September 10, 2011

Newsletter Issue 6

Download Newsletter 6 as pdf

Half marathon
Athlete news
Club update
Tips, benefits, coaching
Tour de France


Wow! How good was that run by our own Hugh Harrison in the inaugural Husky Half Marathon? After a late entry on the morning of the race, Harrison didn’t look back,finishing the 21.5km run in 1:21:28 to take overall line honours.

Some of our other triathletes didn’t do too badly either. Katie Winkworth showed she’s not just a sprint distance racer with a time of 1:44:33 to earn her first place in the 15-29 female category, Renae Watkins finished 9th in the 30-39 female age group in 1:54:39, and four of our much loved and admired turtles came in together in a shade over 2 hours and 21 minutes. Congratulations to Colleen Stahlhut, Jodie Hale, Cathy Head and Vanessa Edwards.

Congratulations too to our fun run entrants. After an unpromising start where he lost his race belt and fell well behind the field (why not fix it BEFORE the race Paul?) Paul Coombes mowed down a string of runners to take out the 70+ age group in the 5km run in 31:12. Mia Stewart was the third fastest female in the 2km run finishing in 10:53


Thanks to everyone who made it to our much-delayed duathlon last month. There were fears on the Saturday we’d be rained out again but the skies cleared in time for a much-anticipated hit out. Finishing times are on the website at Thanks to Bill Stahlhut and Tony Lim for getting the event up and running, as well as our volunteer marshalls and Adam Coulton for his help packing up the gear into the new club trailer.

September duathlon. With the Tri season just around the corner, it would be great to see even more of you along at this month’s Club training session next Sunday, September 19. Usual time and place: Iluka in Booderee National Park for 8am start. Fees: $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Membership. Thanks too to all those members who have paid their membership fees for the 2010/11 financial year. If you haven’t joined up yet, there’s still plenty of time. Fees have been kept at $25 a head and there’s a new $50 family rate. Payments can be made electronically to:
Jervis Bay Triathlon Club Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633-000 
a/c: 134736297.
Or by cheque and posted to: Jervis Bay Triathlon Club,
PO Box 138, 
Huskisson, NSW 2540.
For electronic payments please send a receipt to
Or just bring your money along on the 18th.

Insurance. A reminder that TriNSW’s member insurance only applies to financial members of Triathlon Australia. JB Tri Club members receive discounted TA membership. TA membership benefits also include discounts on triathlon entry fees, the chance of representing Australia at the world championships, and the right to earn points for JB at the NSW Club Championships. More information:

A reminder that the Club’s annual general meeting will be held on September 15 at 7pm at St Georges Basin Country Club. All members and ideas welcome!
Thanks to the Country Club for providing us with a room for our meetings.


Selection trials. Congrats to Mitchell Brown who found out last Sunday that he was chosen out of three contenders for the last spot on the NSW Performance Squad. Mitchell, Jack Stewart, Hugh Harrison, Tim O’Shea and Matt Lewis all attended last weekend’s ACT selection trials and were happy with their results – though no squad changes.
Food for athletes.
Busted at a recent running group lunch in Nowra – where do you put all that pudding people?

Canberra Duathlon.
Well done to Jack Stewart too for his great effort in the short course duathlon at last month’s Capital Winter Sports Festival. Jack topped the 16-19 male age group finishing the 1.5km run/10km bike/1.5km run in 34:18. He placed 12th overall.

Sydney Duathlon. Well done to Mitchell Brown for his recent 10th overall placing in Race 3 of the Sydney Duathlon Series. Micthell finished 10th overall and 6th in his age group, completing the 3.2km run/19.2km bike/3.2km run course in 1:04:24. Nice to see Mitch flying the JB colours!

Tour de France. Club secretary Ken Price has been working to maintain his climbing skills after a visit to the Tour de France in July. Ken says watching Cadel Evans on the podium was an experience he’ll never forget. Read Ken’s full report later in the newsletter.

