Cracking day for cycling! Yes a little less cloudy would have been VERY appreciated, but the wind left us alone and the temperature was just fine with the right base layers and arm warmers.
Loved, as I did last year, the first 40 kms, pure beauty ... a shame I had to look at the road at times. Skenes Creek was not as bad as I remembered it to be, probably a good thing, because it made me prepare better in training and work harder today.
Nearly had an heart attack when a nasty metallic sound started coming from someone in my area at about the 70 Kms mark. Sprinted a little bit to be on my own, and yes my fears were right it was me. I thought "is it the wheel hubs? Bottom bracket? my knees???" and most importantly "will I be able to finish?".
Then the saving grace of the voice of another rider intervened to save day "Mate, you might want to check your pump!".
The thing came loose and was rattling on the frame. Had to pull over, loose contact with a good group of riders of similar ability but I was good to finish. Riding buddy of mine told me that a very unlucky lady literally faceplanted at the beginning of the descent after Skenes Creek. She seemed alright (had medical assistance, was talking and moving seemingly ok) but her face was in a pretty bad shape and there was blood everywhere. Ouch.
Less than last year, but I still found the last 10 - 15 Kms really hard work. Finished 20 minutes faster than last year around the 3.35 mark and less than 10 minutes away from the medal ... will try again in 2013.
Training starts tomorrow!