Cycling Worlds - 1st Race day - Elite Women IND.TT
Mendrisio, Switzerland – 23rd sept. 2009
The day started slowly for our two competing women, Monica and Kathryn, they slept in late to take full advantage of the afternoon start for the Elite Womens Time Trial. For the rest of the team, an early morning bike ride around lake Lugano with host and bike tour guide Oscar, across the border into Italy and back, a thoroughly enjoyable 45kms in the fresh mountain air.
Once back at base camp things moved swiftly into motion, pasta meal, final bike check, loading up the two cars with the stationery trainers and spare wheels, plus all what was required for the days event, 12.00pm we left the house.
At the race site things had changed considerably from the previous day, all the roads were now closed, with only special passes allowing the various teams access, the organizers had done a wonderful job, bikes and athletes were off loaded into the warm up tent where a place was quickly found to set up the trainers. Reggie and James were busily in bike mechanic mode with Amanda (The Wonder Minion) taking care of the riders last needs and fitting their transponders and GPS tracking devices onto the bikes, by 12.45 Monica and Kathryn were on the trainers warming up, Monica was in the 1st wave with a 2.09 start time, Kathryn was seeded in the second wave with a 2.52 start time, it was all very precise.
Oscar had procured the two Shimano emblazoned follow vehicles which would carry the spare bike and wheels and a mechanic (Reggie/James) behind the riders in case of a technical problem or time killing flat. It was time.
Monica rolled down the start ramp at 2.09 precisely with the world watching, the chase car slotted into place behind her, she was off and running, the spectators were cheering and yelling her name, and it was the same throughout the 26km two lap course, with the well informed public fully aware of which rider represented each country, even if they did not know exactly where St Kitts & Nevis was in the world.
For Kathryn it was the same experience as she took to the start line, applause and loud cheers of “op op” “Forza” or “Allez Allez” rang out, “Go Kathryn Go!” they said, and go she did, pushing her bike and body to its limits, trying to eke out every last ounce of speed as she joined Monica on the punishing course.
The tiny Nation of St Kitts & Nevis was represented in the best way possible, by two gutsy performances from both of our athletes, Monica finished in 44.25 and 41st place, with Kathryn 3 minutes quicker in 41.13 to place 37th overall, they both now have to rest and marshal their energies once more as they race in the 130km road race on Saturday.
A fabulous job, well done Kathryn and Monica.