We have a request for supply of some volunteers for The Ring Criterium Encore event, taking over the streets of Leederville this Sunday afternoon. We have a tent – need people!
If you are available, willing and able for either set up (from 11:00am), pull down (after 18:00) or for marshaling duties (2 stints of 3 hours, starting at 12:00 and 14:45) then please drop an email to Greg over at firstname.lastname@example.org with your best contact details and availability times for the day.
We will also have an SPR Club area set up with the Green tents. Bring your stationary trainer, your masseuse and massage table, a camp chair, cowbells, loud screaming voices, food, drinks…… We’d really like to see some supporters out there for the event. It’s taken a lot of effort from WestCycle to make this one happen, with Oxford and Newcastle Streets being closed for US to ride around in circles really fast!!!! How good is that?
Entries are open until this Thursday night, and are online entry ONLY. Further details for the actual event are available on their website here and updates are on the FaceBook page as well.
The Tour de Bintan has had patronage from the Dome Coffees Cycle Team for a few years now and was familiar to those familiar with Toby Brown. You may well have been bombarded with social media updates about the event and results over the Labor Day Long Weekend, so you too may be up to speed.
So it was that a contingent of SPR members – and full disclosure from me here – and my training crew, Strive Cycle Training, fielded a team of SPR Chicks (known henceforth as the Strivettes) and a token Dude (Andrew Williams aka Big Willy) with the Dome Coffees Cycle Team also making a return to the Island of Bintan.
Tour de Bintan – Stage 1 ITT. Andrew Williams. Red Helmet Owner. Token Dude.
The first stage of the Tour de Bintan was a 17km individual time trial, however, unlike most TTs, the stage had to be completed on a standard road bike. This was my first race outside Australia and the nerves were on high alert. I felt very well prepared thanks to Toby Brown and the many practice runs back in Perth, but I always struggle with nerves on race day.
Race day came and I was desperate to do a recon ride. We had done one the day before when we arrived on the Island, but best to say it was confused with people lost and/or taking different routes.
The Strive ladies were starting early in proceedings with Kathryn Buckley the second rider on the road at 12.30ish. I was the last of the Strive/Dome group and not off till 4.32.30.
Andrew Ballam and I rode out with the ladies and managed to get in a quick recon in before they closed the course. That settled the nerves considerable and by the time I got back to the start line and the Dome/Strive tent I was starting to think this might be OK. After wishing the ladies good luck it was back to the resort and sitting around trying not to get nervous.
Mid-afternoon saw me trying to wriggle into my new skin suit and head off for the start line, warming up as I went. In the tent I was given some ice for cooling (How the ever resourceful Travis Keen has procured kilos of ice in the middle of an Indonesia island with no apparent shops is worthy of its own story!).
A quick last minute warm up, a bike check by the commissaries and I was on the start ramp. I will mention this was the first time I had started from a ramp and was terrified of starting (and finishing) my TT by falling off the edge of the ramp (and going viral on YouTube!). Despite my concerns the start was good and I was off.
The first section was flat and I was pushing hard but felt OK. I got through the right hand turn OK and the climbing started and I was up and over the first hill before I knew what had happened.
I would love to describe what happened next, but to be honest it is a blur of climb, descend, pedal, turn, climb again. The middle section of the course was a series of small lumps. Then before I had chance to think too much I was back on the main road and knew I only had one climb to go. It was a bit steeper than the rest and I was determined not to overcook myself.
I hit the top of the hill and found the biggest gear and just pedalled. Past a couple of riders on their way out from the start, round the last left hand corner and I remember thinking “just a few minutes of pain”. The sight of the finish line lifted the output a little, across the line then suddenly realised I had to turn left or run into the barrier!
Just over 28 minutes for 17.1kms was a little slower than I thought I could do, but turned out it put me in 12th place out of the 26 starters in the TT which was much higher than I expected. Back to the tent and once again Travis was there with ice and a coke. I think oxygen might also have been a good idea!
The whole experience felt like it was over in a flash but I had just completed my first overseas stage. Pretty cool and I’ll be back to take some more time off.
Tour de Bintan – Stage 2. Vanessa Johnson. Ex-Golfer. Podium Girl.
