SAM MIRANDA TOUR OF THE KING VALLEY NRS 14 Rebecca Locke © Naomi Williams

Bec’s TOKV Race Report.

The Sam Miranda tour of the King Valley (TOKV) was round 5 of the NRS, and held as the Name suggests in the beautiful King Valley, located near Wangaratta in country Victoria, a home to countless vineyards including those of the Naming sponsor Sam Miranda Wines. The race had attracted a record field of 87 woman, the largest ever for a womens NRS, all set ready to assemble on the start line of the 4 stage 3 day event for some great racing.

We arrived Thursday night for the manager’s meeting that was being held at the main location of the race Sam Miranda winery. Greeted by crisp fresh air and a beautiful country night sky feeling like you could see almost every star in the sky ……. What a beautiful place to base a race. It was Lucky we had our DS Kirsty Baxter there at the meeting taking notes of any race changes as Ren and I where too busy eating yummy homemade salami, cheese & crackers made by the winery to pay any attention.

Day 1 of racing was a double stage day starting with a 20 TT to test our legs & it defiantly did just that. Having not raced on skinny tires all year & having only road bikes and mostly everyone else on TT rigs we were already at a considerable disadvantage so we decided to try and take it as easy as possible. That being said we still had to make time cut. I at least rode hard, Ren mentioned she did but a few people told me they saw her cruising along on her hoods enjoying the sunshine.

Stage 1 placings 1.Rebecca WIASAK 2.Ashlee ANKUDINOF 3.Ruth CORSET.

With only a couple of hours between stages we headed into wangaratta to relax, grab some food and a quick shower before heading to the airport for the criterium which was a little more like a kermese with two long straights and only to corners. Although we had a few digs It was apparent pretty that nobody was getting way and the criterium due to the length of the straights, and it finished in the bunch kick, both of us finishing near the pointy somewhat safer end of the bunch. Wiasak made it two from two.

Stage 2 placings 1.Rebecca WIASAK 2. Ruth CORSET 3.Lisa HANLEY

Through many years of racing we have narrowed our after race meal down to any combination of protein & hot chip and so with that on our mind we headed to the local pub which we drove around for 20 minutes looking for only to find it about 300m from where we were staying, Yes that sounds pretty silly given the size of Wang but its true!

Day 2 was a lazy 1pm start so we headed to a cafe over looking the Ovens river and drank coffee and enjoyed the glorious weather Victoria was putting on. Feeling super relaxed we almost forget that we had to actually race soon. The start and finish was at Sam Miranda Winery and was a 102km stage with a 6km strata dirt section climb that was going to test everyone. I managed to get myself into the early break of 8 and take maximum Qom points on the first 2 climbs. On the 6km dirt climb both Ruth Corset & Ellen skerritt from Holden bridged across to try & get some time back on GC and attacked our bunch which saw it explode with only me having the climbing legs to go with them. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay away and a small group formed with all the main contenders. Unfortunately this shut our little bunch down which allowed almost everyone to get back on resulting again in a sprint finish. I had a good day getting 5th on the stage and enough points to take the Qom jersey. After a few awkward photos of me on the podium we headed back to wangaratta for our tried & tested ritual dinner yes it included chips, but this time with one of the best steaks we have ever had.

Stage 3 placings. 1.Rebecca WIASAK 2.Natalie REDMOND 3.Ruth CORSET

Sunday saw the last road stage of 87km again starting and finishing at the beautiful Sam Miranda winery. Another cracker of a day welcomed us on the start line and we were sure to come away with a tan from the weekend if not anything else. The stage was quite aggressive as bonus seconds & points where still up for grabs and everyone still in the frame wanted them. With around 20km ago & all the points & time bonus sorted out a group of 3 was allowed to get up the road & did an awesome job to stay away with the rest of us sprinting for the minor places. I managed to pick up some more points on the climbs and hang onto the Peta Stewart QOM jersey.

Stage placings 4. 1Crystal WEMYSS 2. Justyna LUBKOWSK 3. Rachel WARD

Final Results.

Yellow jersey/ Overall. Rebecca WIASAK

QOM jersey. Rebecca LOCKE

Sprint Jersey. Kristy GLOVER

Young Rider Jersey. Ellen SKERRITT

Serious TT’er
Serious Crit faces © Naomi Williams
Serious blue sky © Naomi Williams
pre stage instructions © Naomi Williams
Ride like a girl, hard, fast attacking! Rebecca Locke © Naomi Williams
Some serious interview faces here. © Naomi Williams
The Overall Jersey winners. Rebecca Locke © Naomi Williams
Thumbs up!

Thanks for a great weekend of beautiful weather and fantatic Racing KingValley, you sure made it hard to head back to Melbourne, we cant wait to come back, maybe next time even just to sit and sip some wine in the Vineyards!