T Minus 1

Friday October 11th

The event is really starting to take shape now, pretty much everyone has arrived. There are 280 riders along with teams of helpers for each, and of course the organisers, marshals, medics, journalists, photographers, spectators, etc, etc, there is a real buzz about the place.

The morning was taken up with signing-on and general admin stuff. I was seeded at number 23, and accordingly given number 123, the 1 signifying the Elite riders and distinguishing us from the age-group categories. It was a good number, the marshals and spectators loved it, it got a lot of cheers. Anyway, more of that later.

I had to briefly leave the venue to head over to the airport to meet my helper. When you are racing against the best in the world everything must be top-notch, especially the pit crew, a good pit helper can make or break a race. I am lucky enough to have Carole Armstrong on my side. She has pitted for the likes of Liam Kileen and the legendary Ned Overend, and more recently the Cotic/AQR team. I wonder what she will make of me...
Canberra Airport, view from Mount Ainslie
I have been allocated a pit about 20 yards before the start/finish line. This is ideal as we are close not only to the big screen with the live timing information but also to the kitchens, water and power supplies. If only we could get the tent to stay put in the wind.

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