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26
Jan

Tour Down Under – Stage Four

Victoria Park Criterium

TDU 2016 4c

All Photos courtesy of Ben Auld

Stage four had the team back in the firing line of a criterium. Two of our riders, Lucy and Victoria, had grim memories of last year’s baptism-by-fire. Gale force winds and the top three teams trying to kill each other had turned the criterium into a war of attrition. As per the previous year, there was a primary objective for the team – three riders had to survive for the team to register an overall result.

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The conditions that greeted the team were practically the opposite of the year before; a gentle breeze, but stifling heat and humidity. The progression of the race was also counter to last year’s script. Our ladies had prepared for brimstone, and they got instead a very civilised opening pace. But, there was an hour to survive, so the team remained attentive to any sign of shifting tactics.

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A few surges occurred at the three quarter mark, as some riders attempted to test the resolve of the peloton. Nothing was allowed much play, but the elevated pace was splicing a few riders of the tail end of the field. The last six laps however, saw a constant series of attacks from the superstars of the peloton. The net effect being that the overall pace was slowly wound up as each lap ticked by. Our ladies held their resolve even as the final two laps saw the race reach maximal speeds.

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The criteriums aren’t an opportunity for us to shine, but our objective was met. Three riders without a time loss, and all four finishing saw the team hold onto 8th position overall.

26
Jan

Tour of Bright 2015

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The Team Evolves – moving our way towards NRS registration

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The team travelled to Bright at the beginning of December for the hotly contested Tour of Bright, a three day tour which is a part of the Victorian Road Series, and which is targeted by the country’s best climbers. The team welcomed aboard two very accomplished interstate riders into the team, both of whom will be continuing with the team in 2016. Jessica Lane brings an enormous amount of experience to the team. A high performing criterium and track rider, and sprinter extraordinaire, the Tour of Bright was not to Jess’s strengths, but we were grateful for her expert assistance in getting our climbers positioned at critical points of the race. Karla McKinnon has some serious road results under her belt, and considers climbing one of her strengths, having competed at the TOB in 2014.

Lucy Barker    Victoria Veitch    Christina Teniswood  

Team Captain     Lead GC Rider

Stage 1: 16th        Stage 1: 19th             Stage 1: 42nd

Stage 2: 17th        Stage 2: 10th            Stage 2: 31st

Stage 3: 21st        Stage 3: 14th            Stage 3: 28th

Overall: 19th       Overall: 12th            Overall: 28th

Time: +15.29      Time: +10.33           Time: +21.40

Jessica Lane               Karla McKinnon

Stage 1: 51st                       Stage 1:51st

Stage 2: 48th                     Stage 2: 29th

Stage 3: 48th                     Stage 3: 31st

Overall: 48th                    Overall: 33rd

Time: +96.59                   Time: +24.46

Individual C Grade

Taylor profile edited

Taylor Ford

Stage 1: 13th

Stage 2: 14th

Stage 3: 16th

Sprinter’s Jersey: 2nd

Overall: 15th

Time: +24.04

Stage One: 13.5km Individual Time Trial

Some people actually like time trials – mostly they’re just crazy people….Like Captain Lucy, who combines worshipping time trials with paying homage to Darth Vader. Rumour has it, Lucy sounds like Darth as she powers along, looming up and sailing past various victims. Consequently, Lucy was leading her team mates at the end of stage one. The team was ranked third overall after stage one.

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Stage Two: 91km Kilns Gap Loop

The event was blessed with excellent weather conditions and very little wind, but handling was still a sticking point for the fields as they were restricted to use of the single lane, which at times was reasonably narrow. Unfortunately the cramped conditions were likely to have contributed to a nasty crash 500 metres out from the first sprint point. Team rider Jess, who was planning on contesting the Sprinters Jersey, was caught out and her run to the line baulked by the crash. All team riders stayed clear of the fray and placed their concentration on being well placed into the two major climbs of the stage. The first climb, the Category Two Rosewhite Gap Hill climb, had in previous years been attacked at warp speed. Perhaps because of the earlier crash, the field was somewhat subdued, and the pace only went on in the later quarter of the climb. Consequently, the field regrouped quickly.

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The major climb of Tawonga Gap loomed quickly, and there was no hesitation in the pace of the climbing as set by the event’s front runners. The climb was ramped up to warp speed – essentially a time trail added to the end of the 91km. It was also now extremely hot heading up the very sun-exposed side of Tawonga Gap. The team was placed fourth at the end of stage two. Taylor Ford was having a frustrating race, with her grade pulled over on the side of the road at multiple points in the race, to allow the graded men’s fields to pass. This essentially nullified the racing, as any attempts to form breakaways were totally wasted when the fields regrouped on the side of the road. Taylor was having good results in the sprint points however, grabbing second place in both of the sprint points for the stage.