Day 2 dawned with clouds as heavy as my thoughts. My goal for the tour had been to improve my race craft, and if lucky perhaps snag a podium. Here I was, through a series of serendipitous events (and no small amount of sweat and grit), wearing yellow in the 45-49 category. Don’t stuff it up.
While we breakfasted the skies opened, easing to a light drizzle by the time we arrived at the race start. The women were first off, yellow jerseys congregated beneath the start gantry, the performance of the traditional dancers not enough to distract minds anxiously focused on the 140km ahead. We rolled out into the undulating countryside at a pleasant pace and the Strive women (all SPR members) found good positions near the front of the peloton. Laurensia Rosana in particular worked selflessly, protecting the yellow worn by myself and Amanda Nabi.
As we approached the first significant corner of the ride I heard the sirens of the 18-34 men’s convoy approaching. Keen to clear the corner ahead of the men I moved to the front, looking for an unobstructed line. Unobstructed – yes; correct – no. Dropping in to salvage an exit from the wet, 90 degree left-hander my wheels went from under me and I slid across the road as if it was an ice rink. Jump up fast-I’m OK-bike’s OK- bar tape plug, quick shove it in-OMG my prescription glasses are under the peloton-put the chain on-get my glasses-dodge the convoy-find a flat spot-get on-RIDE!! I had lost 60 seconds on the group. It’s OKdon’t panic, pedal.
I set off, capping my effort at 80% power as I knew the men were not far behind. Soon they were with me and I gratefully eased into their peloton. We steadily collected the tail of the women’s group, but I did not catch sight of Nabi’s yellow jersey before the men ramped up for the first sprint point, and I was shed from the group, losing my tube of electrolytes & food tablets in the process. It’s OKdon’t panic, you packed extra.
Along the coast the breeze was persistent. I was fortunate to catch a small group of women and organised them into a nicely echeloned pace line (taking liberty whilst wearing yellow). Groups came by; I jumped on, dropped off, then rode mostly solo between 95-110km after falling into a nutrition-hydration hole. Why are all the sprint points at the top of freakin’ hills! I recovered after making a concerted effort to eat and drink and joined another passing group. I shook my head ruefully when they asked if I was in the breakaway. I could only hope that Anke Hoskins-Bergmann was riding strong. It will be OK if Anke can keep yellow for us.
The rain was torrential at times, like riding up a river but with less visibility. I was counting down – that’s a Saturday ride, that’s a river loop, that’s to work & back – and very glad to catch Katheryn Dines and her group at a little over 10km to go. No sprint finish for me. I was straight to the medical room to have my wounds tended and then out of my saturated kit, glad to have a towel and change of clothes.
Watching the presentations it was clear that it had been a great day for Strive and Dome. Plenty of podiums and Jarred Anderson, Amanda & Anke will ride in yellow. As my category is presented I sit and watch, wearing my shirt and towel (leg too cut up for shorts), feeling glum about my Zoolander moment (can’t turn left). Third place is announced – well I didn’t see her – then oh horror and joy- ‘2nd Vanessa Johnson’ – OMG I am in a towel – I can’t go up there- how embarrassing, oh well…
Tour de Bintan – Stage 3, Amanda Nabi. The Queen. Full Stop.
The challenge of a tour is being able to back up your performance from day to day. The Tour de Bintan was three days of hard work! Whilst I had personal success in Stages #1 and #2 I got the most satisfaction from Stage #3.
As others have probably already described, we experienced varying conditions on day 1 and 2 – from hot and windy to monsoonal rain – but Stage #3 was the weather we had been expecting…hot and oppressively humid. Motivation was probably pretty low after days of force-feeding yourself, aching legs, and the nervous exhaustion that comes from trying to do your best day after day.
Going into Stage #3 the Strivettes were top on the Team’s Classification and I was leading my age group and was also the fastest woman overall. The challenge was keeping it like that. For the Team’s Classification the focus was for us all to try and win the two sprint points from our age groups and for the GC I had to basically stick with the two girls immediately behind me on overall time, a couple of younger girls on the Singapore national team who were 12 and 17 seconds respectively behind me.
The girls’ peloton was the first to take off. The first 25kms were cruisey as just like in the previous two stages it wouldn’t be long before the 18 – 34 year old boy group would catch us and boom, the girls’ peloton would split and the strongest of the girls would jump on the back.