Mountain man.
Well he did it! Tibor Slezak is back at the Bay after completing the Cycle to the Sun bike race in Maui last month. Tibor finished the 60km, 10,000 foot climb in 4:29:27 to place 89th overall and 36th in the 40-49 age group, though he reckons he may have gone faster without the socialising along the way.
“The ride up Haleakala was amazing,” he says. “From the sugar cane farms at sea level, pineapple plantations a bit higher, cattle/sheep farms at 2000-3000ft, open grass lands 3000-5000ft, then going through the clouds at 5000ft, rocky and shrubby 5000 to 8000ft and then finally a volcanic waste land from 8000ft and up.

“The views were spectacular (not just the pretty female riders) and I had a hard time concentrating on the road I would definitely put this down as must do for anyone is in the area during August.”

Club dates. Proposed dates for club events for the rest of the season are October 23, November 20, December 18, February 5, March 18, April 29, and May 20.

Special events. Don’t forget to keep October 23 free for the club’s Tri Season launch and March 18 for the proposed Ocean Swim at Plantation Point. We’re still looking for a name for the swim – ideally something distinctive and memorable that will make us stand out from other events. Free entry to the member who comes up with the best name.

Stay in touch. Don’t forget the JB Tri Club Facebook is a quick source of information on what we’re up to. We’d also like it to become a forum where members can keep in touch. If you’re not already signed up, get online or talk to Tony Lim.
We’re also online at the Club’s website,, and Tony has set up a Google group at

Email list. Know someone who isn’t getting the newsletter and other club info? Let us know and we’ll get them on the list. Best contact is

TriNSW Emerging Talent. Applications are open for the TriNSW Emerging Athlete Program. A squad will be established to assist talented athletes and their home coaches to develop and enhance their skills and will consist of a minimum of 10 camp days per year. The target age group 13-20 with athletes generally still at school. If you think you’ve got what it takes, applications close Sept 19. More info:
Training sessions. If anyone wants to get a new training session up, let us know and we’ll list it here and on the website.

Saturday bike ride. Leaves from Vincentia Service Station at 6:30am for the National Park. It’s still the famous “banana ride” – peel off when you need to. Options range from Murrays Beach return to Summercloud Bay and Caves beach, or join the diehards and cycle on.
Vincentia hill repeats. Leaves from Plantation Pt boat ramp at 6pm on Wednesdays. Don’t forget to bring relective clothing and/or lights.

Safer cycling. The Uni of NSW is looking for cyclists outside Sydney to participate in its Safer Cycling Study.


I have been travelling to France for over 40 years now, including several trips to watch stages of the TdF and independent cycling trips. I’ve always wanted to see the finish of ‘le Tour’ on the Champs Elysee in Paris, but have always been thwarted. Last year, I had everything booked and was ready to go, when I was hit by a car while doing a training ride just one week before my departure. So I was determined that 2011 would be the year that I finally achieved my ambition! With this in mind, I opted to join an organised tour which took in the final week in the Alps and the Paris finish.

I was by myself, my wife Mandy opting to stay in Singapore with her daughter and grandson Toby. After an overnight stay in Paris, our group was bussed to Serre Chevalier in the heart of the French Alps – a convenient base from which to see the last four alpine stages.

The 16th stage on July 19 finished in the town of Gap, an easy, (mostly) downhill ride of 110km from our hotel. We rode to Gap to watch the finish and were taken back to the hotel by bus. (We could have ridden back, but nobody did). Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t kind and it was a sodden and miserable bunch of cyclists who returned to the hotel that afternoon after torrential rain fell for most of the day. This was also a lesson to always take a wet weather jacket when cycling in the Alps or Pyrenees, because a day that starts out sunny and warm can very quickly turn to rain or even snow!

Stage 17 from Gap to Pinerolo in Italy was a lot more fun, with the bus travelling to the top of a category 2 climb called the Col de Montgenevre (1,880m). We had the option of being dropped off along the way then cycling up to meet the bus, cycling into Italy to the top of a category 1 climb called Sestrieres (2,035m) or any combination of these rides. For most, this was their first opportunity to experience the cols in the Alps, which are formidably steep and long. I was still finding my cycling legs and opted to forego Sestrieres.

