We were a bunch of drowned rats at this years Mersey Valley tour in Tassie, with torrential rain, 50knot winds, and a tonne of crashes forecasted. We started on Friday the 29th of April and went through to the Sunday, with a 16.8km Time Trial, a Roadie in Guns Plains and we finished the tour in Sheffield with another roadie.
I had a bit of pre-warning about the courses from last years experiences, but the Tassie hills never fail to get the legs screaming. The TT course is situated along the shore line, receiving winds that sweep across the Pacific, that along with rain made the course very difficult, but what would we expect? It’s Tasmania! I finished 3rd in a time of 23:43,which I am content with as hard-core training for worlds is yet to begin.
The road courses were not suited to my kind of physique, however, the strength training they provide is second to none. There were some pretty hectic crashes on the down-hill as riders attempted to stretch out the field, by scaring timid riders to slow. However those heroes paid the ultimate price. With 5 or so crashes throughout the race. Luckily, I managed to stay clear of any incidents, finished with all my skin in tact.
The second roadie was neutralised to the bottom the first decent because of extreme weather conditions, and despite the neutralisation the peloton was still unsteady, all fighting for a front position to stay out of trouble. The rain made it difficult to see, and along side a Queenslanders worst enemy, freezing weather, right from the get go I knew I was going to be given a run for my money. The 25km loop had a 2.6km hill which stretched the field. And with back wheels slipping left-right and centre, the saddle was the only safe option. I found myself in a small group who managed to chase. However everyone was everywhere in last 10km which was up a steady climb. Definitely sorting out the mountain goats to, well, me.
The QAS staff were so incredible and made it a great learning experience, I am now looking forward to getting back on the track in the coming weeks and getting my legs turning track style.