ToMR Stage 4 – Faye Daglish-Jones
Stage 4 (Balingup to Nannup) is final stage of the TOMR event, it is the team time trial, that starts not long after 71km road race which had a very brutal hilltop finish (think 3 mount streets).This stage has an elevation profile 457 m of rolling hills (nearly 8 Stockies). It is after lunch time now and the weather has gone from cool/over cast to toasty!
The power of team, started long before this race, through the training time with my ‘teamies’, Jen (captain), Sam (v/captain), Meegan (the power house) and Skip (tough as nails), along with our coach Davina who put a lot of effort into each of us. This combination, took me from being absolutely terrified of peddling down Lovekin in Kings Park to grinning from ear to ear.
However the super star of ‘team’ had to be Annemiek! That is, Annemiek van Vleuten, 2017, world time trial champion, wow, what an amazing individual, intelligent, fun, high energy not to mention a seriously good cyclist. Beerlinda, our volunteer, was also amazing, doing a different kind of pedalling for us, organising some pretty challenging logistics, and keep us constantly entertained.
The team started the race enthusiastically powering up the first hill. We were rolling through beautifully. At 10km point, I started to regret my lunch time food choices and the minimal time to digest it. I am not the strongest in the team, so this stage, I had to dig deep. My teamies knew I was suffering, they took longer turns at the front and constantly talked me up (I couldn’t speak)! Then we’d spot another team in front and we’d get excited (it was like a red rag to a bull) and a welcomed distraction. We did get the opportunity to pass a couple of other teams, and definitely benefited having Annemiek in the team, protecting us when it counted. She was constantly breaking it down (so that no matter how much it hurt, there was an end point) – I clearly remember hearing only 15 minutes to go, thinking yes I can do this.
The last 100m, seemed like the longest 100m, I couldn’t see any markers telling us how far to go, until we hit the sharp right turn.
Crossing the finish line was an awesome feeling, the SPR crew cheering everyone as if they are world champions (oh wait, we did have one with us).