Monday, September 07, 2009

World Champs

Now that I'm a full time employee my World Championships adventure was a bit of a whirlwind. Still enjoying the spoils of the full time paycheck I shelled out for some airtime with a 7.15am flight arriving in Canberra at 8.30 on Saturday morning. From there it was straight to Stromlo where it was nearly showtime.
A perfect day greeted us and it wasn't long before the Aussie ladies got their chance.
The techy climb quickly showed who had skillz. If you stayed smooth and rode smart there were places to be made as Jo demonstrated just after this.
Up front Lene was showing the field a clean pair of heels and had all spectators convinced the race was for silver between Sabine and Willow. Irina had quickly taken fifteen spots in a lap after some first lap mechanical issues and was on the charge though. Putting 20 seconds a lap into Lene and more into the others she rode into fourth on the second last lap and it became apparent that Willow and Sabine didn't have quite as strong a grasp on the Silver and Bronze as we all thought.
A bigger shock was to come though. As Lene rounded a fire road corner with a couple of km's of racing left Irina was on her wheel having caught and passed Willow and Sabine. We all know the story after that. Irina won her second world championship having dropped the fastest lap of the race on her final lap.
Special mention to Row who was struggling to walk on a badly sprained ankle but still rode strongly and looked set for a top 20 finish before a final lap flat. All the Aussie's finished on the lead lap. A big improvement from being unable to field a single rider a few years back.

A couple of hours for the crowd to refuel and it was time for the men. Macca found some secret lines on the bitumen and led the bunch out from third row on the grid. When he came through hammerhead about fifth the noise was deafening.
A lap later and the 'heads of state' (thanks Phil) had come to the front. Florian, Nino, Abi and Jose were almost swapping turns roadie style for the next four laps. With two to go it was time and Abi turned the screws.
We'd decided cardiac was where it was gonna go down and last time up Abi gave it everything. Nino stuck like glue though and just as they rode by Abi sat down, blown, with Nino still there and just waiting to show the winning hand.
Florian pipped Jose for third and K-bomb rode an ITT for fifth, pushing a single chain ring all day (as were Abi and Adam Craigh).
Coops and all the other Aussies were still riding strong spread from fifteenth to fiftieth. Well except Blairy who had had a minor digger that resulted in major mechanicals. As he attempted cardiac for the third time a bent hanger threw the chain behind the cassette and wasn't budging. A few minutes there plus the extra time lost meant he was destined to fall victim to the 80% rule.
Haas gave him a bit of extra sustenance to get him over the line. I'm sure you'll figure out what it was. Top ride Blairy!
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