Summer is here, which means it’s almost time for the Federation University Road National Championships in Ballarat.
Next year, day two of RoadNats will be devoted to the only team event of the week, the Club Teams Time Trial.
Hundreds of club-level riders from across Australia will take to the same roads as the Elite time trials. In teams of four, they’ll work together to complete the course as quickly and smoothly as they can.
The prize? National champion jerseys and medals in the Open and Masters 90+, 120+, 150+ and 180+ categories.
We spoke to three competitors from the 2021 edition to learn what motivated them to bring a team to this unique event – and why you should too.
- It lets you be part of something bigger – Meg Brown, Hawthorn (VIC)
Meg Brown, who’s ridden the Club Teams Time Trial for the last four years, loves the teamwork aspect of the event – something that’s unique to the discipline.
“It’s really a great experience riding hard with team members. You have the support of each other and contributing to something bigger than just yourself. The sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end is really good. It’s probably my favourite sort of race,” Brown said.
“I would just say, anybody’s who’s thinking about it, put your hand up and give it a go. It’s a really rewarding experience, it’s a fantastic team event, and it’s a lot of fun.
“We had five teams last year. Just about every single person who did it said they wanted to come back.”
- You just need three friends to ride with – Katie Banerjee, Harlequin (NSW)
Katie Banerjee, who rode the Club Teams Time Trial this year for the first time, said a lack of women in her club didn’t stop her from entering a team.
“We didn’t have enough women in the Harlequin club to put a team together. I think that’s probably a factor in many clubs – not many clubs have enough women in the right age range,” Banerjee said.
“But with the new rules that you can register as a secondary club, providing your own club is not participating in that event, that gave us a lot more options.
“So, I was able to just get some social riding ladies (who do race sometimes as well) together – and one was actually a triathlete, not even a cyclist per se – to just aim towards something.
“We were all really pleased that we had this united goal to work towards. It was fun; it was something none of us had ever done before.”
- It gives you confidence for the week – Matson McAdam, Balmoral (QLD)
Venturing to his first RoadNats, Balmoral Cycling Club’s Matson McAdam used the Club Teams Time Trial as a confidence-booster for the under-19 men’s road race, where he would eventually finish in 13th.
“We thought it would be a good leg-tester for the upcoming crit and road race, and we definitely wanted to give it a full crack because we saw there weren’t many teams doing it and we thought we had a pretty decent chance at getting the win or podium,” McAdam said.
“We weren’t really nervous because it was more for fun, but at the same time, we were giving it everything.
“I didn’t know how the legs were going … and it was good to get some more intensity before the road race. It was also good being amongst the RoadNats atmosphere with all the clubs that were out and the commentators and the podium, and you could just get a feel for what it was going to be like in the road race.
“I would highly recommend it; it was great fun. It’s definitely a great event to warm you up for the other events.”
Click to learn more and enter the Club Teams Time Trial.
Photos by Con Chronis