Super Series Round 5 Team Time Trial
By Rylan Dowdell
With the super series being a sprinters paradise, a team lacking a sprinter has to make every opportunity for points to count! Round 5 was that opportunity, a team time trial that finishes up a 20 percent hill had our attention as a stage we could potentially win. The team has certainly had a bit of bad luck so far this series with all our team either puncturing or crashing during the road stage at the copper coast and just before the series, Liam had a close encounter with a road barrier sadly meaning he would be off the bike for some time. So leading up to the round we were a little worse for wear but still hopeful of being up there. Ethan was then struck down with tonsillitis a week out from the race and Jason caught a cold also, so getting to the finish with 3 riders was now the main focus. On the day we had a team of 7 consisting of Jason, Iven, Lachlan, Daniel, Mark, Ethan and myself.
Photo: Danielle Stevens
In my mind, I broke the race up into 3 sections, the flat, the lumpy and the wall, which is Stentiford hill, a short but very steep hill that tops out at about 20%. For the flat section, the team took off with Daniel Siwek dropping a watt bomb that got us up to speed as quick as possible. We were pretty organised by the first turn around and as we approached the lumpy section we were flying, rolling short turns and keeping it together nicely. We entered the 2nd section of the race looking good. This is where it started to get grippy, as we crested each rolling hill the fatigue was setting in harder. We managed to still be together at the second turn around but from there things fell apart. As Dan pulled his final turn straight after so did Ethan, giving all they could for the day. The road towards the final climb is tough, providing some steeper undulations and not a lot of rest between each rise as Mark found out as he savagely popped just metres from the crest of a steep rise sadly losing touch with us and leaving our final riders feeling quite vulnerable. On the approach to the final climb, Lachlan (who had hardly ridden his bike since Wallaroo) gave all he could performing 2 epic turns to deliver Jason, Iven and myself to the base of the wall, in as best shape as possible. At this point sadly Jason’s battle with his cold all week had really taken its toll but Jason, being the unit he is, pushed his body to the absolute limit for the team as Iven and myself struggled up Stentiford hill with him. Luckily for us, the team G up master Andrew Clarkson was near the top to cheer us on giving us that final motivation to the finish line, cheers mate!
Photo: Roger Welch
So, in the end, we didn’t get to take home the win, but in my opinion, each rider gave it everything they had, even if they were facing their own challenges being sick or recovering from injury. It was good to see, to be a part of and definitely something to take home to be proud of. I hope we get another crack at that course next series and also, I want my KOM back…
Photo: Danielle Stevens