At the 30km mark the boys had caught us. Anke, Louise and I managed to jump on and as expected the pace was on. All three of us managed to win points at both sprint points on course but following the second sprint point at the 77km mark (which was more like a KOM) a few of the boys attacked over and down the crest of the hill and the peloton was in pursuit. I managed to hold on by the skin of my teeth, sometimes literally, for another 20kms but at the 99km mark, 6kms from the finish the hilly course and high pace just became too much and I popped…and with that went my hope of being the fastest woman overall.
It was relief as I rolled across the line. I was understandably disappointed that I wasn’t able to take the Tour win, but as I watched my team mates come across the line that disappointment was replaced by the joy of taking the Team Classification…I soon forgot those last heart-breaking 6kms.
Standing on the stage with such a wonderful bunch of girls as the Strivettes, and our coach Toby Brown, spraying champagne was definitely the highlight or the tour!!
Tour de Bintan – The Struggle is Real, Laurensia Rosana. Tenacious.
The Tour de Bintan was a well-run event which you all should know about. I think it should be part of your “to do list”. I decided to sign up for this event late last year as my personal goal after a back surgery I had mid last year. It has not been easy to train again while I need to be mindful with my injury. There are few people I know in the club going through similar situations. This story is to tell you my riding journey post-surgery. What I have achieved in this race is something I would like to share with you. If I could do it, so could you.
In preparation for the race, my awesome coach Mr Toby Brown designed a training program suited to my recovery process. On top of my time on the bike (approximately 10-20 hours per week), I also had gym and yoga sessions. Strength work and flexibility was as equally important as training efforts I was doing on the bike. All these really paid off based on the fact that I experienced improvement in my performance until we were due to fly to Bintan.
Day 1 of the Tour was an individual time trial over undulation course of 17 kms. Time trialling is the riding style that I always enjoy. I prepared myself on the day expecting to give my best performance by far. It unfortunately turned out not be so great after all. With the heat, humidity and wind, I struggled to maintain my pace throughout the ride. Although I went as hard as I could do, it was not enough getting me qualified to be a time trial qualifier. I ended the day with so much disappointment.
Day 2 was a big day, 140 kms grand fondo. Going to day 2, I made rookie mistakes: mentally talking myself down from day 1 outcome and sitting in front of women peloton for approximately 30 kms. Yup you read it right, 30 kms. When 18-34 men group passed us, I did not manage to hang on and got dropped. Although I managed to ride in a small group for the next 70 kms, at 100 km I was hit by reality. 40 kms to go, my lower back was sore, which forced me to drop off from the group I was riding with. It sucks to ride on your own in discomfort and wet from the rain. I crossed the finish line close to 5 hours on the bike.
Many things went through my mind at that time and I almost gave up right then. I asked myself “could I do this again tomorrow?”, I bit my lip hard and swallowed my disappointment for the second time. You know what guys, I would really hate myself if I didn’t give it a go on day 3. All tears and sweats would have gone down the drain if I was not on the start line on day 3. Day 3 was another big day with 111 kms course. The first 3 kms was not great with me getting mechanical difficulties. Wait, it was not as bad as you would think! I managed to get back on to the women peloton and rode with them until 18-34 men group caught us. I got dropped and I rode with the same ladies I met on day 2 (yes an odd way to make friends hey!) for most of the race course until the last 10 kms. This time, I crossed the finish line with so much relieve and satisfaction. I did it – a 3 day racing tour is complete!
Looking back, lessons learnt which I would like to share with you all especially riders with injuries:
Be patient and follow the recovery process as advised by your experts
Have your coach involved in your recovery process
Celebrate and cherish small wins. I think completing day 1 and day 2 despite of my disappointment was significant wins, which I did not realise at the time.
Injury should not prevent you from doing what you would like to do. Your determination and commitment will supersede your body limitation.
Here, I end my story with this fact:
“I might not win anything on this tour, I however walk away as a winner of my own battle. “
All photos courtesy of the SPR competitors. There are many more on their FaceBook pages and on the official Tour de Bintan website.
Last week over the public holiday long weekend saw the staging of the Pemberton Classic Road Race. SPR had a contingent of competitors across most grades – some in team kit and some in GREEN! And it was an outing for the new SPR Club van. Swish!