Team Photographer and Support Crew

In between stages, the team took time to kick back and recover as well as possible. We were lucky to have an idyllic set of cabins nestled in a valley with mountain views. When not tinkering on our bikes, washing our kit or collecting our recovery drinks, team photographer and supporter extraordinaire Ben Auld was harassing the local wildlife – not all of which were native species

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It is with enormous gratitude that we acknowledge Ben for all our fabulous photos is this and our other team updates.

Stage Three: 58km Anchor Point Hotham Ascent

It’s at the beginning of a stage which includes a climb such as the epic Mt Hotham, that the riders have an opportunity to collect their thoughts, and possibly even evaluate their current mental health.

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“All hail Hotham! Those that are about to die salute you!”

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“If I pretend it’s not happening, it won’t hurt as much??”

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“I’m going to smile the whole way up the mountain – better get the face warmed up.”

Hotham delivered all it promised and more. The first hour of the race leading up to the bottom of the climb was muted. Even the sprint points ruffled barely a feather. The team, being largely a team of climbers, was solely focus on good positioning at the approach to Hotham. A few kilometres before Hotham loomed, the MBAB ladies started to move themselves up through the peloton. Jess Lane exerted her experience in bike handling and positioning as she gave Victoria a perfect sling shot into a space on the front line. Unfortunately for everyone who had worked hard to position themselves at the front, the riders leading the peloton at the time had suffered from a catastrophic navigational brain fade………and abruptly turned left into a random street at the bottom of Hotham!!! It cannot be fathomed how the mistake occurred, but Victoria was subsequently at the mercy of the bunch as the front runners all followed suit.

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Victoria recovered quickly and flew up the bottom of Hotham to re-join the leaders. Victoria, Lucy and Christina were digging in to stay with the leaders as long as possible, but the bunch began to splinter before one of Hotham’s nasty little pinches – the Meg. Victoria was only just in contact at that stage, but there was a fairly major problem – she was on terrible legs and her breathing was out of control. She managed to survive with a bunch of riders which had formed an effective chase bunch, and by the time the mountain levelled out, Victoria had managed to recover and finished the remainder of the climb in a fashion resembling her regular climbing aptitude.

Lucy had held good position up to Harrietville and made the selection heading onto the Meg, but also lost contact as the pace surged prior to the first QOM point. Lucy safely installed herself into a third chase group which held good speed on the flatter sections, but Lucy was having to work hard to motivate and keep the group moving at good speed through the steeper climbing sections, resulting in critical time loss. Eventually, Lucy left most of her group behind, and when the climb kicked again through the steep CRB hill section, she began reeling in riders tailed off from the second chase bunch.

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Luckily someone was having fun………..Karla smiled the whole way up the climb

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In C Grade Women, Taylor continued to have good success with the sprint points, rounding out the stage with a 2nd and 3rd place. This placed her second overall for the sprinters jersey, which had been hotly contested between three riders jostling with only scant points separating them. Bright was a fairly steep learning curve in terms of climbing for Taylor. It was the biggest climb she had ever tackled, so to finish the stage in 16th made the Tour of Bright a solid all round performance.

There’s not much more to say about the tour, other than to thank our fabulous guest riders for helping us fly the team flag. The team finished in overall 4th place, heartbreakingly only 30 seconds down on a podium finish. We could torture ourselves by saying that three of us only needed to climb 10 seconds faster, but it’s a pointless debate. Not one of our ladies left 10 seconds in our legs on that bloody hill! It’s a fitting final phots then, to represent what we had thrown at Hotham – Victoria, at the top, unable to speak or stand. Sitting and thinking…….about next time!

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24
Jan

Tour Down Under – Stage Three

Lyndoch: Into the Furnace

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Some images have been sourced from PDitty Images, a photographer from Brisbane who has provided sensational images throughout the Santos Women’s TDU.

Stage three saw riders line up for 4 laps of a 25.2km circuit which began in Lyndoch. Another lumpy course, again with one hill in particular which would be a staging point for breakaways, the 100km was not the chief dilemma. The major drama was that sitting on the start line, everyone’s Garmin was registering temperatures in excess of 40 degrees. The race was going to be influenced by teams which were accessing water, conserving energy and controlling body temperature.

There was one team sitting on the start line celebrating the heat! Yep, that was Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome. The hotter it was going to get, the greater our advantage. Being the local SA team, we have spent the last three months training through significant heat waves. Victoria especially is practically reptilian – the hotter the weather, the happier she is! Our resident British rider Lucy, wasn’t so happy unfortunately. You see, these two riders have operating temperature at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Lucy will wear short sleeves in winter, while Victoria piles on her entire cycling wardrobe.

