have been a bit long of a day if we’d had to ride!
Sunday started bright and early with 80km, 4 x 20km loops around lake burley griffin including some fun through the internal roads of ANU. Juzzy added some flair for the ANU spectators by doing cross up’s over large traffic island’s (Cx next season?). Each lap of the race had two sprints, with time bonuses, having Bec 3rd on GC but only having second’s to those behind her, our aim was to grab some time and not let anyone behind get any, happy for the right move to get the road or for it to come too a bunch kick and let her turn her climbing legs to sprint legs. Sarah Roy of bike bug dominated the sprints. No right move got up the road and race stayed together for the final sprint. Being a fast finish and large bunch it was a bit chaotic, Bec held good position and with a spilt second decision made a run up the right hand side of a traffic island with a few hundred meters to go holding on for 3rd behind a one two for the Suzuki girls, Rebecca Wiasak 1st and Emma Viotto 2nd. Unfortunately there was a large crash in the sprint with several coming down heavy, thankfully most involved walked away including first and second on GC, however one rider broke her collar bone, we wish her a speedy recovery! 

The final stage couldn’t have been in a more fitting location for the tours name, between old and new parliament house. At the top end was the door step of new parliament house, we did keep a keen eye out for the PM being the cycling fan he is, had we seen him we would have told him (among other things) to go get his IT Bands released like all good cyclists or at least invest in a foam roller so he stops walking like a Texan Cow Boy. The race was 40 laps of the 900m rectangle circuit, the finishing straight a 3.7% climb the back straight the opposite. Having racing shock and tied legs, on my mind at the start was “this is going to hurt”, And that it did.  A few moves were made during the race, notable was a solo attack from Jemma Brown from team Holden who was away for more than ten laps, however in the end nothing stuck and it came down to a strung out kick, the circuit taking its toll on many! Rebecca Wiasak made it two for the day, 2nd was Jessica Mundy of the VIS who also took home the young riders jersey and 3rd Sarah Roy who sealed up the sprint jersey. Overall, Ruth Corset took the win and also the QOM jersey, 2nd Katrin Garfoot who leads the overall NRS, and flying the flag for us Bec finished in 3rd overall. Well done all.   

Having not raced for a little while Bec’s results were great, Juzzy rode great all weekend also, I was happy to be a part of it all and again inflicting pain on myself in the Nations Capital! And all in all we did have fun, after all if you not smiling what’s the point?  

Livgirls at parlIMG_3368We must send out a big thanks to Margie and gang for the hospitality, Thanks for having us!  And to Liv/giant and Toyota for the use of the Rav4 with the gluteus maximums warmers, highly recommend for cyclists!