The Road World Championships are over. The 2015 season is complete. I simply cannot believe I am typing these words already. I had an amazing season, not necessarily from a “results” point of view, but in terms of experiences, time spent with inspiring people, lessons learnt and friendships made. It may sound corny but in order to succeed in an intense lifestyle like the ones my teammates and I lead, it’s so important to have a healthy environment around you. I, too was satisfied with my physical form, taking away a couple of podiums in the latter half of the season and helping the team to a number of wins. The only thing that would have topped off 2015 for me would have been a podium at the Team Time Trial* World Championships, but we fell short, just.
14 seconds. Over 39 kilometres. Ouch.
All we wanted was to stand on that podium. We were realistic – we started working on our team time trial in the middle of July and rode ourselves into fifth place at the Sweden World Cup the following month. We were a minute behind a podium, however we had many points to improve on and believed that given more time we would be able to bridge that gap. It was going to be hard, but we were ready to try.
We flew to America early, nine days before the World Championships were meant to start in Richmond, Virginia. We gave it everything, we rode the course countless times, did specific efforts and talked in detail about how to tidy ourselves up technically. We transformed our team from the rusty steam train in Sweden to the fast, smooth bullet train of Virginia.
We were hungry and ready to lay it all on the line, which is exactly what we did. I was so proud of those girls, not one person made a wrong decision out there. Our director Egon was fabulous too – there was nothing we could have done differently to make up those seconds. We bridged 46 seconds of our deficit from Sweden in 30 days. It was heart breaking, but consoling to know there was nothing more we could do. We were simply beaten by three stronger teams.
Team Wiggle-Honda didn’t have a team at the World Championships in 2014, and after a late decision to commit to flying all the way over to America this year (along with staff, bikes and equipment) we found ourselves in 4th place. Although we were a minute behind the winners, Team Velocio-Sram, the win was within striking distance, which is why we are already committed to 2016. We have the horse-power, we now we have the belief and with a touch more preparation and planning, I think it will be a very different result for Wiggle-Honda in 2016.
As I finish this blog, I’m sat at 38 000 feet, wedged between two ladies as we sit patiently through the 3rd hour of the long journey back to Australia. Although it’s sad that the road season has come to a close, it’s scary and exciting as it means that the track season is brewing, and with that my final, whole-hearted attempt at making the Rio Olympic Games…
*The Team Time Trial is a technical event raced over varying distances, usually with six riders who work together to achieve the fastest time possible. The team director can sit in a ‘follow car’ behind the riders, feeding them information through radios. Four of the six riders must finish.