Recently, SWAS Cycling Athletes made the long trip to Wangaratta for the Junior IRTT and Road Championships; heres what Program Manager and Coach Cam McFarlane had to say:
Wangaratta, and this was the final of the
3 SWAS Cycling Programs bus trips.
Jo Arundel was the "official" assistant and female chaperone with Mark and Cynthia McClaren travelling seperately and lending their time and experiance over the weekend which was of a great help to the athletes (as well as Jo and myself)
The team departed SWAS HQ with Jo at the wheel on time at 4.30pm and the pick up of the remaining athletes at Camperdown went smoothly with the bus rolling towards Wang by 5.30.
First stop was the Wallan service centre where a range of food options were available, it was great to see that the athletes were aware of their nutritional requirements and chose the healthy options.
We arrived at the accomodation and had the bags off the bus by 11pm and our riders in bed before 11.30.
Travelling as a team places extra responsibilities on us all and for some of the younger members it was evidant that they have failed to learn from the previous two team trips regarding correct nutrition and hydration strategies and the need to minimise unnecessary sugar intake so they are able to be at rest upon arrival.
With the athletes settled the equipment was unloaded and checked before setting up everything for breakfast.
As manager I had set some travel goals which were to have the riders eating before 8pm (they were advised to eat a substantial lunch) and for them to only take their bag off the bus, plan the morning for the next day and head straight for bed while the management team took care of the equipment and setting up of breakfast.
As planned people began to emerge from the bunks around 8am and the first thing they were met with was an advisory board for their breakfast options.
Do not go to your bike untill you have had breakfast!!
1. Have some cereal
2. Have some toast
3. Drink some Juice & Water
4. Repeat steps 1 thru 3.
The pool table and Olympic opening ceremony helped keep the riders minds off the Time Trial competition and the team rode the 10km to the start under clear skies.
Start times were written up on our notice board and rider licenses were collected and Jo went and organised their numbers while warm ups got underway.
After lessons learned from the Ararat Tour trip most of the athletes put in place their Time Trial warm up strategies and were happy with their results.
The important thing to do after a Time Trial is to "warm down" and when your heart, lungs and legs have been burned to a crisp, the last thing an athlete feels like doing is riding their bike some more!
However a good coach is able to "persuade" their athletes to complete the warm down, in this case the management team had the necessary foods and drinks ready for when they returned and all they had to do was get on the rollers and think about refuelling and the ride back to the cabin.
The ride of the day goes to Simon Cameron, he rode himself inside out and was unable to talk afterwards, he had applied everything he had learned since joining the SWAS Cycling Program and declared that this was his best effort ever!
With the team warmed down and refuelled some rode back to camp hile a fe chose to take the bus and once back at the cabin the riders hit the showers while the management team set about preparing dinner and rechecking the bikes.
As with the Country Road Championship trip the pool table provided an excellant distraction for the athletes, as well as the Olympic coverage and before you knew it, it was time for bed.
Unfortunately some had not learned from the night before and it took a request from some of the older athletes to team management to have a word to those who were unsettled before quiet was achieved.
Sunday morning saw a repeat of the breakfast routine and ride to the venue under clear skies though the earlier start time saw a definate cooler tempreture!
While warm ups were being completed a Team Goal was set, to be on the front row at the start.
This would require accurate timing of rider warm up and preparation which was successfully achieved!!
Conditions deterorated as the events progressed with the wind picking up and the tempreature dropping, Jack Bell fighting all the way for a top twenty position.
With all riders back safely and warmed down the bus was loaded and we headed for home making good time and arrived back at SWAS HQ around 8pm.
In all it was a successfull trip, those athletes that wanted to perform at their best worked hard to be prepared and ready to compete.