With the inaugural Tamworth Cycling Festival underway down the hill, numbers were lower than normal for the Armidale Cycling Club 20K ITT this afternoon. Just 13 riders braved the 40kph gusting westerly although temperatures weren’t too bad. Most survived without arm warmers although Jo was keen to keep hers on, on top of her long-sleeved thermal top, and base layers. A bit of barracking at the start line got the arm warmers off – hopefully she appreciated that once she got going.
Just back from the Dubbo Marathon last weekend (coming an impressive fourth in the women’s race out of 40 finishers), Jacqui King was searching for her cycling legs which weren’t behaving quite as they should. Jacqui got things underway and the following riders tagged long at 30 second intervals.
The initial starting order didn’t have Johnny at the back but a last-minute adjustment was made to ensure he had enough of a challenge. Could he overhaul every single rider and go from last to first in just 20km?
Further up the order, Kirky was back from his European adventure and starting just 30s behind Rob Tindale. Six weeks off the bike* hadn’t made any difference to Kirky’s confidence or ability to dish out advice and opinion to race officials before the start, but it did provide Tinny with enough motivation to try to get one over on his long-standing training nemesis.
The 30s start intervals gave riders something to aim for, and avoided a long wait in the cold at the start. It also allowed Johnny to hop through the field at an alarming pace, overtaking 8 riders by the turn which he navigated well, and set about pulling back the rest of the field, spearheaded by Jo, now just 68s ahead. It looked like he’d have no trouble going from first to last.
The mini battle between Tinny and Kirky was also going quite well until just before the turn when Tinny fatally looked over his shoulder and saw he only had a small gap left before Mr Noisy was upon him. Sure enough, shortly after the half-way point, he had company, quite literally. At this point we refer to UCI rules about drafting in time trials (more of that later).
Further up the road riders were battling with the cross-winds and some very tight gaps. Dave Cook was going well in an enthralling tussle with 30s man, Pat Ferris. Ultimately Cookie got the better on Monument when most changes in the order took place.
Back at the finish line, Johnny came charging home in 30:31, a PB not only for that course and distance, but for all of his 18 club ITTs since 2014. There was a huge gap between him and the rest of the field, boding well for the state masters later this month. As always, you can review historical race performances any time on our Race Results page.
Wilf Keller was on sign duty and ran a great race this week, assisted by Col Maciver who was a welcome sight at the 10km turn. Thanks to both and also to Andy Robb who didn’t make it onto two wheels but was there to help with timing and the finish line photos.
Just to finish on the tussle between Kirky and Tinny and the all-important associated bragging rights. Earlier this year at the Giro d’Italia, Valerio Conti and Diego Ulissi each received two-minute penalties for drafting on a 34.2km ITT course. An equivalent figure, adjusted for a 20km course is therefore 71s. This puts Kirky’s time out to 35m:30s, which is 21s slower than Rob Tindale’s. It would therefore seem entirely reasonable to consider that Tinny did in fact beat Kirky in the ITT today.
* Kirky would have you believe he hadn’t been on a bike for 6 weeks, however he was boasting on the warm-up of how he’d “cycled all over London” and “…did heaps more in Paris”. There would appear to be some inconsistencies in his story and club handicappers are advised to take note.