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The heat did take its toll in Lucy. During the first climb, the pace was turned up – severely stretching and splintering the field. The peloton was slowly pulled back together over the next five kilometres, just in time for the field to surge again into a savage cross wind that blanketed the finishing straight. Aimee and Victoria had handled the climb well, easily staying in the front group of 20 riders. Narelle and Lucy has resolutely chased back on with the pursuers.

Laps two and three had similar scripts, the field aggressively stretched over the climb and then again into the cross wind. The beginning of lap three was the crucial undoing for Lucy. She missed her water bottle, and the heat began taking its toll. Victoria was using her strength to filter back to the team car and access water, which she dispersed to herself, Aimee and Narelle. By the time she realized Lucy was in strife and critically short of water also, the peloton had already turned into a head wind section. Both Victoria and Lucy now lacked the strength to pull back to the team car, and then return to the peloton. Lucy headed onto the third climb critically dehydrated and severely overheating, and the savage attack in pace over the hill, saw the string snap, relegating her to a chase group filled with other heat stressed riders.

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Aimee, Victoria and Narelle were not having an easy time either. A break away of six riders was formed over the third climb, with Orica strongly represented. Victoria and Aimee fought hard over the third climb to stay in contact with a small chase bunch of about 12 riders. Narelle found herself gapped from this bunch, but chased by herself for the next few kilometres to catch back on – a titanic effort. Frustratingly, there was no major interest from the chase bunch in pursuing the breakaway, and as the pace trickled down, the main cohort of the peloton again reformed. With one lap to go, and with three MBAB riders still positioned well within the main bunch, the fight for hydration continued. Narelle and Victoria both successfully took fresh bottles from the feed zone at the beginning of lap four. Victoria then spent half a lap further replenishing water from the team car for all three MBAB riders, as well as supplying the girls with packets of ice to help keep them cool.

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The fourth time over the climb was outrageously controlled – the peloton seemingly resigned to a steady trot to the line. The gleefulness of this outcome was very nearly reduced to tears for Victoria and Narelle, both of whom experienced severe cramp throughout the final climb. They both somehow survived, and stayed safely tucked away in the bunch. Aimee and Victoria both finished with the bunch time. Narelle lost a small amount of time due to her cramps reoccurring as the field suddenly lurched into a gallop of the last few kilometres. Lucy rode her heart out to finish within the cut off time. The riders finishing after her were looking extremely heat stressed, and enormously relieved to have crossed the line. Stage three saw the team move up into 8th place, marking us third overall for the National Road Series teams.

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21
Jan

Tour Down Under – Stage Two

City Criterium

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Let me preface this update by broadly saying that I wouldn’t consider criteriums a major strength for this team! In fact, after stage one, we were without our two strongest criterium riders – not ideal heading into a treacherous city circuit. Treacherous because the course was composed of several funnels – junctions of the course which narrow from two or three lanes, into a single lane, forcing a sudden compacting of the field, and as was the case on Sunday night, several crossed wheels and subsequent crashes. The other dilemma posed by stage two, was the 30 minute time limit, meaning the pace and tactics were going to be fast and aggressive from the start.

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Aimee had relative success with positioning – her Cairns based criterium experience shining through. However, not even her skills could adequately compensate for the maelstrom to come. The first three laps provoked a series of wave like reactions through the peloton as the funnels began to impact the field. The warning signs were there – mostly from the riders positioned on the outer flank of the field. The air was filling with the smell of cooking brakes, and riders were looking twitchy. Narelle, Lucy and Victoria were policing the back of the field, code for staying within site of an emergency exit at all times. The three were reasonably savvy enough to have identified the inner track as the safest option.

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As feared, the first crash occurred, on the fourth lap and at one of the funnels. Our riders were unhurt, and utilizing their escape routes, apart from Lucy who was totally blocked from pursuit. By the time Lucy extricated herself from downed riders, she had a desperate chase to maintain her position by herself for a further nine laps, or risk being overlapped and pulled from the race. There was never any question that Lucy would dig in and survive, but it was an expenditure of energy that was beyond what the rest of the field would need to commit.

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You would think that the first crash would serve as a lesson for the peloton on the care needed when approaching the funnels. It didn’t. With three laps to go, an even larger crash saw several rides hit the deck. Cowgirl Aimee (from QLD), ended up with her bike doing a wheelie stand – of the front wheel! She must have been on a bucking bronco before, because she recovered, and resumed her chase of the main bunch. Victoria and Narelle also made their way around the crash, but had a hard job in front of them to close the gap to the front of the bunch. Luckily for all three riders, they were awarded bunch times as the crash occurred in the last three laps. Stage Two thankfully over – time to shine in the hills and the heat!

