If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent today frantically re-booting the cyclingnews.com live feed on the U23 men’s and women’s time trial. I’ve been on the edge of my seat. When Luke Durbridge and Rohan Dennis were sitting 1-2 in the order I was so excited. Both spent this year as members of the Jayco Skins U23 AIS team in Europe (aka the gold medal factory). They are machines. I know Rohan from my SASI days but Durbo I met for the first time when I was over in Europe this year. He’s a fun guy. Both have already achieved so much on the bike – track and road – and it’s incredible to think they’re still getting better. Look out, world!
The women’s TT was awesome. Alex Rhodes, Shara Gillow and Vicki Whitelaw did us proud. Shara’s ride in particular was spectacular – 8th!
Emma Pooley (Gr Britain) dominated the TT and won her first world title by a fair margin. What a ride! Emma has had a great year and went into the TT as one of the favourites. To pull off such a commanding win under such enormous pressure and expectation is impressive. And she is a Top Chick, so you can’t help but be happy for her.
I can’t let her win pass without recounting to you my favourite Emma Pooley story. In stage 7 of the Giro Donne, which was one of the big mountain stages, I was climbing the second mountain pass of the day with a small group consisting of a couple of Italians, a couple of Dutchies and a crazy Russian who kept hammering it. We had been dropped by the lead climbers (including Pooley) but were ages ahead of the grupetto so we were just getting the day over with. The conditions were blisteringly hot and getting up the mountain was a chore. At the bottom of the climb, the crazy Russian snapped her chain and with no team car in sight we were down to 5. Around halfway up the mountain, one of the Italians turned to the other and blabbed something in Italian. I can’t understand Italian, so what I heard was, ‘blah blah blah Emma Pooley: do-di-do-di-do-di-do!’ and she pretended to tap up the mountain like she was frolicking in the park. It was hilarious – I almost fell off my bike. Some things don’t need a translator.
Enough of this computer re-booting – I’m off to Geelong! See you there. Ride happy