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Race Results

Australian Veterans and Ladies Cycling Championships

Amanda Steele & Hamish MacKirdy

Lara MacKirdy competed in the Australian veteran's cycling championships held in Ballarat on the 28th to 30th of October. The time trial was on the Friday. On a windy, undulating 25km course Lara clocked a time of 42min 27sec (average speed 35.3kph) which gave her the silver medal, the gold went to Judith Cahill of Sale, Victoria in a time of 41min 54sec (average speed 35.6kph). The fastest women overall was multiple world champion in the 50 to 54 year age group, Lorraine Schutz from WA, in a time of 39min 12sec (average speed 38.3kph) which incidentally was faster than over half the men from any age group.

 Next, on the Saturday, was the Criterium, a short, tight road circuit held over 20 minutes. Lara put on a burst of speed at the 10 minutes to go, which split the bunch, Judith Cahill was caught off guard initially but chased hard to join the lead bunch, however in the final sprint Lara managed to turn the tables on Judith Cahill and win in a sprint to become the 35-39 age group Australian Criterium champion. Judith Cahill was 2nd and Dianne Condie was 3rd.

 The road race, 50km,was turning out to be a very tough race. Tired legs from the previous 2 days of racing, a very windy day and an undulating course with a few "Buchy hill" type rises in it. To add to all that the women were racing in 10 year groups, however medals were given out for the usual 5 year categories. This added an extra dimension to the tactics of the race especially with Caitlin Fraser racing, a former AIS rower who has switched over to cycling. Caitlin was in the 30-34 age group, but the other competitors knew she would have a major affect on the race because she would try and break away early, being  a very strong endurance rider, but an average sprinter. All the girls were determined not to get "dropped" by Caitlin. On the first steep rise 6km into the race with a strong cross head wind, Caitlin attacked hard. Deborah McCoy had positioned herself perfectly under the left shoulder of Caitlin and managed to stay with her, the other girls were strung across the road desperately trying to stay out of the wind and hang onto the wheel in front of them. Half way up the hill the lady behind Deborah McCoy started to lose ground, Lara was the next wheel and seeing this happen had to make a big effort around the outside of this girl to stay with Caitlin and Deborah, Judith Cahill was caught out even further back and had to make a big solo effort up the hill. Lara couldn't quite bridge the gap, at the top of the hill, it was only 10 metres, but with thighs burning and screaming at her to ease up her best tactic was to wait for Elizabeth McDonald and Judith Cahill who weren't far behind her, the rest of the field were strung out on the hill but regrouped to form a third bunch. Lara, Judith and Elizabeth chased Caitlin and Deborah for 30km and lost very little ground on them, but then Elizabeth McDonald dropped off. Lara and Judith finally conceded that they weren't going to catch Caitlin or Deborah. Deborah was in the 35-39 age group, so arch rivals Judith and Lara, who had been working together for 30km to try and catch Deborah turned to racing each other once again, this time they had to settle for silver and bronze. Lara managed to win the final sprint against Judith to take her 2nd silver medal for the competition. Deborah McCoy became the 35-39 Australian road race champion. Caitlin Fraser finished first in the 30-39 group in a powerful display of endurance riding and became the 30-34 Australian road race champion.

Medals for the time trial and Criterium were presented on Saturday night by Australian cycling legend Phil Anderson ( 5th in the Tour de France in the mid 80's which is still the highest ever placing by an Australian).




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