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17
Jan

Tour Down Under 2016 – Stage One

A Team Reborn

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The team greeted the 2016 Tour Down Under in their new badging and team colours. Inspired by the Mercedes-Benz Formula One colour scheme of silver and teal, but electrified to reflect our superfast ladies! Our ladies lined up against an international roster of teams, as well as the existing National Road Series teams. This is our first splash as a registered NRS team, and again we have done well fighting against teams with bigger names and bigger budgets!

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Stage One was a 90km loop around Mt Torrens, encompassing Burford Hill and a host of lumpy pinches. The race was made difficult for Narelle heading into the third lap – having hit a rock at the beginning of the Burford Road climb, her front wheel was flat by the top of the climb. Narelle spent the rest of the race in a fight to make the time cut-off following a wheel exchange. For new team member Aimee Ingram, the race unfolded perfectly, despite initial nerves at the large filed and cramped conditions. Aimee’s plan was to try to stay at the front and position well in order to conserve energy. There was some difficulty for Aimee in maintaining position in the first three laps, with the washing machine action of the peloton constantly reconfiguring itself. The field was obliterated on the third climb, with Aimee and Victoria safely in the leading bunch. Unfortunately for Lucy, a gap was opened up by riders in front of her, and she was subsequently blocked from making chase. In the blink of the eye, the lead bunch was gone, and Lucy found herself in a large group of riders who didn’t seem particularly motivated to maintain pace. Madeleine and Jessica were also having very tough days in the heat, missing the time cut off despite enormously valiant efforts from both of them.

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Despite the heat, and the length of the race, to the amazement of the team’s support crew, riders were only allowed to access water from the feed zone on lap three. With Victoria and Aimee both missing the opportunity to grab fresh bottles, water for both riders was now critically short. Entering into the 4th and 5th laps, and with the pace constantly getting ramped up over all the ascents, Victoria made the decision to get water from the team car during the flatter sections of lap 4 and 5, to cover both her and Aimee. It was possibly a critical advantage as other riders who didn’t take the opportunity to find water were starting to cramp.

The 4th time up Burford Hill left no room for hesitation, with the pace being flat out. A break of five riders did get away, and it was for Victoria and Aimee to fight to maintain contact with the chasers. Aimee very nearly missed the boat, with a gap opened up in front of her, but she worked well into her red zone to close the gap. Victoria and Aimee both finished only 49 seconds down on the winner. Overall, the team was well positioned in 9th out of 17 teams. Team presentations were held in the city that afternoon, an hour late due to a power outage, but opportunity enough for our newest rockstar to get her groove on!

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Photographs are taken by legendary local photographer; Chameleon Photography

 

7
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

Round Four Elite Women’s Series

The conditions for round four were typically windy at Victoria Park. Also running to script were the riders who would make a race of the evening. Several non-committal probes punctuated the early part of the race as per previous weeks, but nothing was being let off the front. Only at the ¾ mark, as legs were starting to fatigue, did some serious breakaway attempts form. The usual suspects, Victoria Veitch and Carlee Taylor were willing to push for a winning break. To their disappointment however, their SASI and Adelaide University Cycling Club breakaway counterparts were putting in no such effort. The breakaway would have easily stayed away with the four riders, but with only two riders working it was pointless, and within another lap, the bunch was back together. There was at least some divine justice, with Dani McKinerery, having pulled the plug on the success of the breakaway, being pipped at the post by legendary Valentina Scandolara.

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Round Five Elite Women’s Series

With heavy hitters Victoria, Lucy, and Taylor tackling the Victorian Alps at the Tour of Bright, Narelle and Michele joined regulars Alana and Madeleine for their first hit out of the season. Some of us were hoping that the ToB would claim a number of other series regulars, but were left disappointed when a large field assembled on the start line. With depleted numbers representing the team, it wasn’t boding well for the point’s race.

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SASI once again had a strong line-up and it was clear from the start that we were in for a tough afternoon. We worked hard to cover their repeated attacks and ensure we stuck with the main field. A solo attack with 2 laps to go from Chloe Moran proved decisive. Whist Narelle went on a kamikaze pursuit of her in the final lap, Madeleine and Alana went with the smarter option, sticking with the chasing bunch in readiness for a sprint finish. Both girls rode strongly, securing top 15 placings and ensuring Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome gained valuable points in the team classification. Not to be forgotten, Michele was also there at the pointy end having dug deep throughout the race to help her teammates cover SASi’s attacks.

