Wheelers are a hardy bunch
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
COACH Fred Anderson was confident that the hardy band of five girls he was training were going to win the Maurie Kautto memorial teams' time trial along the Summerland Way.
As confident as he was though, it's doubtful that even he would've predicted the massive three minute winning margin.
This was the first time that the event had a section just for women's teams and Lucy Maguire, Vanessa McDonald, Lee Butcher, Yvette Fisher and Kerry Scott from the Coffs Harbour Cycle Club did their coach proud.
Despite riding into 40km per hour head winds for nearly all the 75km course, the team still had an average speed of 32.5km per hour.
Within the first 10km, 'The Wheelers' as they refer to themselves had already overtaken the team that started before them but they kept an eye out for the team behind them who were supposed to be the team to beat.
"We beat the flash team from Brisbane who we were worried about," Lucy Maguire said with glee.
"We heard rumours that they were pretty flash but in a five person team, we were the only team to finish with all five riders."
Kerry Scott who was only called into the team three weeks ago believes that keeping the group together was a key ingredient to the victory.
"By keeping the five of us together for longer, we were more protected from the wind," she said.
"That gave us all a bit of a longer rest."
For their efforts, the girls picked up a $500 cheque but they remembered the contribution that Anderson made to the victory.
"I got a lovely bottle of scotch from the girls," a proud coach said.
"It was some reward for getting up at 4:30 in the morning and getting the girls out to freeze while they're doing laps of the velodrome still in the dark and they've got their headlights on.
"The idea was to co-ordinate their team riding and understand each other idiosyncracies as they needed to get used to riding close together."
The training obviously paid off because when the girls were asked if they'd pulled up sore after the event Anderson was quick to answer for them.
"They're not sore, they're too fit," he boasted.
"They're as fit as Mallee Bulls."
Riding 250 to 300km per week in preparation will do that.
It wasn't that long ago that there was only one woman riding competitively for the Coffs Harbour club but that number has blown out to a dozen now.
More victories like the one at Grafton and the numbers should swell even more.