Authors: Tamaryn Stevens & Fran Pigeon
The start of Spring has seen a myriad of events across a massive range of disciplines, and we have had a fantastic time following in the adventures of all Coburg riders who have participated. Not only have there been some wonderful stories coming out of these
events, we have also seen some amazing successes particularly from our Burger Women!
In the last few years our women’s membership has been growing, and the riders that have come through the club are going from strength to strength. We are so lucky to have these women in our club community. They continue to inspire us, while acting as mentors and positive role models for our younger members. They really are outstanding athletes! Here’s a rundown of some of their achievements.
National Masters Road Championships
A weekend of racing in Gippsland saw many Coburg women take to the start line, and end up on the podium! Outstanding performances came from
Justine Barrow and Anna Davis, winning all three events on offer in their divisions- the time trial, road race, and Criterium. Both ended up with champion of champions jerseys at the end of the weekend!
Another outstanding achievement at this event came from Fran Pigeon. You may have seen us celebrating Fran’s achievements on our Facebook age, and seen that this wonderful lady has had a massive comeback this year. In February, Fran had a bad crash at a track event which resulted in a broken ankle, and a number of months off the bike. However, she is back on two wheels, and at the Masters National Road Championships, she took third in the Women’s MAS4 Criterium! We are so happy to have Fran back on the bike, and to see her go from strength to strength.
Victorian Masters Road Championships
This event was the warm up to nationals. You will notice a theme in the next two events- Coburg riders coming up against each other in spirited competition! Riders Fran Pigeon and Vanessa Goss have had a prolific spring, giving everything a go and embracing both the challenges and opportunities available to them. The Victorian Road Championships time trial was a windy course through Learmonth- riders were literally racing next to a wind farm. Vanessa (Ness) and Fran are direct competitors in their age group. These two have been trading victories back and forth throughout winter. This time Fran came second, and Ness took 3rd, in a state event! Fantastic to see riders pushing each other to excel!
Our superstars Anna Davis and Justine Barrow were in action at this event as well. Anna took the overall Elite title- unsurprising given her credentials! (Did we mention she holds a world hour record?) Justine came 3rd in the same category, with Brunswick’s Sarah Gigante separating them.
Here we focus on the wonderful Ness and Fran again. After a winter of trading victories on the boards at the Winter Track series, and a lovely outcome of both earning gold medals in their respective grades, these two riders came up against each other again in the Victorian Omnium Championships. A fierce yet friendly battle ensued throughout the day, with both riders finally ending up on equal points! However,
Cycling Victoria says there can be only one winner. The deciding factor was Fran’s wheel coming over the line first in the final race, in a move that Ness praised as being tactically clever. These two shared the podium again, essentially on equal standing despite the
different medal colours, having raced hard with friends and clubmates. What a fantastic outcome!
Saturday the 27th heralded the start of our criterium season, after a false start due to rain. In the end, we couldn’t have asked for a better start, as it meant the crit season opened in conjunction with the first round of our Women’s Criterium Series! We had a fantastic
turnout. In Women’s C grade, first time crit racers Erin Preston and Imola Giusti took out positions one and two on the podium. Our wonderful Vanessa Goss was a lovely Marshal and mentor for the C grade riders, and we thank her for supporting them!
Mountain bike successes
Coburg rider Jodie Walker is a rider of many talents. She’s an accomplished crit racer, has recently been giving track a go, and is a stellar mountain bike rider! Jodie tackled two big events on the Victorian Mountain Bike Series calender in recent weeks. She took 4th at the race in Beechworth, then backed up that fantastic performance by podiuming at 3rd place in the Mitta Mitta to Mount Beauty 50km race the next day! The latter was a challenging course with tough climbs and technical descents. These were two big and outstanding efforts. Congratulations Jodie!
National Transplant Games
The Gold Coast hosted this year’s National Transplant Games on Friday 5th October. The hot and steamy conditions didn’t hinder Tamaryn Stevens who came away with two gold medals.
The Road Race saw a mixed field take to a 1.4km circuit track. The pace was fast and furious, set by 4 strong male riders. Tam was able to hold her own with the fellows and then settled in to a firm tempo ride which saw her take first female across the line.
In the TT Tam followed her game plan to a “T” and paced herself perfectly to once again cross the line as the strongest female and take the gold.
Congratulations Tam on these achievements. Your preparation was hindered by some injuries but your incredible resilience and determination held firm.
It should also be noted that Tamaryn was poached by a number of other sports to assist their Victorian endeavors. These results also include:
Volleyball – bronze
Badminton – Silver in both doubles and singles.
Such a versatile athlete. More adventures to come!
It’s been a fantastic spring so far for our Burger Women, and we look forward to seeing what they will do! As our community continues to grow, we are grateful for these wonderful club members for showing us what it is to meet challenges head on, be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship, and what it means to enjoy riding a bike.
We love hearing from our members, so please feel free to share with us your stories and successes! You can send them through either the club email or Facebook.