Round Six Elite Women’s Series

Theoretically, the team was back to full strength for round six, but in numbers only. The Tour of Bright was going to take its toll, and with training for Nationals and the TDU in full swing, the squad was represented by some mighty tired legs. Reassuring then, that the night still turned out to be a round in which valuable ground was clawed back in terms of team points. As a stunning reversal in conditions (sarcasm), it was windy….very windy! Interesting then, that the script ran to a different beat. Numerous, punchy break away attempts were launched from all angles, with each attempt resolutely brought back. At one point, a very dangerous group of seven riders, including Victoria and Taylor were working hard for several laps away. Nothing was going to stick on this night, but it was so impressive that so many riders made the attempt in such difficult conditions. It was also brilliant to see peloton and crowd favourite, Jenny Macpherson take the win in a spirited bunch finish. Four of our riders finished in the team points, a grand statement for a very tired team.

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6
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

Hell of the North

Saturday Road Race

The Hell of the North signalled round two of the Elite Women’s Series. A 50km road race on day one saw the inclusion of 18km of dirt road, with terrain that varied between corrugations, deep surface ruts and loose sand and gravel. The wind was also going to make conditions very tough, with predominantly head and cross winds.

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MBA Blackchrome went to the line with six riders, making it the largest contingent on the road. The pace was aggressive from the start, with the USG team organising an impressive drive from the front. MBA Blackchrome was also active with repeated attacks, and quick chase downs of rival breakaways. Natalie Redmond (Adelaide Uni) and Jess Mundy (SASI) rounded out a select core of riders who kept the front of the race pushing hard to the turnoff to the first dirt section.

The peloton was stretched out nearly straight away, essentially breaking the field in two. Riders with determined handling and good power output over the uneven surface took their advantage and created what would be the lead bunch to the finish. It was during this early shuffle that the MBA Blackchrome team colours shone through. Team sprinter Madeleine became separated from the main bunch at a critical point in the race, as the rider in front of her had dropped the wheel of the leaders. Team rider Taylor Ford then took control and bridged the gap back to the leaders with Madeleine in tow. The effort cost Taylor dearly and she succumbed to the subsequent pace, but had already earned the ‘Team Player of the Race’ award.

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Victoria, not having any CX experience, controlled an awesome ‘Tokyo Drift’ at one point, her bike whipped sideways in a bog of loose sand. MBA Blackchrome had three riders in the front bunch, until out of nowhere Narelle arrived – having bridged the gap with Port Adelaide’s Hannah Geelan. Port Adelaide were riding brilliantly on the dirt, but bad luck struck Annabel Cox with a puncture in the second dirt section. The race returned to the bitumen, and the attacks continued. Just prior to the last dirt section Carlee Taylor launched a well placed break that would see her take out the road race.

The pace into the finish ramped up with Madeleine, Victoria and Narelle sitting in good positions. Lucy led the pace into one of the final turns, helping to keep the group from bunching up. Madeleine took the perfect line on the final corner and blitzed past everyone to grab second place. Jess Mundy and Victoria were fatiguing, at which point Narelle blasted past both for 4th, Victoria in 6th. Lucy rounded out points in 11th position. The effort places MBA Backchrome in 2nd place overall for the series thus far.

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Sunday Criterium

Another glorious day greeted the riders for a 35 minute criterium around a rather treacherous Kadina town square. Two corners in particular were very technical with spoon drains, raised concrete, loose surface and traffic divider humps. The race was set up in the first 20 seconds. The start line was close the first nasty corner. The four riders who dashed to the corner first, set up the breakaway that would stay away for the entire race. Back in the field, Lucy and Victoria were left with no other option but to work without help at the front of the chase group for nearly the entire race. They did so well enough that at the end of the race on ten riders in total had survived the pace. The rest of the filed had been pulled from the circuit. Victoria sprinted to 5th place with Lucy rounding out the numbers in 10th.

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6
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

Elite Series 2015 Round One

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Round One of the 2015 Elite Women’s Series was a 35 minute criterium at Victoria Park. This was the first race for some new faces for the EMBA Blackchrome team. The SASI team this year has a full roster of eight riders, so they were always going to be tough to filter past.

Victoria, covered in patches and dressings from a reasonably serious crash on the Sunday before the race had done her rain dance all day – hoping the race would be cancelled and her very painful knees given another week to recovery. Fate would not happen – the women raced, while the Elite Men’s race was called short because, you guessed it, it started to rain!

Several attacks went off the front from the beginning, with riders seeking early vulnerability in the legs of the field. Lucy did well to animate the race, while Victoria covered any serious counterattacks to protect the position of team sprinter Madeleine.