Stage 18 to the top of the Hors category Col du Galibier (2,645m) passed right in front of our hotel in the afternoon, which allowed us to ride to the top of Galibier in the morning via the Col du Lautaret (2,058m), watch the stage pass the hotel, then meander down to the pub to watch the finish on TV and sink a few beers. Watching the T de F is really about the expectation and atmosphere as much as anything, because the riders are going so fast they go past in a matter of moments. You actually get a much better view of the race on TV. There was some uncertainty about whether the riders would actually be able to climb Galibier because of snow falls, but things turned out OK.

When the race passed the hotel I was surprised to see Andy Schleck had a lead of about 4 minutes over Cadel. It wasn’t what I wanted to see. The other thing that struck me was how smooth Schleck looks on his bike when you see him in person, especially compared with Cadel who seems to be working much harder. Our hotel was only about 20-30k from the bottom of Galibier so I was able to watch the TV coverage of ‘group Evans’ as he tried to breach the gap. Those of you who watched that stage on TV may have seen Cadel vent his frustration at the fact that nobody in the peleton would help him chase down Schleck. I was so disgusted with this unsportsmanlike behaviour, and became so convinced that without some help there was no way Cadel could make up the time, that I actually left the pub, went and bought an ice cream and then watched some locals play ‘boules’ (a sort of French version of lawn bowls, played on gravel with steel balls). I only learnt later that Cadel had made a superb solo effort and was still in contention at the end of the stage with only a 57 second deficit. Oh well, there’s always the nightly highlights!

Stage 19, which finished on top of the infamous Hors category Alpe d’Huez (1,850m) after again climbing Galibier, was always going to be a cracker. Our group was scheduled to climb Alpe d’Huez in the morning, but an unprecedented crowd of nearly half a million people were crammed onto the mountain and the police decided to close it to cyclists. Consequently, many in our group decided to climb the Hors category Col d’Izoard (2,360m) near Briancon, which was not too far from the hotel. I wasn’t too disappointed at missing Alpe d’Huez, because I have climbed it before, although another chance would have been fun as it is a beast of a climb! Then back to the pub for the TV coverage. The exhaustion on Schleck’s face at the end of the stage convinced me he would not be able to back up the next day with a winning time trial. I also felt sorry for Thomas Voeckler, who gave his all as usual but just didn’t have enough in his legs.

We travelled by bus to Grenoble for the penultimate time trial and I found a spot right on the finishing strait in front of a big TV screen, along with half of Australia and a very large contingent of Luxemburgers. This was the best of both worlds – you could see the race unfold on the screen while watching the riders finish. The excitement reached fever pitch once Cadel and Andy Schleck were on the course with nobody more excited than me! We all know the outcome, but suffice to say that as the race progressed and it became obvious that Cadel was going to win, the Luxemburgers became very quiet and a lot of them actually left before Schleck finished. Not so the Australian contingent, who kept up an incredible crescendo long after Cadel had finished. Mandy and I had been in Angouleme in 2007 for the finish of a similar penultimate time trial stage, when Cadel had been expected to overcome Contador’s 22 second lead and win the Tour. It was not to be. So it felt incredible to see Cadel thrash Schleck and Contador in Grenoble and pull off a thoroughly-deserved win.

That evening we took a special fast TGV train to Paris ready for the finish the following day. It is an amazing feeling to be travelling at 300 km/hr with barely any noise as you sip yet another excellent French wine! The next day I had lunch with some Parisian friends before finding a spot on the Champs Elysees. The atmosphere was incredible, though the race itself was almost an anti-climax. Watching Cadel on the winner’s podium was an experience I will never forget.

After the T de F, I spent a further 3 weeks cycling in France and Spain, mostly in the Pyrenees but with some general riding over scenic French back roads. I managed to climb many well-known cols during this time including: Hautacam (1,560m), Col de Peyresourde (1,569m), Col d’Ares (797m), Col de Menthe (1,349m), Col de Port (1,249m), Col du Tourmalet (2,115m) and the Col de Portet d’Aspet (1,249m). The last climb is where the memorial to Fabio Casartelli is located. He was killed in 1995 during a descent of its 17% slopes during the Tour and the memorial is a stark reminder of the dangers inherent in cycling, especially in the high mountains of Europe.

Back home, the climb out of Murray’s Beach does not seem nearly so daunting. KP

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