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Dragons and Dragonettes sweep Dragons Team Time Trial

posted 22 Jun 2018, 23:44 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club   [ updated 23 Jun 2018, 01:21 ]
A record turnout, a new record and the Dragons won!  It is not often in our races that we can say that the Dragons swept the field, but Team Time Trials (TTT) are as much about consistency and pacing as they are about just raw speed.The old cliche of you are as strong as your weakest link holds true in this format more than any other and so it proved today. Those who train and race together the most proved to be the most effective in working as a team.

Of course, as with all our TTTs, this one almost didn't happen. Because we hold them in late June - the start of the Hong Kong rainy season - there is always a risk with the weather. Last year we postponed and the year before there was carnage as the wet conditions wiped out almost half the field. Indeed, in the few days before this year's race, we had been consistently peppered with thunderstorm warnings, amber rain alerts and bursts of rain gusts, which would have made the course extremely treacherous. However a wise decision to make a final call on the morning of the race proved prescient. The rain cleared, small gaps of blue began to appear between the clouds early Saturday morning, and at 5am we called the race on.

In the eight years the Dragons have been holding Team Time Trials, this race attracted the strongest field we have ever seen. Several teams were capable of winning it and there was quite a bit of speculation pre-race about who could win.

Lining up at the start line was the formidable 'Shinkansen' team featuring the ever-explosive Kris Guns, Paul 'Golidlocks' Madden, Nick 'leaving soon (sob, sob)' Adamus and Olaf 'KOM' Kasten - who between them own most of the segments on Hong Kong Island and indeed across most of Hong Kong itself. Definitely the pre-race favourites.

Also assembled were the winners of this year's Hong Kong Cycling Association TTT, Team 6UO featuring Chris Liu, Brian Tam, Ray Chu and Jacky Leung - a well honed and highly effective team, and among the strongest in Hong Kong - but untested on the longer 48km format on offer in today's race.

Under the captaincy of Paul 'can't stop training' Wright, the Dragons men also pulled together the strongest triathletes in the club, with the aptly named D-Team,  that also featured Mat 'Yorkshire bitter' Pears, Ryan 'excellent drafter' Kemp and 'Marvellous' Marcel Guethoff - a formidable triathlete himself who stepped in at the last minute in place of Tom Elliott (an extremely worthy replacement).

Among the pure cyclists, Unfound fielded two teams. The A-team included Dragon double agents Duncan Watt and Peter Hope, alongside 'Big' Dan Falconer and Eka 'Jaggad' Nirapathongp; while Team Bandit featured another Dragons double agent Philippe Cosentino (who learned the route this time), James 'MTB man' Sutton, Unfound bossman Jules Doyle and Romain 'smooth talking' Chappotteau.

The SIRs - who have won this race for the last two years thanks to their secret weapon Henrik 'the Hammer' Pedersen, lined up again with Rupert 'Strava analysis paralysis' Griffiths, Camel 'Lantau Buffalo' Dyrk and Justin 'traitor!!' Baldacchino.

The sole ladies team were the awesome Dragonettes featuring captain Cora 'super swimmer' van Laer, Jane 'I am not fit, but still strong' Griffiths, Mary 'where did those quads come from' Ho and Kate 'new girl' Richdale.

In total 15 teams lined up (full line up here: http://www.hktriclub.com/team-announcements/dragonsteamtimetrialstartlist2018) in what were dryish conditions, with just a little dampness on the roads.

With the Dragonettes going off first and the SIRs as defending male champions last, all the teams departed at one minute intervals, and it was fast from the off.

On the first lap, there was already some places being swapped, but the teams were largely keeping to the order that they set off in.

Wynnie Fung's mixed Team HRCC, surged to the front within the first 6km but with the rest of the field hot on their heels.  

By the time the teams were returning on the first lap, the leaders were Team HRCC, the Dragonettes, Team PAGL Power, Team Anti CPP, Dad Wagon, Team Flanders, The Pacemakers and Team Iggy (who were being blown apart thanks to some super powered surges by Mike Tse and Andres Torres).

They were then followed by the faster teams, who were moving at an appreciably more rapid pace. Team Unfound - Bandit, the Dragons D-Team, Team Unfound - A team, Team Chickenfish (the fastest group of sexagenarians you are ever likely to meet), Shinkansen, 6UO and then the SIRs completed the field.

As expected, it was the second lap was where it all came together and became rapidly clear that the D-Team were moving the fastest through the field - thanks to some monumental pulls coming from Pears and Guethoff, while Kemp and Wrighty were also dishing out the pain.

Shinkansen, who had been passed, were chasing relentlessly, with Madden and Guns in particular forcing the pace, while Kasten and Adamus had looks of pain etched on their faces as they attempted to keep up with their younger team mates.

Team Unfound A were having a great race, until Duncan Watt suffered a mechanical (puncture) and had to abandon. Another casualty was in the all Belgian Team Flanders, with Paul Delwaide being dropped and then deciding that he was better off having a coffee in Tung Chung than completing the second lap.

In the end though the D-team held off all comers, with a deserved victory won out of a combination of pure power and consistency, while the beautifully attired Dragonettes took home the ladies title.

Also a huge congratulations to Marcel Guethoff for breaking the TTT record with a new time of 1.07.10. (https://www.strava.com/segments/17332182)

Final standings below:

D-Team (Ryan Kemp, Paul Wright, Marcel Guethoff, Mat Pears) MALE WINNERS
Team Shinkansen (Kris Guns, Paul Madden, Olaf Kasten, Nick Adamus) 
Team 6UO (Chris Liu, Brian Tam, Jacky Leung, Vincent Chung)
Team Unfound - Bandit (James Sutton, Philippe Cosentino, Jules Doyle, Romain Chappotteau)
Team SIRs (Rupert Griffiths, Henrik Pedersen, Camel Dyrk, Justin Baldacchino)
Team Anti CPP (Chi Cheung, Chris Lui, Leo Lam, Pierre Lam)
Team Iggy (Stuart Wong, Mike Fiechtner, Andres Torres, Mike Tse)
Team PAGL Power (Paul McMahon, Andy Wells, Grant Lingard, Liam Bolger)
Team Chickenfish (Andy Jepps, AJ Halkes, Mike Ellis, Jean-Louis Lafayeednay)
The Pacemakers (Anthony Lam, James Byers, Marc Abecassis, James Byers, Marc Geddes)
Team HRCC (Wynnie Fung, Emma Ho, Acura Wong, Jason )
Team Dad Wagon (Thomas Batt, Paul Sandburg, Ric Shadforth, Joel Lieginger)
The Dragonettes (Cora van Laer, Jane Griffiths, Mary Ho, Kate Richdale) FEMALE WINNERS


Team Unfound - A (Ekapak Niraphongp, Dan Falconer, Peter Hope, Duncan Watt) - only 3 finished
Team Flanders (Bruno Accou, Mathias Deferme, Piet Kerchove, Paul Delwaide) - only 3 finished

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