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This is the continuation of Part II of the Tour de Tablelands.
In Stage One I settled in nicely for the first 10 km and my nerves calmed. I was frequently in the front and it looked more and more sure that I wouldn’t get dropped in this stage. I felt comfortable with the speed and even in control of the bunch at times. I was still there on the last climb and down the other side. We were charging towards the finish line into the township of Yungaburra. I finished 6th and highest placed women. I was absolutely stoked. Same time as the winner.
The ITT in the afternoon went well, too. I didn’t get overtaken by the rider who started behind me. That was a first. Up until then every single TT I had contested I got caught and more often then not by not just the starter behind me but by the one after and the one after … I managed a sub seven minutes time for the 4 km course out and back, which placed me 13th and 9th in the overall standings.
After such a successful first day I think I got a little complacent. I had stayed with the bunch. My usual problem: A good horse never jumps higher than it has to. Right? Sometimes it would be good to try harder or aim higher and not settle for “Close enough is good enough!”
The second day went quite well, too. I hung on in the road race and got dropped and lapped in the criterium in the afternoon so by the end of the day my overall standings was 10th place with only seconds separating me from 9th but also 11th place breathing in my neck. There were a few strong girls racing that year, too, which I really enjoyed. The most memorable stage was the last stage. I had to defend my 10th place but also still had hopes to gain the few seconds to finish 9th. In 9th place was another girl, Kimberly, and I tried really hard to get away on the KOM climb. But she had studied the overall standings, too, and stuck to my wheel like glue.
After the race she told me that had I just pushed a tiny little bit harder she would have not been able to respond as she was really hurting. I didn’t think for a moment that she could be hurting more than I was.
I finished the 2006 Tour de Tablelands 10th overall in D-Grade and was surprised and amazed by that result.