WTRL TTT Premier League Race Report – CRYO-GEN Vultures
Course: Watopia’s Sand and Sequoias – 43km / 355m
Time: 00:53:44 at 47.91km/h
This week’s WTRL time trial marked the 10th consecutive race for Vulture faithfuls, Neill Ungerer, Aaron Borrill, Felix Koehler and Jack Hammer – this quartet has brought a semblance of regularity to the team and helped shape the team’s progression to the upper echelons of the Premier League. We’ve also dropped ‘Polley’ from Jack’s name and replaced it with ‘Hammer’ – that’s official. Last night also marked the return of powerhouse Toby Fuller. This was the first time the flying V8 was unleashed on Sand and Sequoias – a testing route that had the boys a little worried leading up to race day…
Neill Ungerer A+ (CPT)
Aaron Borrill A+
Eddy Hoole A+
Felix Kohler A+
Toby Fuller A+
Harry Mustard A+
Rob Dallimore A+
Jack Polley A
Regular readers of this weekly report will be well aware of our progress through the ranks. What started out as a fairly competitive team of predominantly A-category riders has since grown into a well-oiled freight train powered by the Felix Koehler Express and captained by Neill Ungerer. We’ve improved each week as a team but not everybody sees the hard work put in behind the scenes by each individual rider. Staying well-rested while still ensuring there’s enough intensity in the tank is not easy but the commitment is there and it’s great to hear the banter on Discord every week.
Last night’s effort was one for the books. It was one of those nights where everything falls into place – well, bar the slight delay at the start that forced a couple of riders to go a little into the red to rejoin the train. Few understand just how good Neill is – both as a rider and captain. Even when he’s nearing a state of anaerobic capacity he still manages to bring order to the team and communicate the plan of action. Last night wasn’t any different and the team order was going down a treat and the transitions were smooth as silk.
A route such as Sand and Sequoias is a tough one to pace effectively as by the time you hit the climbs your legs are a little tender. Our plan was to rotate as much as possible leading up to the pre-Epic KOM climb and then ride at 6w/kg up the Titans Grove KOM as a unit – easier said than done yes, but this worked. Our only casualty – and this came as a real surprise – was the Jack Hammer just before the summit but this, at least, proved to us the man is human after all! We smashed the first Titans KOM in under four minutes and continued our rotation strategy after the descent – a horrible downhill owing to the 6-10% kicker right in the middle.
Lap two was as furious as our first attempt. Again, the big guns Eddy, Felix and Toby were putting in extended pulls on the front along with Harry, Neill, Rob and Aaron who followed as best they could. While we didn’t pass any teams at this point we were travelling at a serious rate of knots and the power figures flashing in the top left corner of our screens were validating the lactic acid building deep within our legs. Surprisingly, the pre-Epic KOM climb felt alright and no complaints or laboured breathing could be heard on Discord. We all knew the second attempt up Titans Grove KOM was going to be survival of the fittest. Rob was first to lose contact followed by Aaron who just fell off the back just metres from the summit. The boys went up faster here than lap one with Neill bagging the KOM jersey in the process.
With five Vultures still intact, Neill ordered the freight train to go into overdrive – a move that was powered by Felix. This last-dash effort to the line turned Discord into a veritable torture chamber, awash with descriptive breathing sound effects and screams of agony. With Rob and Aaron following closely behind, the Vultures sailed passed the team who started one minute ahead of them – a hard situation at the best of times owing to the possibility of getting stuck in the ‘sticky’ draft created by the blob. When this happens you have to go harder than the team you’re passing to ensure safe passage.
The boys made it look easy. Not only did the fantastic five comprising Harry, Neill, Felix, Toby and Eddy, pass their rivals with consummate ease, they also brought home second place and our first Premier League podium of the series. We’re properly chuffed with this result and support we’ve received to date. This was a collective effort and culmination of all the hard work we’ve put in from our very first TTT. Riders such as Vincent Davis, Wayne Tunnah, Nick Bunyard, Vlad Busser, Simon Cochrane and Darren Riddick should also be commended as each and every one of them has contributed to our success – well done boys. Let’s keep this momentum going.