Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stage 5 ITT

It was blistering, on the edge of you seat action, for the ITT. The Alice Springs Golf Course was the host to the start of today's stage of the ICME. Young Kyle Ward sat in the hot seat early with a sub 50 minute ITT, after having mixed performances through the week. The flowing single-track of the course was still damp from overnight rain, making it smooth and tacky, perfect recipe for quick times. But it was Andy Blair's powerhouse abilities and technical skill that saw him catch his team-mate Lewis and then young gun Crosbie on what was said to be a "pedally" course. But in the end the gaps were not significant with the top eight male riders times all within 2 minutes.

After yesterdays leg stretch, Jenny Fay was once again on fire with a stellar time. Rowena Fry lost 40 seconds to Fay but this wouldn't make much of a dint in the overall GC. Fry continues to lead the GC followed by Fay and Terri Rhodes, back some 20 minutes.

It was close racing in many of the categories as well, you could have thrown a blanket over the riders at the finish had they not stated at 30 second intervals. In the Veteran category of which we have been featuring Steve Billington, Steve was only 30 seconds off the pace of the eventual category winner. There were seven riders with times within 2 minutes of the leader, over a 22km/50min course. Steve placed 4th in today's stage.

Local resident and 2012 category winner, Paul Darvodelsky, clinched the lead lead position in what would have been unfamiliar conditions on a very familiar trail. Peter Selkrig placed fifth and almost 3 minutes down on Paul after having been in contact with the contagious loose-your-seat virus.

photo: Rapid Ascent
Tonights stage is a night race and could quite possibly an all-or-nothing moment for some competitors. Recovery, bike and body maintenance will be key going into the final two stages.

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