Laura – Laura (38 km Time Trial)
Once again, I got some excellent information from Pete Selkrig on how to most successfully ride a time trial. Push a higher gear than I would in a race, keep a high average heart rate and maintain a low, aerodynamic position wherever the track allowed. Despite this, I was not confident and, before the start, I was far more nervous than normal.
After a quick video interview with Gerhard, the race organiser, I prepared to start and bring on the pain. I tried to apply the advice I had pre-race and went about bringing my heart rate to around 160 beats per minute. But this never happened. I immediately hit the corrugations and began to struggle to keep my rhythm. I had a one minute gap on the following rider but within a few kilometres I was overtaken. Three riders came by, shortly followed by a flying Pete, who was to finish ninth overall on the stage.
By this time, I was on the bush trails and the terrain I was more used to. My heart rate reached 140 but I could not increase it further. I was ploughing through the deep sandy sections being reasonably successful at locating the best lines and I was not to be overtaken until the very end. With this stage only being 37 kilometres, I hoped I could limit my time losses. I entered the last section, which was the original road with the corrugations and three of the fast elite riders came past. I was able to finish faster than I had been during the rest of the race, spurred on by the others.
I finished ninth in M2 and 36th overall, which represented my worst finishing position throughout the whole race. I remain fifth overall in M2 and dropped one place to 21st in the overall standing. After Pete’s excellent performance, he remains sixteenth overall, while Martin unfortunately missed placing on the podium in M1 by two seconds and remains in 25th overall.