Saturday saw 2 important events:
- Exactly (to the day) 18 months since we got on a jet plane from London to Melbourne – where did that time go?!
- 145km ride along the Great Ocean Road, starting and finishing at Torquay
Unlike last year, the weather was not the nice, beautiful, hot sunshine I am still convinced every day in Australia should be like. It was damp, a bit soggy, misty and basically I put up a fight, but the rain jacket came on.
Also unlike last year I convinced Jonney it was only a week into our offseason, which basically meant we didn’t need to race, and we could actually just have a nice fun ride. We rode with a couple of friends from the tri club, who hadn’t done this event before.
The first 75/80km were fairly uneventful with the mandatory stops at each 25km checkpoint for as many jelly snakes as we could eat. Despite my best efforts at stuffing them down the back of my jersey, apparently sweat and sweets don’t mix.
We were then at the bottom of Benwerrin, which is essentially a 10km(ish) mountain up and then down. Cue Jonney’s first fatal error of telling our friends it was only 8km…cue not a very happy Liz! I couldn’t help myself and decided I was going to do a 10km time trial effort up the mountain….overtaking grown men just makes me smile.
We decided to regroup on the other side in Lorne, and this quickly ended up on a stop in a cafe as we were frozen. Again poor Liz, who missed out on the tea run.
We were just under the 100km mark, and I’m not sure my motivational efforts of “it’s just an olympic distance triathlon distance to go” were very helpful but off we set.
These last 45km were very much a team effort, it was only then Liz truly let on she had only ridden 117km before, and that was only once! So she absolutely smashed this distance PB to smithereens – and our little team atmosphere was something I was pretty proud of.
Half way back we picked up another friend (Trinh) who came to join the jelly snake party. A few more waifs and strays along the way and we rolled into the finish line, in unison, 5 in a line. Much, as I was intent on letting the others know repeatedly, like Team Sky. Clearly the jelly snakes had gone to my head and I thought I was Froome for the day.
I am very proud of our team efforts on Saturday – and mega impressed with everyone out there achieving some off season goals. Next time though, if the sun could make an effort, that would be great.
Team Sky (sorry Team Tri Alliance) at the finish line