|Back in the swing of things|
|Written by Bridie O'Donnell|
|Monday, 24 October 2011 07:09|
Hello from wet, cold Melbourne!
I've not yet been back 3 weeks, but I had my first TT race since the ill-fated final stage of the Giro in July.
That day, the all-knowing DS (NOT a qualified mechanic) thought it best to service the bike 7min before my start. Needless to say, the front brake was non-funzione on a technical 17km course & a few other components rattled around. I was glad to see the back of that machine. It didn't fit and had a paint job to rival any carpet at a multiplex cinema centre....
Yesterday's ITT around the fast, flat Yarra Boulevard was very different. I was back on my beautiful Parlee, all perfectly fitted w SRAM Red and new titanium Speedplays (just for racing, I promise ;)
I also got a chance to try some new HED wheels and Schwalbe were kind enough to send some new Ultremo HT tubulars to CyclingEdge in time for Paul to glue them for the race.
Other than the 10 damn U-turns in the 25km, I managed to feel pretty good for my first race back. I set a new course record for the women (by 3min) and was 14th overall. Sadly,the €1M prize pool was divided by the 13 blokes who beat me, so I missed out on the bullion but was offered lollies and a sausage sizzle instead (thanks to the Rotary Club of Richmond!)
The Yarra Tri put on a terrific event, results were up & running as riders finished, a far cry from some of the road races I've seen in Italy, I tell you!
It's also been a good week in the media, as I was interviewed by Mike Tomalaris on SBS Cycling Central, w the segment showing yesterday afternoon. We discussed the state of women's cycling in Europe and the US and the full interview can be watched here
It's soooo good to be back home in Melbourne (despite the spring Classic weather we're having) and even better to be back on world class, well fitted and excellent equipment.
Being a contracted pro rider means you ride what you're given, and I was lucky to be on a Pinarello w 11-speed Campy in my team this year. But that's nothing compared with what you know, and what works for you.
In my case, I am fortuate enough to be looked after, supported and provided for by many great friends (companies) and everything is kept running very smoothly by Paul at Cycling Edge.
This season I'm going to be wearing some excellent custom kit made up by the wonderful Marcel Tinazzi and his staff at MS Tina in Veneto, Italy.
When I went on a trip to the men's Giro d'Italia with Cadence Tours, other than having my season totally ruined by wonderful hotels and incredible meals, we were lucky enough to visit the factory of this ex-professional rider and look at the way they make and print their gear.
Before the Giro Donne in July, I got every pair of my team knicks replaced with an MS Tina chamois, which the famous Marcel did himself in 20min flat while we had a coffee and discussed the state of Italian team racing. I think those chamois were the reason I survived the Giro. I kid you not!
So, along with custom fitted shoes from Gaerne and a brutal reminder of my lack of form and fitness from SRM, I am back into the swing of things, looking forward to racing here at home and feeling like a local again!
See you out on the road!