Friday, February 27, 2009

Team Pursuit Championships

Bicisport Team Pursuit Medallists.

14 February 2009.
22 riders.
6 teams.
3 race categories (Masters all ages, Masters 150+, Elite Women) .
1 Manager.
1 Coach (me).

2 months of weekly team preparation rides (with a break over Christmas / New Year).

When you have 22 riders all wanting to ride in Team #1, it makes for a challenging task to sort out the right combinations.

We had seasoned team pursuiters, some that had barely ridden the track before, strong riders that didn't have the pedigree in team pursuiting, seasoned team pursuit riders with form that needed to pick up, sprint oriented riders, roadies, track enduros, riders from several geographies. We had it all.

Then, once you settle on the combinations, you then need to work on the contingencies. Who are the subs to go up if a rider drops out for some reason? What is the best order of riders in a team? Where are the weaknesses and how can you minimise their impact? All good fun.

Somehow we pulled it all together and at the end of the day:

35 teams entered Championships.
6 Bicisport teams rode.
5 qualified for finals.
4 medalled.
2 Silver.
2 Gold.

2 x Championship record times set in men's qualifying and one again set in final.
Inaugral Women's event (qualified both teams for Gold final)

Bicisport now holds the State record time in both Men's masters categories and Women's elite team pursuits. For a club of ~ 75 riders, I reckon that's pretty impressive.

Cracking rides by all teams. Not a foot wrong all day. While I shouldn't pick favourites, the one that stood out for me was not the record setting rides but Team 2's qualifying ride, which saw them post 4th fastest time and qualify for the bronze ride off. Getting 2 teams into the finals in an ultra competitive category was really a highlight. They missed out in the final, getting nailed by a strong Sutherland outfit. Not to say the other rides weren't worthy, they were all tremendous.

Congrats to the Tuggeranong express train that took out the all ages final by 0.3 seconds. It was a cracker of a race and went down to the wire.

Nice work team!

Special thanks to Stuart Lane for being there at training every week to fill in the gaps as needed.

Coach exhausted.
Coach wants to ride it next year instead.