Today I won the Women’s T2 category of the Time Trial at the 2014 World Para Cycling Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. I am a little overwhelmed actually and even though I was fairly confident coming into this race you just never know how it is going to pane out! I had a nightmare last night, which upon waking was fairly funny but at the time of dreaming wasn’t funny at all! It involved our Road Race which had been changed to add an off road segment so our mechanic had tried to adapt my trike to suit that. To cut a long dream short I ended up flatting a rear tyre and being late for the start. I woke up yelling at the mechanic!
So I get to the course this morning and as that same mechanic Peter G is putting my race wheels on the back of my trike he pumped up the tyre’s and within a couple of minutes there was a huge, and I mean huge bang! The back tube had blown…now I don’t believe in dreams coming true, but he pumped up the second one and that also exploded so violently that it blew the tyre right off! Thank god they had not only extra tyre’s but tubes as well and I had time before I had to warm up. Good thing I’m not superstitious!
The day was starting to get warm but it was still only about 10am when I started my warm up but the humidity was hovering in the 90% area having come down from 100% at 7am! So I was getting a little warm. It was then time to head over to the start where we had bike check and then wait our turn to head off. I was the last of the trikes to head off and the last female having been the winner last year. I had 6 riders in front of me and it was my goal to try to catch them all. I made sure that while waiting for my start I had completely wet my head and then had a wet towel around my shoulders. So I was completely wet as I made my way up the ramp to wait for my count down. The butterflies had started in my stomach while waiting but once I was on the ramp they just disappeared. I knew i had prepared well for this and I loved the course.
There were a number of tight corners which up until this last week I wasn’t really the best at corners, but thanks to Hans-Peter Durst from Germany and riding with him during this last week I worked out what I had been doing wrong. It was definitely a ‘light bulb’ moment for me, so I was excited to think that my cornering would be better. It was the first time internationally that we, T2 riders, were doing 2 laps of a course for the TT. So it was important that I didn’t absolutely kill myself on the first lap.
I headed off and halfway through the first lap I had passed a couple of the other riders and after the first lap had caught a couple more. Towards the end of the second lap with about 3km until the finish I caught my main competitor Marie-Eve from Canada, so that by the end of the race I had only missed catching one rider, Jill from the USA, who had gone off first. It was the first time I had raced against Jill, so I had no idea how fast she actually was, so I knew that I had at least come 2nd. But as I passed the finish line I heard the announcer say that I was now sitting in first place! So with that I knew I had won my second World Championship TT!
It was the best race I have ever ridden! I nailed every corner perfectly (for the first time ever!) and my gear changing was spot on going up and down every hill. It was the first time I had ever had the “Perfect” race and what a time to do it!
As I told my mom when I called her ” I could have come last and known that I had done the best that I could possibly do, I wouldn’t have changed anything”. I gave it my all and that is what racing is all about, leaving it all out on the road, take nothing back with you.
I’m also happy to say my good friend Hans-Peter Durst also won the Men’s T2 category. We are both the oldest trike riders him being 56 and me at 53, so it just goes to show that age doesn’t mean anything. If you want to accomplish something age shouldn’t come into it. It is all about believing in yourself and your abilities and putting in the hard work!
I’m also so proud of my roommate Bianca Woolford who won the Silver Medal in the Women’s T1 category and as you can see from the picture below has not stopped smiling since she found out!
I want to thank the Cycling Australia Staff who are with us; coaches, physio’s, mechanics and support staff, they play such an important role for all of us here. Thank you also to Rebecca DiCello my coach who took on the coaching role this year, I’m not sure she knew what she was getting herself into! But she has challenged me with training sessions I never thought would be possible! Thanks also to the Victorian Institute of Sport staff, Ben in the gym who pushed my strength to the limit, Nick in Sports Science who helped Rebecca and I get the most out of my sessions, Kylie in nutrition who helped me get back to the weight I was in high school and Russ Short who kept my body working with his amazing massages! Thanks to my sponsor Liv Giant and the family of women who rode with me during the year and to Jo Hall who believed in me enough to give me the best equipment I could ever want! Thanks to my family and friends who have always believed in me and most importantly to my husband Russ. Without him I wouldn’t be able to do the training and travelling like I do, I love you Russ xx.
It’s now time to have a day off, a light spin to roll the legs over and focus on the Road Race which is in the afternoon on Monday and I expect it to be over 35 and high humidity, so it will definitely be a hot one! At least we are all in the same boat on the day! My “Aussi” mum Margo sent me an email this morning and I loved the quote she sent, it said “good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better it your BEST” This is how I will go into Monday’s race!