Three Bike Manawatu riders were selected by BikeNZ to compete at the Oceania Cycling Championships; George Roberts, Alex West, and me, Lizzie Stannard.
We flew out of Palmerston North Airport on the 19th February with two bike boxes and a suitcase each bound for Toowoomba in South East Queensland.
Both the individual time-trial and the road race were centered around Toowoomba, a large city situated on top of the Great Dividing Range about 2 hours drive west of Brisbane.
The time-trial was held in an Australian version of Ashhurst called Nobby, only much smaller and dirtier. The course was made up of a series of rolling hills and false flats, of which the U19 women completed 13 km and the U19 men 25 km.
The day of the time trial dawned with a slight breeze, and a classic Australian summers day (ie: hot), which did not bode well for our team issue long-sleeved skin suits. The girls started off first, and after minor stresses that included getting our helmets checked for the Australian Standards sticker, everyone was off. Only 10 girls started, of which three were New Zealanders. The race was won by Alexandra Manly (South Australia) (also won bronze at the World TT Champs last year) and the two New Zealand girls were 2nd (Madison Farrant) and 3rd (Amanda Jamieson), and I rolled home in 7th. The boys performed well, but were not up to the high standard the girls had set earlier in the day. Alex and George were both slightly sick to begin with, and Alex managed to top that off by riding into a ditch in the first 5 km (don’t ask). He ended up 34th and George 31st out of 37 starters.
The Board has become aware that a number of riders are “ bending “ the rules in terms of Bike Manawatu membership and licences around Club organised and club sanctioned events.
Many are not signed up club members. That is not fair.
We as a Board have perhaps not been diligent enough in ensuring that for riders attending certain club events ,their membership is current.
We are attempting to encourage and to be inclusive and to that end have found sponsors to help pay for organising and running these events.eg Feilding Track Nights.
That has proved to be a popular move. But it does not dissolve the need to join the Club.
First of all a big thank you to all the officials and helpers on the day. Without you “The Hour” would not have been possible. Ian Gray not only lent me a set of wheels to meet the regulations, but also gave me lots of insights and tips in preparation. John Stewart and Oods as my official callers did a great job in keeping me posted on progress. Then the timekeepers and commisaires: Matt van W.; Glenys Taylor; Wayne Fenn and Steve Perry, maybe not the most glamorous job to count laps but you made it official. Thanks also to Phil Ryder for keeping the time splits for my records and Kirsty Kaihau as always ready to capture the event on camera. And lastly, a big thanks to my wife Sharon for the months long encouragement and enduring many dinner conversations with “The Hour” as a topic.
As you recall the day didn’t start terribly well weather wise. However the forecast talked about improvements and calmer conditions later in the day.
I spent the day with as little strenuous exercise as possible – washing cars and vacuum cleaning was about it.