The event consists of a Saturday afternoon criterium on a challenging circuit with a kicker of an incline that peaks on the start/finish line. The Sunday saw an early morning Road Race over different distances per grading on an undulating, rural road course with beautiful views and plenty of speed.
Saturday Crits saw SPR members in Mens A (Patrick S-W and Matt H in GDT team kit, Matt C in neutral), B Grade (Elar and Alex B) and C grade (Jon Hanson, Simon Millichip, Bryan Thurstan, Peter Wilshaw and myself in SPR kit and a few others – names escape, sorry!) and our SPR Chicks in A grade (Sarah Fitton, Corrie F and Michelle Mc in respective team kit) and B grade (JJ and Rebecca). In a word, tough. The course has a punchy climb preceding the start/finish and in 26 mins (for me, anyway) it took its toll – my Training Peaks Intensity Factor registered as 1.11. Ouch. There were no podiums for SPR, but a few places of note with a 5th to Corrie, 5th to Rebecca, a 7th for Bryan T and a (upright and intact) 9th to me. And Tony Lendrum caught a good pic of the Mo – let’s have a beer (Jon and Bryan concur).
Sunday morning saw a nice early start for the Road Race, with different distances per grade. Mens C grade set off first and a mere 600m is all it took to reach Pump Hill from the start line for the first climb. A sharp 70 vertical metre, 4-5 minute kick skywards, then 35km of undulating rural and Karri forest-lined roads ensued. Peter W and I made the decisive and early split on the first Pump Hill ascent and the pace stayed solid through the first lap. Jon managed to hold a disturbingly close distance leading a small group no more than 100m back but couldn’t quite bridge, with Bryan and Simon also back. The second lap up Pump Hill saw me dropped, getting closed in and stuck behind a rider with a dropped chain at the base of the climb – 50m of gap opened before I could get around the stationary bike and moving again and that was day done, never making contact. Peter W finished in the lead group, with apparently a crash on the last corner into the finishing straight.
Results are not yet website published and there was no timing system due to illness affecting the volunteer team. HOWEVER…… Mens A grade saw Matt C top 10, Mens B grade had Elar finish with the lead group in what were both fast races, averaging over 38km/hr.
Womens A grade saw Sarah Fitton back in race mode after some recent time off and appeared to be straight back into it – in search of “up” – and finishing only a few minutes behind the winning group. Our B grade women, both of whom were in their first graded road race. SPR Chicks, represent.
To round out the weekend, we elected to head to a local winery and brewery, soaking up the afternoon sun with some live music from a local Bridgetown blues and roots musician and some tasty beverages.
The Pemberton Classic is staged over the March Labour Day weekend annually, and I haven’t attended an event more thoroughly supported by the local community than this one. On the approach to town, right through the town and around the course on rural roads there are white painted bicycles hanging in trees, mounted on fences, on 12ft high stakes in garden beds. We weren’t able to readily identify a local business that did not appear on the list of sponsors for the weekend. The local pub, cafes, the general store, the coppers and local drivers on the road were fantastic, welcoming and hospitable. We spoke with one of the cafe owners – April (we won’t be spruiking specific cafes, but come and speak with us if you’re after a killer iced latte in P-town!) – who said the race coming to town and building over the years has seen a big change in the tourist traffic that they experience during and then returning after the event. It’s a lovely little town that truly earns the support this event gives back. Get on board for next year.
The Cape to Cape MTB race is a stand out event in the Australian racing calendar and sells out well before closing date. Short riding days and Winery/Brewery finishes attract all levels of rider from national elite racers to beginners. So get training, its a great race on mint single track and fire trail. ( plus a little bit of sand )
Cape to Cape MTB Race 23-26th October – http://capetocapemtb.com/ Stage 1: Thursday 23 October, 2014 Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to Hamelin Bay (Approx 40km) Start Time: 12:30pm.
Stage 2: Friday 24 October, 2014 Hamelin Bay to Xanadu Winery (Approx 60km) Start Time: 8:00am
PRO Red Bull Shootout: Friday 24 October, 2014 Margaret River Pines (4:30pm-6:00pm) Start Time: 4:30pm
Stage 4: Sunday 26 October, 2014 Colonial Brewery to Dunsborough Country Club
(Approx 60km) Start Time: 8:00am
SPR is affiliated with Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) to join MTBA from Cycling Australia you can ‘ Value Add ‘ your membership.The process is as follows:
Step 1: Download the Cycling Australia paper membership form here.
