Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nice work by Durbridge, Hepburn, Allen at road world champs. Blurred vision and up over the footpath

It's not just that they are Aussies, it's the style in which they have claimed their medals, too.

Durbridge's blurred vision on lap 1 says it all. Any athlete who has pushed themselves to their limit knows the feeling. Personally I - lowly clubbie that I am - found it easier to achieve on the track in a 1km time trial or 4km pursuit, although I've had it happen on the road when I've been coming back from injury or illness and have tried just a bit too hard to keep up with faster guys or gals in the hills. For the uninitiated it's unnerving and just a little unsafe. You go a bit light-headed and the vision strays a bit. It's a struggle to keep both eyes focused on the one spot. I'm sure many people hold back at that point, if they reach it at all. If you go further then you get the "seeing stars" effect and a general dimming of the lights. Your legs lose their power and you feel all over the place. Now you've gone too deep. (Don't even try it without many months of serious training. And don't blame me if you push your body over the edge and can't come back.)  

UCI Road World Championships: U23 Men Time Trial, Route Maps & Results | Cyclingnews.com
"About a lap in, I was 20 seconds up and then 25 seconds. James (from the team car) told me to keep concentrating and I had little bit of blurred vision because I started fast. But the course suited me and it was just about grinding it out on the flat. In the last 10km, I started to enjoy it. I knew I was up and only had to stay up and bring it home."
Hepburn also had a go, but demonstrated another side of pushing the limits:

UCI Road World Championships: U23 Men Time Trial, Route Maps & Results | Cyclingnews.com
Michael Hepburn of Australia was also favoured for a medal, and set a new best time halfway time. But he appeared to be pushing too hard, one time going up on a pavement after a turn. The final blow came when he took a left hand turn too fast, had his front wheel slip away and down he went. A ripped kit was not the least of his worries, as he had to change bikes as well.
Still, a bronze ain't bad and he certainly got noticed. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. You aim to be fast and smooth but you get fast and ragged instead. One off-line corner leads to a worse one until you are way off course and up on the footpath, or hard on the brakes. Or on the ground.

Nice job by Allen, too:

Allen wins gold for Australia at road world titles : Cycling Central on SBS
Jessica Allen opened Australia’s medal count at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships​ winning gold in the junior women’s time trial.
And that was just day one.