Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Brands Hatch - Road Course

Today we all headed out to Brands Hatch, the racing track. It is being used for both the Time Trial and the Road Race in September. They have incorporated not only the track but public roads around it and even built a new piece of road to attach the two.

As we drove on to the course I was sitting in the car thinking...Oh My God! The size of the hills and the camber of the road including a number of tough corners was amazing! There is no bit of flat road and to be honest driving it I was getting really worried about how I was going to ride this on a trike.

We made our way to the pits where each country had been given a garage to set up in. We weren't allowed on the course until 2pm and we had a number of things to do to set up. We were supposed to all be given cameras attached to our bikes/trikes/hand cycles but when our first rider Stuart Tripp went out with the camera on his hand cycle he was stopped by the marshalls and told he couldn't go out on the circuit with a camera. Once this was established by our head coach to be true ideas changed and we were all to be followed on a "hot lap" to video us from the vehicle, as well as having our Garman computers, the data which will be overlayed on the video.

It was then time to head out to warm up. I headed out to the start area and headed onto the course. The start immediately goes uphill and turns to the left. The first downhill ends at a 90 degree turn with an immediate climb, with another downhill into a long slight incline of about 5%. The course then turns back on to the race course where it twists and turns again downhill and uphill. At one point I hit 59.6 km/hr and then came back into the pit area. I found that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and headed out to do another lap to make sure I was completely familiar with the corners and gearing I would need.

I was the last one to do my "hot lap" and I was doing it at about 75-80% effort. At one point I hit 67.6 km/hr, which for me is the fastest I have ever gone. I was really please with this lap and think that I will really like this course when I have to race it at 100%. I have realized that there are a few things to work on, but I am looking forward to it.

After we were all finished, it was time to pull the trike apart, pack it and load it in the truck. We head back to Australia tomorrow night, so we have a whole day of waiting around. We may take the tube from the airport and head into the city to kill some time.

I am ready to head home, but really excited about the next couple of months. We are in the final preparation stages and it is important to remain focused. It is at this point in time that some people become complacent! But you have to find true delight in the challenges of the final training phase. At this point we are all in the same place and the athlete who will succeed will be the one who gives 120% for the next couple of months.

So long London, see you in September!

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