Step 2: Complete the form.
Step 3: Post directly to Cycling Australia with payment (go here for fee) and remember to include a copy of your current MTBA Membership card (with more than three months to expiry).
Training Rides (3 Hours)
To help your preparation for Cape to Cape there will be a number of training rides open to SPR members of all ability levels. Equipment you will need is:
A serviceable and maintained mountain bike. ( the ride leaders won’t have time or spares to do trail side servicing)
Backpack for hydration, food, spares, tubes, first aid kit, etc.
Lights for night rides. ( bar and helmet works best, 300 lumen minimum )
26 July 13:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
2 August 13:00 John Forrest Tavern – Heritage Trail
10 August 13:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
17 August 13:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
20 September 08:00 Kalamunda Coles – Old Faithful loop
4 October 13:00 John Forrest Tavern – Heritage Trail
12 October 13:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
OPTIONAL NIGHT Rides (2 Hours)
06 August 18:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
03 September 18:00 Kalamunda Coles 2-3 hr ride – Old Faithful loop
10 September 18:00 Kalamunda Camel Farm
01 October 18:00 Kalamunda Coles 2-3 hr ride – Old Faithful loop
A number of urban MTB rides are available, but will not be sanctioned SPR rides, email Nigel for details. email@example.com
If there is enough interest from our female members, a womens skills clinic can be arranged.
We are hoping to run A, B and C grades, and a Women’s grade too depending on numbers.
A Grade – 40 minutes + 2 laps
B Grade and Women – 30 Minutes + 2 laps
C Grade – 25 Minutes + 1 lap
If you’re not sure what Cyclocross is, “a good description is a bike race mixed with steeplechase. In cyclocross, riders race laps around a short course that usually features some pavement, some dirt, some woods, some steep hills and for good measure, some obstacles thrown in that require riders to dismount, work their way through and then get back on and ride some more.” (Bicycling Magazine)
In a sense, you might think of it as a different type of dirt crit.
Online entries to open(see link above), entires will be the low, low price of just $10. Racing will be open to those with MTBA or CA licenses, an MTBA Day license can be purchased for $20.
Just a quick reminder that racing for real cyclists 🙂 starts this week with the Dirt Crits commencing on Tuesday and the 1st round of the XC season this Sunday.
Previous blog for the Crits can be found here. Don’t forget you will need your lights for this, discussion on lights is here, but in my opinion you can’t go past a decent set of Ayups. If a group of you get together and order at the same time and you speak to Ayup nicely they might give you a discount. They look after PMBC well and support our annual Dusk til Dawn 12hr Enduro.
Those wanting to get in on the action of the XC series can find all the details for the 1st round here. Just quickly it will be held down at Langford Park Jarrahdale, so if your not part of the final SPR/RCCC crits race, get yourselves down and have a race or support those who are. This is a nice easy trail to start the season off with.
If you are heading down drop a mention in the comments and i’ll know which tent etc to bring and how much room we need to setup.
There are a couple of races coming up at the end of the month at which SPR will be having a fair presence.
Firstly we have Renae’s race on 22 Feb with entries closing next Tuesday 17 Feb. This is a Criterium race with the feature event being the Women’s race. There are races for all grades and I would encourage all to get along and enjoy what should be a great mornings entertainment. These races are held in Technology Park so you won’t have to travel too far, bring the family and cheer on some familiar faces.
Some of us will then be travelling a little further to participate in the Pemberton Classic on the weekend of the 28th Feb. This is a two part weekend featuring a criterium on Saturday with a road race on the Sunday. Entries for this event close on Feb 24 so plenty of time to book your leave and accomodation. A bunch of us are making a weekend of this so there should be some interesting stories to follow.
We will soon be posting a schedule of races for the year including cyclo sportif events that we as a club will be targeting. We will be entering teams across as many grades as we can and hope to see you out there cheering, helping or racing.
If you think you’d like to give it a go let me know or talk to any of the racing guys and they will be more than keen