Sunday, May 22, 2011

dam tough

Today was the dam tough duathlon. Since the bike racing was in Mackay and I was home a duathlon at the dam for a good cause seemed like a good idea. Finding a runner is always easy (what is wrong with these people!!) and that left a 20 km ITT - basically - for a cyclist. Perfect.

We left home at 5am for a 6;30 start, which was a bit of a worry, since the sun rises at about 6:35 these days, and there are no lights out at the dam. BoaB pulled me along for the 18kms to the start into a headwind at a warm pace, and then we stood, and waited, while the race was late (a good thing!!) and I went from sweaty to chilled to shivering.

My runner (thanks Shannon!!) was great, and I got away in about the middle of the pack. I was hoping to do some catch and pass, but I only managed about 6 riders. My legs were baggage for the first 10 k, but the course was flat and familiar, so I just settled in and enjoyed the ride. BoaB passed me at about km 4.0 and then we saw each other regularly on a 5 km, turn, 5km, turn (repeat) course.

I really enjoyed it, but I was cheated of my 'thing', to manage a good sprint finish. I had to navigate a lot of turns to the end, a cameraman in a truck, and then the dreaded 'get off and run to the transition' finish. Hmmm. I think we came third of five teams (podium!!), most competitors were individuals.

It was a great event though. I won 4 months of gym membership, which I badly need to use with some intent. At this point my core needs more work than my cardio. I was a lovely morning. Getting started at 5 am and home by 10 am is a fantastic way to start Sunday. Then showers, food, puttering around the hose and garden and a kip in the afternoon is about as good as it gets.

And now a word about cycling and the Giro Italia. I am very disappointed with the media coverage of the Giro. Stage 13 of the race was so beautiful. Contador gave Venezuela’s José Rujano (Androni Giocattoli) the mighty gift of a stage win. He showed respect for the tenacious wee fellow, who hung from his wheel like a limpet, in the best way possible. It was a great moment in cycling, a sport I love because it is more than the fastest racer, it is respect for a racer with the most heart. Nobody has taken up that story though. While Contador has moved up a huge notch in my esteem for his gesture, it has been ignored by all the cycling press.

A great day and a sad day for the sport. A stunning gesture of respect drowned by the chatter of the cycling press. Watch the races, make your own judgments. The sport is greater than the reporting, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised by that.

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