MORE than 300 male and female cyclists will tackle the steep hills of Googong as they take part in the time trial leg of Canberra’s National Capital Tour today.
It’s the first time the elite sporting event has been held in Googong and organisers believe the local terrain will test even the most experience cyclists.
The 7.4 kilometre course takes in the steep descent to Googong Dam, a sharp 180 degree turn at the dam wall carpark and then a steep ascent back.
The trajectory is unusual for a time trial event and believed to be one of the toughest in the National Road Series.
Teams have travelled internationally and nationally to ride in the event but one team with a distinct advantage will be local representatives, Phoenix Cycling Collective.
Team manager and rider Andrew McCosker of Queanbeyan said there was certainly a home town advantage for the seven riders who will represent the team. McCosker will be on the sidelines this weekend but has been sharing his local knowledge to the other cyclists.
“We’ve been able to go out and check out the time trial course and we’re constantly on the other roads [in the Tour] so we do have the home advantage,” he said.
“The time trial course is a bit bizarre – it’s downhill, and uphill, then down and up again. It’s not traditional, it’s not just flat which should be interesting and will throw a curveball for a lot of the riders.
“It’s going to be a good course for guys that can put down a huge amount of power for 10 minutes and everyone else is just going to have to hang on.”
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Phoenix will be looking to capitalise on their local knowledge and their goal is to secure a stage win.
“It definitely helps if you know the course. For example if you’re on the absolute limit pushing it to the top of the hill, you know if you go that little bit more you’ll get a rest.
“But if you’re not sure what’s up ahead you might not commit yourself fully to get over the top,” team rider Kelsey Borham said.
“I’m excited for this event. I’m keen on my home race to have a proper dig at it.”