They were one of the favourites to take out the opening team time trial in the fourth round of the National Road Series at the Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour, but few expected Euride Racing to beat the dominant time trial squad of Huon Salmom-Genesys or the ever-consistent Budget Forklifts. But the local team that formed out of the existing South Australian Institute of Sport squad had done their homework well in advance of the 20.9km team effort.
Denied a spot on the TTT podium at the recent FKG Tour of Toowoomba by the slimmest of margins, Euride Racing put in the hard yards and ensured that come race day they could exploit every ounce of their local knowledge. Practice makes perfect as they say and while the South Australian squad may not have had the firepower to topple Huon Salmon-Genesys, Drapac or Budget Forklifts in Queensland at Toowoomba, they knew Adelaide's test would come down to much more than just watts.
"What helped us here is local knowledge," explained team manager and rider Fraser Northey to Cyclingnews.
"We looked at a lot of time splits throughout training, the tight corners, we know we can go through them without braking too much and we knew exactly where to rotate our riders and who would go over each climb. I guess it was a bit of a risk in some of the tactics we chose but it paid off."
The course started at Cudlee Creek and flew down the primarily downhill Gorge Road - the same used by the peloton at this year's Tour Down Under before they turned off to climb the decisive Corkscrew climb - and knowing how fast each bend could be negotiated was key to Euride maintaining their speed along the flatter, middle section. A few minor climbs in the opening seven kilometers and again toward the finale were 'make or break' areas and this is where time would be made or lost, according to Northey.
"The two main points on the course are the first three climbs. We had eight men rotating through until we got to them and then our three power riders sat on and dictated the pace. They were riding to their limit but it kept us all together. As soon as we got over the top those three would pick up the pace and ride longer turns. Once we got down the descent it was back to an eight-man rotation.
"We knew exactly where to brake and not to brake. We looked at little things like the first man had to wait about three seconds before he would kick-out of it - to keep the team together. We planned a lot of it and just had to stick to it."
The scientific approach taken to the opening TTT means that Harry Carpenter, who was the first from Euride Racing to cross the white line and three of his teammates, will start the second and penultimate Stuart O'Grady road race on the front foot. It's a position that few National Road Series teams have been in, given that Huon Salmon-Genesys has spent nearly every day of the season so far with the leader's jersey on their backs.
"There's only one real road race so the emphasis was on the team time trial. That was massive because if we won it there would be four or five riders on the same time and then allows you to play more than one card. Everyone knows defending is much easier than trying to regain the lead."
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