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Team Unfound found what it takes to claim the annual Dragons Team Time Trial

posted 23 Jun 2019, 04:15 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club

We had a great annual Team Time Trial on Saturday 22 June with 7 strong teams signing up, for what is always a much anticipated event in our small but competitive cycling community.


An early morning recce however revealed the sudden appearance of traffic lights on the service road to Tung Chung and so a last minute decision was made to change from the advertised fast and furious 2-lap course of this 48.8k TT to a still fast, but slightly hillier 3-lap course for the same distance.


It made for an interesting challenge, as no doubt team strategies would have been devised based on two laps; and the harder 3-lap route means negotiating an extra set of inclines, an extra set of roundabouts and an extra set of u-turns, inevitably meaning a lot more loss of momentum.


As usual, the teams that gathered ranged from the carefully honed, super competitive to those hastily cobbled together by four guys looking for a bit of fun o a Saturday morning. 


Of the more serious teams, we had Team Unfound featuring the near unbeatable Paul Madden as well as the always imperious Steve Baker, the highly experienced Peter Hope and ‘can’t stop him on a TT bike’ Alex Stopps.


But facing off against them was no mean challenge from Team 6U0, which included Chris ‘ponytail’ Liu, Vincent ‘pocket rocket’ Chung as well as super cool Ray Chu and Jacky Leung.


Also not to be underestimated were the wittily named 3wKG (3 watts per KG!) team, Andrew  Sharkey’s Team Barbarians (who despite losing a team member the night before) still managed to bring four very strong riders together and Team Chickenfish (Adrian Halkes’ always interesting concoction of strength, roadcraft and experience).


There were also fun teams like Brett Gage’s ‘Four New Friends’ who were exactly that! As well as the ‘Three Dragons and a SIR team” though unfortunately last minute cancellations meant that only one Dragon and one SIR turned up at the start line. And of course Marc Abecassis’ Les Tonton Flingeurs - a quad of Tritons, resplendent in their orange colours.


Going off at 45 second intervals Team 3wKG led off the teams and held their lead right until the last lap, putting on an amazing display of tenacity, speed and strength. Clearly a miscalculation by the guy in charge of seeding to let them go first (…now I wonder who that was?) Perhaps the aero helmets and disc wheels should have provided a hint!?


The one Dragon and One Sir Team went next, followed by Les Tontons Flingeurs, The Barbarians, Four New Friends, Chickenfish, with 6UO and Unfound the last to leave.


It is always interesting watching this event, because usually on the first lap, not much happens as all the teams maintain their positions and the process of attrition only becomes evident in later laps.


This time was different however. Team 6UO were rapidly making their way up the field even on the first lap with Team Unfound in very hot pursuit. In addition, The Barbarians and Les Tonton Flingeurs teams seemed to be merging and both were in danger of being disqualified for not maintaining a distance between each other.


Meanwhile the Dragons and SIR duo team were already going through separation.


The surprise package came in the form of Four New Friends however - a team that had come about when Brett Gage asked for people to come together to join him and experienced campaigners Bart P, Anthony Lam and Vincent ‘Cordobator’ Cordoba answered the call.


In fact if there was to be a prize for performing like a team in the face of all odds, Four New Friends’ definitely gets it. They rode together seamlessly, checking distance and pacing between them and ensuring they acted as a unit. They put together a fantastic race and definitely should think about riding together more regularly.


In the end of course, any team with Paul Madden or Chris Liu on it was always going to be at the pointy end and so it was with Team Unfound and Team 6UO fighting it out in what was a very close performance between them.


Only seconds divided them at the finish - but with Strava GPS files always being the final adjudicate, Team Unfound just pipped it.


Great fun was had by all - despite the last minute course change - and congratulations to all teams for their performance on the day.


A special mention must also go out to our marshalls who excelled in keeping everyone on course and safe.


Full course and team placings below 


3-lap course: https://www.strava.com/segments/11550505?filter=overall


FINAL PLACINGS


Team Unfound

Team 6UO

Team 3wKG

Four New Friends

Team Chickenfish

Les Tontons Flingeurs


DNF or incomplete teams

The Barbarians (who stopped midway to gallantly help a fellow rider unconnected to our event who was in a road traffic accident)

A Dragon and a SIR (incomplete - although Euan Matheson did a great solo ride)

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