So for those of you who are unaware we here in Victoria are lucky enough to have our very own Road Series, much the same format as the National Road Series. The VRS has been around for a few years now, there are plenty of races; some up hills, some on flat roads and some in the wind. There are time trials, criteriums and epic road races. Everything a cyclist with a passion for hard racing needs for the year. Cycling Victoria do a fantastic job with this series and Singapore Airlines have generously come on board as the main sponsor for 2015.
We are now mid way through the VRS, 3 tours and 1 epic mountain battle have been run and won. The first battle was at the Tour of East Gippsland back in February when the weather was still warm. I was flying solo for Liv at this tour and despite battle some strong teams I had a great tour and came away with the GC win and the first leaders jersey of the tour. Going into the tour I had hoped to win a stage, to come away with the Leaders Jersey was quite unexpected and a pretty nice feeling! It’s made me hungry to try to hold onto it as well.
The next race was Tour of Mansfield which culminated in a gruelling race to the top of Mount Buller for the final stage. I got to pull on the fuoro for this tour and ride with them super strong Bicycle Superstore Team. After a very consistent team performance in the ITT which saw us with 4 riders in the top 5, we ended the tour with a win in the teams and Flick Wardlaw taking the GC with help of the strong climbers Kristy Glover and Taryn Heather. This race definitely didn’t play to my strengths, I managed to hold onto the jersey by the skin of my teeth, but the hill climbing, brownie eating, pink loving rider in Amy Bradley was hot on my heels.
The series then moved to the Baw Baw Classic with one of the most epic one day races on the calendar. Baw Baw is a race that I have never even contemplated doing, I’m not actually sure that I would even be able to do it! But I was prepared to give it a go. That was until I realised that I had a wedding on the same weekend – dam! I would have to skip riding up this epic climb that reduces many a talented climber to tears. Amy was up to the battle and with her 3rd place finish she ripped the jerseys from my shoulders and left me quietly sobbing into a champagne glass at the wedding.
Last weekend was round 4, the Tour of the (windy) South West. I love this race, it’s mostly flat and always windy, it’s where I get my revenge on those pesky hill climbers! However after a month of injury and illness in the lead up to the race I was seriously doubting that I would even finish let alone try to take the jersey back.
But I guess after so many years of racing your body never really forgets how to hurt and knowing that jersey was dangling only a few points from my reach was motivation enough. I pulled out a miracle race taking 3rd in the TT, 6th in the road race and a win in the last stage to finish 2nd on GC, but most importantly back in to the series leaders jersey.
The most impressive result of this tour was the age range on the women’s A grade podium. A 16-year-old in first place, a 36-year-old in 2nd and a 52-year-old in third…wow! To all those people out there that have ever thought you were too old to give racing a go, you were clearly wrong.
The VRS battle resumes at the Tour of the King Valley in August so get some training in and I will see you there.