At the ¾ mark however a dangerous break went, initiated by Jenny Macpherson and taken up by Carlee Taylor. Victoria and SASI’s Danni McKinnery were both able to join the break. The pace cost Jenny after a few laps and she fell off the group, but was replaced by Jess Mundy who had crossed the gap. With two SASI riders now joined, the work fell to Carlee and Victoria to keep the break away, which they did with strong persistent turns on the front. The four kept away and the sprint finish saw Victoria nab third place. Madeleine had a strong sprint finish to take points in 7th place.

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6
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

New Headline Sponsor – Blackchrome Cycling

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We are happy to announce that for the remainder of the 2015, and also for the 2016-2018 season, Blackchrome will be the naming rights sponsor for the Elite Women’s Squad. Blackchrome have been supplying kit to the MBA team for two seasons, since a random meeting between Travis Eddie and one of MBA’s elite tandems (none other than Paralympic Gold Medallist Kieran Modra). There was no escape for Travis – as Kieran Modra will talk to and then adopt practically any stray rider on the road. Since then, the MBA team has been the prototype team for Blackchrome as they entered the cycling kit market. Blackchrome worked with us tirelessly to modify and improve their product, and the team have continued to trial prototype kit and upgrades as Blackchrome worked towards a cycling kit that the fussiest of riders cannot fault. Their kit turnaround in delivery time remains second to none, as does their attention to detail and communication with the team. Blackchrome have shared with us the incredible growth and success of the women’s team, and we look forward to future campaigns as the MBA Blackchrome squad – beginning with the upcoming Tour of Bright in December.

Santos Women’s Tour receives UCI 2.2 status

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The Santos Women’s Tour, run in conjunction with the Tour Down Under, will mark the start of UCI racing in 2016. The four-day women’s event will be listed on both the UCI Oceania calendar and the Subaru National Road Series calendar, providing an opportunity to mix the best of domestic competition with the best of international racing.

“We’ve worked hard to secure a UCI-sanctioned event for women as part of the Tour Down Under, which has WorldTour status for the men,” said Nicholas Green OAM, CEO Cycling Australia. “At the same time, we have been able to include the event as part of our premier national road series. It’s the best of both aspect – the best of domestic competition with a mix of the best of international riders coming to compete.”

Italian Valentina Scandolara (ORICA-AIS) won the first edition of the Santos Women’s Tour in January 2015. The Tour drew 95 entries and 17 teams with the final stage, won by Melissa Hoskins, attracting 4000+ spectators in Victoria Park. “This is a wonderful progression for the development of women’s cycling around the world but particularly for Australia. This is an extension of respecting that talent and the racing capacity women have globally,” noted Green. “I’m thrilled we can showcase that talent to the Australian population, and I think the Australian women in particular are delighted that they can start their international season in Adelaide as part of the Tour Down Under.”

The Tour Down Under has been a massively successful event for South Australia. The 2015 edition contributed nearly $50 million to the state’s visitor economy with a record crowd of 786,000 – more than 20% of those in attendance were interstate or overseas visitors. “The Tour Down Under has been a terrific event for South Australia and delivers huge economic benefits to South Australia,” said Green. “With the inclusion of a women’s event, it elevates the event as a whole to another and continues to advance Australia’s position in the world of cycling.” The Santos Women’s Tour will run 16 – 19 January 2016

National Road Series: National Capital Tour

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Photos courtesy of Ben Auld

Lucy Barker has continued to register impressive results at the National Road Series, having competed in Canberra during September. Though, when she posted the above photo of her sitting in second place, you could be forgiven that it was in sympathy for Victoria’s run of second places this year! Lucy finished her time trial impressively, only 1 minute 25 seconds down on the stage winner and NRS Series Leader Ruth Corset. The strong performance continued into a brutal stage 2, with Lucy climbing well to finish the stage in 28th position out of an aggressive field of 54 riders. Stage three was to be no easier with a challenging 74.9km run to the line, in which Lucy finished only 12 seconds down from the stage winner. Day four rolled on, with a 37.5km criterium, the tired riders staying together for much of the race. Lucy finished 9 seconds down on the stage winner, capping off an impressive overall ride.

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Amy’s Gran Fondo

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Four MBA Blackchrome ladies headed off to Amy’s Grand Fondo, which is used as a qualifier for the World Masters Road Championships to be held in Perth in 2016.

Victoria, Narelle and Michelle were all travelling and staying together, while Nusha was bunkered with her husband and fellow team rider Adam. Things were going along without a hitch as the team arrived and had dinner together….until Michelle Bloffwitch succumbed to the most violent and virulent gastro bug we have ever seen. Narelle then slept the next two nights on the floor in Victoria’s room as we quarantined Michelle and her bug. It was a blow for Michelle to have come so far and end up bed bound – but as we were to discover later, fate has a funny hand in things.

