My race report from Battle on the Border (last weekend in Qld) is way overdue. As is my race report from the Mt Beauty 6 hour MTB race the previous weekend. As is my uni assignment. So, in the interests of multi-tasking, I enlisted the help of Lisa's Mum to consolidate the two races into the one report. (PS - Big up to Mark Gunter who took the cover photo - it's a ripper) Lisa's Mum enjoys these creative challenges because it distracts her from other everyday crises, such as finding a park at Burnside Village on pension day without being hit by an elderly driver high on pharmacy jelly beans. Mum was not actually present at either race, on account of a late call-up to cover the Giro d'Italia for Le Petit Pois d'Avigne, central France's most respected boutique agricultural journal. Mum is certain that a foothold in the French gardening market will leave her poised to catapult into the SBS commentary team at the Tour de France in July. In the meantime, she is enjoying the hospitality and professionalism of LPPdA and has all the carrots she can eat.
I sent Lisa's Mum by telegram a series of photos from the races (taken by the invaluable Ryan 'Diamonds' Moody*) with the strict instructions that she was to research carefully each race and provide an informative and insightful race summary to match the photos. Here is Lisa's Mum's report:
Mt Beauty is a small peaceful settlement in North-East Victoria at the base of Falls Creek, breeding ground of Australian sporting legends including Ronan 'Shooter' Magharan and Paul van der Ploeg's legs. Also home to a permanent Boil Water notice on account of the high faecal content in the local supply. The two are not thought to be related.
Like Mt Beauty, the Mullumbimby Shire (home of the Battle on the Border) boasts a generous bogan quotient and $6 burger-and-pot deals at the local RSL. The two are most definitely related.
The Mt Beauty 6 hr MTB race was run with professional aplomb by the good folks at Team Mt Beauty. The crew assured us that the course would be suitable for all but the most novice of riders. It later transpired that 'novice' in Mt Beauty terms means 'Olympic pre-selection'. They breed them tough in Mt Beauty. Each lap had around 250m of vertical which was covered in the first 4km, followed by 4km of descending back down to the start/finish area. It was a great course, matched by perfect conditions and an on-site coffee van. Highly recommended. The VIS ran a tight crew of KAOS and LJ racing women's pairs and Ryan Moody riding solo on a single speed rigid, just to make everyone else look bad.
The Battle on the Border was the second race in the women's National Road Series, and consisted of a 7.1km time trial followed by 98km road race (Sat), 84km road race (Sun) and crit (Mon). Highlights included working on our tan lines, cruising Surfers Paradise and not getting hit by cars in the first road race. The VIS ran a small crew of 3 riders - LJ, the Enforcer and Spike - so as to maintain its goal ratio of 2:3 staff to athletes. Team mascot The Platypus of Truth was joined by Rupert the paranoid schizophrenic bear, featuring in his first road event.
The Battle on the Border saw the return of cycling super mum Ruth Corset, 2009 National Champion, to the women's peleton. Ruth has been training for the Cairns Half Ironman and just popped back into the peleton to remind herself how much swimming and running sucks. As we saw her disappear up the KOM on the first road race and solo to a victory and overall Tour win, the rest of the peleton quietly considered adding some half-ironman intervals to their training programs, too.
Part-time Dutchie Chloe 'The Enforcer' McConville was in stomping form, enforcing all over the place and ending up 3rd on GC...
...and then hightailing it back to the AIS European base four days later.
The dynamic duo of Supercoach and Diamonds yet again kept Team VIS organised, well-equipped and wanting for nothing all weekend. Except maybe some more teammates...
Thanks Lisa's Mum for such insightful commentary. A big up to Tour winner Ruth Corset - it's great seeing her back in the peleton. Congrats also to TT machine Bec Wiszeak (2nd). I hung on for 4th and kept the NRS lead for now.
* Why Diamonds? Because as a bike mechanic, myotherapist, logistics genius and undisputed King of Car Tetris (Luggage Division), he's the VIS girls' best friend and every other team wants him for their own.