Thursday, November 20, 2008
Great Dougherty Tour - a successful weekend
The Dougherty Tour is one of my favourites as it was my first tour since switching to cycling from duathlon in October 2007. This year I came as defending champion but with no great expectations as the field looked pretty sharp, with notables including Bridie O'Donnell (2008 national time trial champion), Chloe McConville (national xc ski team member and sprint guru) and Nicole Whitburn (top crit rider).
Anyway, I can honestly say that I was really chuffed with how the tour went. I won the first stage, a time trial up the 1 in 20 in the Dandenongs, in a PB of 15min53.7, 1.5 seconds clear of Bridie and a reasonable way ahead of the rest of the field. The 1 in 20 is a hill but not a steep one, so I didn't think as a hill climber I would have any real advantage and Bridie was the clear favourite going into the stage. So to find out that I had just pipped her was a huge confidence boost going into the second stage that afternoon.
Second stage was a road race in Yarra Glen, where the A grade women were bundled in with the C grade men to make it interesting. 3 laps of anything called 'Death Valley' is never likely to be easy and despite trying to make my moves on the hill, Chloe McConville took out line honours with me coming over in 2nd place. By the end of day 1 I was in the lead but with a crit left to go the next morning it wasn't going to be easy to retain it.
Sunday's start line had a couple of casualties which made my job easier, and a 2nd place to Chloe 'legs of steel' McConville was enough to secure me the overall tour win and a brand spanking plaque to adorn the trophy cabinet of Fitzroy Revolution.