The day of the race arrived and the weather was truly beautiful and happily met by the MBA team and every other Adelaide rider to have endured a dismal SA winter. Team youngster Victoria (less old than the others) was feeling ripped off in that the 30-35 year age category has been eliminated at UCI level, being replaced by the 19-35 year category. This means Victoria had quite a few young fit things to contend with including none other than current Australian Road National Champion Peta Mullins. Victoria’s race went well despite an early hiccup – the crash on You Tube for the 2015 race was filmed by the rider immediately in front of Victoria! Victoria out-climbed Peta Mullins by a full minute on the major climb, but alas, could not hold on to the pace of the descent. Old foxes don’t trust riders they don’t know travelling at break neck speed, and after being shelled, Victoria was passed by another two fast moving groups on the descent. Unfortunately, it was in the third group that Peta Mullins caught and passed Victoria – oh well! Victoria finished second for her age group as well as second overall fastest for the women – and slightly annoyed that if her age group had remained as it was, she would have been first fastest and first QOM. Victoria’s extraordinary run of second places continues, but she has qualified for the World Championships.

The other MBA girls had various success working within groups. Nusha rode extremely well to qualify for Perth, while the lack of road miles caught up to Narelle at the end of the tough race, narrowly missing qualification. The missed qualification has since been a thorn in Narelle’s side, and she has been punishing the rest of us with stupid things like Corkscrew repeats on the weekend. We’ll either make enormous improvements as a team, or will die or cardiac arrest!

University Games

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The MBA Blackchrome team is thrilled to introduce the first of our new recruits. Adding some desperately needed sprint power is Madeleine Steele, a Masters of Architecture student who rips up both the track and the road. Madeleine routinely outsprints the men in the criterium series, which makes her about 500 watts faster than the rest of us! But speed is not the only strength of this fast filly. In the University Games held on the Gold Coast, Madeleine took out both the road race and the criterium. Madeleine was marked heavily in the criterium, having been identified by her competitors as the favourite following her efforts to win the road race. The criterium was also not a standard flat course, but rather a Kermesse-type course with a stiff short climb – the type of course the team’s mountain goats can only dream of! Welcome aboard Madeleine.

Masters National Road Championships

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South Australia was represented by only two riders at the National Masters, a disappointing showing considering representation at previous championships has generally been good. Victoria was the only SA woman who made the trip to the Gold Coast to compete, contesting W1 category, but racing a combined W1-3 division. 27 competitors in all, with many of them holding positions on National Road Series teams made for a very tough campaign.

Victoria used all of her experience and expertise in winning second place, to add three more silver medals to her collection. Yep, you guessed it – second place in all three races – time trial, road race and criterium. Thankfully, and possibly to spare Victoria from a mental breakdown, three silver medals was more than enough to win the Masters National Champion’s Jersey for the overall points win of the competition – clear by five points to second place, which was this time thankfully NOT Victoria.

For those that think Victoria is paranoid about 2nd place……..results so far

National Paracycling Time Trial                2nd

National Paracyling Road Race                 2nd

Fox Creek Graded Scratch Race KOM 2nd, on the line 2nd

State Elite Women’s Road Race               2nd

State Elite Women’s Time Trial                2nd

SDVLCC Penny’s Hill Race                          KOM 2nd, on the line 2nd

Amy’s Gran Fondo         Age Division 2nd, Overall 2nd, QOM 2nd

National Masters            Time Trial 2nd, Road Race 2nd, Criterium 2nd

Mount to Murray Graded Scratch Race  KOM 2nd

 

Number plate on new car 065…0+6+5=11, 1+1=……….2!!!!!

National Masters Games

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MBA Blackchrome is happy to introduce another new rider who is very good at NOT SECOND. Christina Teniswood joins the team’s mountain goat ranks. A phenomenal power to weight ratio combined with a very attacking riding style and savvy tactics has seen Christina clean up at the Masters Games held in Adelaide in Early October. Christina won gold for the time trial in her age group (4th fastest overall), gold for her age group in the road race, but also gold overall for the combined W1-4 road race – very NOT SECOND!

 

 

 

6
Jan

Tandem Project Update

High Performance Squad

Australian National Track Championships

Track Nationals 2

It was the best tandem field at a track nationals Australia had ever seen. There was the current Pursuit world record holders (Oz Tandem), defending Paralympic champion Kieran Modra, silver medallist from London Bryce Lindores, and Modra’s apprentice and team rising star Kieran Murphy just to name a few.

The 1km Time Trial was hotly contested with only 0.09sec separating 1st and 2nd, with Kieran Murphy coming 4th, and Modra 5th.

