Today's morning stage was a time trial which began at the Alice Springs Golf Club with riders been set off at 30 second intervals. The trail was back to the nice, challenging singletrack of Monday and Tuesday with some very fast dirt road sections in between (including some golf buggy track) and I had quite a bit of time to make up after yesterday. Couple of tough little pinchy climbs in today's course, as well, which was nice because it's so flat around Alice Springs that you end up on the pedals the whole time... It's nice to climb a hill and be able to coast down the other side without having to pedal.
My legs must have still been a little battered from yesterday, because when I took off from the start grid, my MACH1 pace from the start was soon put in check by my burning legs on the first corner, and for the next 20mins as my legs warmed up. The course was 23km long and I completed it in one hour and 15 minutes at an average speed of 18.2km/hr, which I was happy with, but didn't give me a huge jump on the time difference I needed to make up.
The stage later in the day was a night stage, which was held on exactly the same course as the time trial in the morning. There were some pretty sketchy technical sections on the trail, which I remembered from the morning and kept an eye out for as I wove my way around the trails in the dark. My time for the night stage was only 2 and a half minutes slower than my time trial during the day, but I gained an extra couple of minutes to put back into the deficit. Ayup team mates Andy Fellows and Ben Randall came first and second respectively overall, and the women's general classification rankings took a huge shake-up. 4th placed Jenny King had and accident and snapped her derallier in the first 300m of the night stage, leaving her out of the stage and out of the overall results for the week and leader Jodie Willits had 2 punctures which ate 9 minutes out of her 21 minute lead. Rebecca Rusch is sitting in 2nd place with young gun Gracie Elvin sitting on her tail only 1.9seconds behind.
The final stage is going to be an interesting one because it definitely appears the rankings are completely undecided at the moment. I still have 7 minutes to make up
to move from current GC of 7th to 5th or 6th... I'll just have to get out there and see what I can do!!!