RiderMan ~ Dianne's Race
Germany could only be described as cold and
wet. It was 6 degrees and rain looked as though it was going to be
a feature of the weekend.
The RiderMan is different to all the other
UCI events as it's a two-stage event, with a time trial on Saturday and a
Road Race on Sunday. The TT course is predominantly the same as the
road race course but without the very big hill. It just has the one
Ve vill ask ze
This is going to be Dianne's second event.
She's doing the RiderMan Light. A 20k race over one lap of the TT
course. I'm entered for the 150k road race and the TT. We both
go to sign on and pick up our numbers when we're nabbed by the press,
interviewed then have our picture taken. The very next day we're
front page news in the local rag which is equivalent in size to the Sunday
Times. There's obviously a lot of news in Germany!
Dianne's main concern is to not finish
last. Lining up with around 50 other bedraggled competitors they
huddle together for warmth as the commentators babble on and the
photographers struggle to put up marquis-sized umbrellas. In the
half-light of a Black Forest autumn, the gun fires and the race heads out,
through the town and in to the country side and the first wind swept
The hares race off and Dianne, under
instruction to "ride-steady" gets into an early battle trying to stay with
the front group. In the last third of the hill the gaps open but she
stays in touch. A youngster weighing all of five stone, an old
master of experience and a "mature" lady in her second ever event end up
together and spur one an other on. With a steady descent and a flat
bit before the next hill they form an uneasy alliance and stay together.
On the next climb it all kicks off.
The master goes to the front. The youngster, emulating his hero
Zabel, grabs the wheel and takes shelter. Dianne, sits at the back
and concentrates on surviving the 3k, 75 metre climb. A very long St
Peter's Valley. Two thirds of the way up the vet gives a kick and
the youngster begins to wobble. A gap opens up and Dianne moves
around the kid whose now blown it. The true reality of bike racing
hits him at such an early stage in his career. He'll get over it.
It'll probably be the making of him.
As they reach the top, the vet senses
danger. Unsure of who this person next to him is he puts a sprint to
clear the crest and heads the three kilometres, downhill, to the finish.
Dianne, unsure of what to do, chases then remembers her instructions and
eases back. She then remembers Zabel junior behind her and picks up
the pace again. 48 minutes after setting off Dianne crosses
the line alone, bedraggled and frozen. With little shelter at the
finish we return back to the car.
Didn't she do
It's not until we return back to Jersey
that we get the results from the event. First lady, three minutes
ahead of her nearest rival! Two events and one win! It's a
long way from the two kilometres torture ride first undertaken in May and
an effort well worth recording.
Me? I start the time trial in the cold and
wet and just concentrate on not falling off as I ride through the spa town
centre of Bad Durrheim. I survive the cobbles and 90 degree bends
and head out in to the country side. Thirty eight minutes later I'm
back and in 67th place. Not bad out of 1500. The next day it's the road
The Germans race in a style completely
opposite to the Italians! They scream up the hills, where I kept
getting dropped, then I'd be dragging them along spending kilometre after
kilometre on the front of the groups as we chased others down on the
flats. No concept of through and off and no concept of pacing
yourself on the hills. Anyway, I have a half decent, if not very
warm, race and move up to 32nd. A nice way to end my season.
It's not a win I grant you but I enjoyed it.