The hotly contested pursuits were exactly that! With track temperature above 40 degrees it definitely was hot. Both MBA boys made it past the qualifying round, riding well below the world championship qualifying time. Murphy pulled a foot in the first start and after a nervous and tentative restart rode his way into the bronze medal ride off, confident he could go quicker without pulling his foot. Modra would race for the gold medal after riding a blistering time that would rival his London gold medal winning time.

The men’s Tandem Pursuit final produced the race of the day with a nail-biting battle between seven-time Paralympian Kieran Modra (SA) & Pilot David Edwards (QLD) and 2014 world champions and title holders Matt Formston (NSW) & Pilot Michael Curran (NSW).

Less than one second separated the teams across the 16-lap final, with the South Australians holding the advantage as the home crowd cheered them on.

The New South Wales duo pegged back the time in the final few laps, however they ran out of track as Modra and Edwards won in a time of 4mins 17.929secs, just 0.42 of a second ahead of Formston and Curran (4:18.357).

Track Nationals 1

“It was a big surprise,” said Modra, who has only been riding with his new pilot for a couple of months. “We worked with some strategies today to see which worked best. We are excited to have come away with the win and in that final, it was as exhilarating as it was nervous.”

One of the legends of para-sport, Modra’s career boasts five gold and four bronze medals from seven Paralympic Games between 1988 to 2012, along with two Commonwealth Games silver medals. And he is gunning for an eighth Paralympic Games.

“I think the time I had off after the Commonwealth Games has helped. It is the same story again and again after every games, you get that bug and you want to get back on the bandwagon,” Modra added.

Track Nationals 4

Development Squad Powered by Clipsal

City of Prospect Tour Down Under Street Event

Eye Play Sport is teaming up with the City of Prospect for a fundraising event which assist the Tandem Project. A world record attempt as described below. We thank our partners Eye Play Sport for their continued hard work and support. Our Tandem Project team will be at the event and we hope to soak up the atmosphere of the TDU. We will no doubt be slightly more relaxed that the Elite Women’s division of the Mercedes-Benz Adelaide team which will be in the midst of contesting the World UCI Sanctioned Women’s Tour, to be headlined by Tandem Project Manager Victoria Veitch!

Ukulele Challenge

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Guinness World Record Attempt for the Largest Ukulele Ensemble

We love a good challenge at Prospect! That’s why, during 2016 Tourrific Prospect, on Monday 18 January, we will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Ukulele Ensemble (the current record is held by Tahiti and sits at 4,792 players). We can do it, if you join in!

Blind Jessye Campbell to cycle 1000km to raise money for Camp Charity

December 13, 2015 7:47pm

Celeste VillaniMitcham & Hills MessengerThe Advertiser

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14-year-old Jessye Campbell of Glenalta is cycling 1000km for Camp Quality, from Geelong to Glenelg on a Tandem bike with Tristan Fergusson — despite that face that she’s blind. Picture: Keryn Stevens

SCHOOLGIRL Jessye Campbell may have lost her eyes to a rare form of cancer, but the 14-year-old has never lost sight of her dreams.

Jessye was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a retina tumour, when she was 11 months old after her mother, Trish Campbell, noticed an abnormal growth in her eye.

“My eye was not following a light correctly so we got it checked out,” Jessye, of Glenalta, says.

“They found a large tumour and had to remove my left eye immediately, actually the following day.

“The doctors battled for about four years to save my other eye which had tiny tumours, but three separate courses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy did not work so it needed to be removed when I was five,” she says.

Her diagnosis came six weeks after her father, Clinton, was killed in a motorcycle crash outside Strathalbyn.

In need of support, Ms Campbell turned to Camp Quality — a charity which helps cancer patients and their families — to help cope with Jessye’s condition.

“Camp Quality has been a major part of my life since I was five,” Jessye, who attends Brighton High School, says.

“I’ve gone on heaps of camps and they really supported me through different activities and kept my spirits up and have helped my family.

And I was able to meet other people with cancer too.”

To give back to the charity, Jessye will participate in the inaugural 1000Ks for Kids bike ride from Geelong to Glenelg in May next year in the hope of raising $4000.

Jessye, the youngest competitor in the event, will ride a tandem bike for 10 days with CanDo4Kids assistive technology officer Tristan Fergusson.

“I do some training by going to spin classes every week and I do some exercises at home,” she says.

“It’s been hard, but it is worth it because I want to be able to help others who live with cancer and contribute to a good cause.”

Ms Campbell will ride alongside Jessye as she travels through towns and cities including Apollo Bay, Port Fairy, Mount Gambier and Beachport.

She wants to raise an additional $4000.

To donate to Jessye’s cause, visit 1000ks4kids-sa.everydayhero.com/au/jessye