13 January 2008

Aussie Men's Elite TT

With the Women’s Timetrail out of the way, and a rider on the podium, I was pretty stoked. It’s always nice after working on the bikes, when it’s followed with a great result. I only had one rider, Adam Hanson, for the Men’s TT. So that means only one bike to work on. Right away you have to show some restraint when working on it, as it can turn nasty real quick. The big problem is that you have so much time, it’s easy to go too far with the servicing, ending up with something breaking. Or worse, that little job you thought you had turns into a nightmare in a matter of hours. You can only do so much with a machine, and then it’s hands off, put it down and go find something else to do for the rest of the night.

Adam's TT machine for the day, looking very fast, even before he starts.

Working with the Men, is taking a while to get them sussed. Knowing nothing about the way they race, their personalities, their pre-race stature, etc. I also know where they are coming from, who is this Benny guy, what’s his work like, can I trust him. Or course I go to the utmost effort to try and instil confidence in them ASAP. The last thing I need is them sitting on that start line, wondering if the bike is going to make the whole race in one piece. A few SMS messages the night before the race from Adam, and I thought he was stressing bad. I did my best to show him there was going to be no problems, right from the start. I would see how he was the next day.

Out on the road, pedaling away.

When Adam arrived I had the whole show organised, bike looking pretty spiffing, and shiny and clean. He started to warm up, and was looking pretty relaxed. He was focused and ready, as he had been around the course many times, in the days leading up to the start. I was very confident with the bike, and I think he forgot about it until the start. We drew like 6th seed, so there was most of the field of about 40. on the road before we started. I had no idea how he would go, but his name was bandied about the mechanics as a good favourite, even top five. By the time we started, he was warmed up and ready. Sitting on the start, he seemed far too relaxed, but that I now found out is one of his trademarks.

He was off, and climbed the first hill not 200m from the start with a nice easy pedal stroke. The Men’s course was a bit different than the Women’s the day before, a total of 39km. He had caught the first rider in front by the time we had reached the top of the first hill. Poor guy, destroyed even before he had got into it. And it never stopped. He passed a total of six riders in the end. Most of them had started way in front of him, what a good bit of incentive for Adam. But he seemed to be having a few problems sitting on the bike. Moving his ass around, trying to take pressure of his bits and pieces, and it continued throughout the race. All I was thinking was the time he was loosing, as he stopped pedalling and adjusted himself. I almost freaked, when on the biggest downhill of the day, at speeds of around 80km/hr, he was out of his saddle, standing up, with one hand on the bars, trying to sort out his skinsuit (remember this was the temporary suit). He hit a bit on the road, wobbled, and almost binned it, I stopped breathing for a minute or two. But relaxed as he tucked into the aero position, and rode out the hill as fast as he could.

Welcome to the new Australian TT Champ, 2nd (left) Rory Sutherland, 3rd Ben Day.

With no race radio, we had no idea where he was placed, as he sprinted down the finish chute. Fastest time for the day, but there was five more to come in. I waited, waited, and then we heard it. The fastest time of the day, and the winner is, you guessed it, Adam. Sweet, we yelled to ourselves in celebration. A gold medal, another win for the Team Highroad, nice. 2nd place went to Rory Sutherland 0.56 secs behind, and 3rd Ben Day 1.13 behind. And of course the bike ran pretty sweet, what else were you expecting. Adam was elated as you can imagine, and his smile never left his face the whole afternoon. I celebrated by cleaning a few bikes, and getting ready for the Women’s Road race in a day’s time.

And I would just like to thank my mechanic, my bike was the cleanest out there today...

More TT photos around here.


adam hansen said...

Hey man, thanks once again for all your work, im really thankful. Great website too. I like it. Nice photos. Wish you were in the mens team. Maybe in 2009. Im sure the guys that have looked after will put in a good word. Big Thanks!


benny said...

Thanks mate, it was fun, especially when you race like you do, makes it all the more exciting. Yeah I work a bit with you guys this year, so we see. later

Anonymous said...

thanks for regular updates

Brent (Kiwi cycling fan)