Today was the ITT and the first international race for the Australian Team at the 3rd Para Cycling World Cup in Elzach, Germany. We knew that it was going to be a tough race for all the riders as the ITT was a point to point race and uphill! The Hand cycles and Trikes had a 9km course with the Bikes tackling the 18km to the top. I was extremely happy that I only had the 9km as there was quite a kick at the end with about a 17% gradient for the Bikes towards the very end.
The hand cycles were off first with the trikes following and the bikes in the afternoon. The heat was also going to be a factor not so much for us in the morning but for the bikes later on in the day. I am finding that here in Elzach around 4pm onwards is the hottest part of the day and today was no exception!
I was starting 30 seconds behind the German rider Jana with the American girl Jill leaving one minute behind me. My goal was to catch Jana and stay ahead of Jill as I believed they were my main competition today. I started off and within about a kilometre was able to catch Jana but not knowing where Jill was I had to keep the pedals cranking! It was a great race with locals out along the course cheering us along and when I saw the 1km sign to go I couldn’t have been happier. That last kilometre hurt like hell! I was able to pass 3 of the male trike riders as well so I thought that I had gone pretty well. When I finally saw both Jana and Jill come across the finish line I knew that I had won, that and the fact that I was approached by the drug testing chaperone’s! My cool down was riding back down the hill which I must admit was nicer than rolling up it!
The team today had an awesome day coming away with 3 gold medals (although we had 4 first places – one of our riders only had her in the category so they work it out by percentage against a higher category and unfortunately she missed out on a medal, but not the points!), 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals.
We not only were awarded medals but also Cuckoo clocks as a gift from the region.
The Road Races start tomorrow with 5 of our riders on the course and the rest of us on Sunday.
Results: Official results can be found if you click here
Grant Nicket – 1st – Men’s H1
Emilie Miller – 1st Women’s H1
Bianca Woolford – 1st Women’s T1
Carol Cooke – 1st Women’s T2
Alistair Donohoe – 2nd Men’s C5
Alexandra Green – 2nd Women’s C4
Kyle Bridgewood – 3rd Men’s C5
Simone Kennedy – 3rd Women’s C3
David Nicolas – 4th Men’s C3
Susan Powell – 4th Women’s C4
Michael Gallagher – 5th Men’s C5
Nigel Barley – 9th Men’s H4