NSW Team Time Trial course preview, Singleton

Singleton Team Time Trial course start at Glendon Hall

After seven years in Nowra, the NSW Team Time Trial Championships have moved to Singleton for at least the next three years. Here’s a quick look at the new course.

The basics

The 2019 NSW Team Time Trial Championship course is an anti-clockwise circuit starting and finishing outside Glendon Hall east of Singleton. It’s a 30-kilometre loop set mainly amidst paddocks of grazing cattle, although in the present drought there’s a little more yellow than green.

After starting eastbound along the exposed Glendon Lane, teams will turn left onto Elderslie Road where a tunnel of trees provides relief from the wind. Then, it’s left onto Gresford Road which greets riders with a leg-burning climb of 500 metres at 5%. This road brings riders almost to the outskirts of Singleton before it diverts left, returning to Glendon Road for a long uphill drag before a quick descent, a sharp left-hand turn onto Glendon Lane and a (mostly) flat run home.

Screenshot of the NSW Team Time Trial Championship course at Singleton. Source: Strava.

It’s lumpy

When the course was first announced, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’d be a flat and fast run around the paddocks. That was certainly how it appeared compared to the old Nowra course, which was a hilly one indeed. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Singleton team time trial course is undulating. Throughout the circuit, there are some long uphill drags and a couple of pinches followed by short, sharp downhills where riders can hit speeds over 70km/h. It will be difficult for settle into a consistent rhythm. Teams with big gaps in ability between their members will have to make sure not to drop their slower riders on the early hills along Glendon Road.

It’s exposed

The fields of Glendon are exposed and windswept. There’s very little tree coverage along Glendon Road itself, though the eastern and northern sections of the circuit are a little more sheltered.

Teams will have to be vigilant about the wind direction. In crosswinds, they’ll have to make sure they keep each other sheltered and avoid dropping their weakest members.

It’s rough

The road surface is typical of Australian country areas: heavy roads that seem to resist every pedal-stroke. It’s certainly not the smooth hotmix of Eastern Creek.

Importantly, the surface tends to crack up the most in the corners, so riders will have to be careful when cornering on TT bikes. The final corner—a sharp left-hander from Glendon Road onto Glendon Lane with five kilometres to go—is worthy of special attention. It comes at the bottom of a rapid descent, and tired riders will have to take it with care.

Downhill section of the Singleton Team Time Trial course
Fast downhill into a left turn.

It’s open to traffic

While the race will be traffic-controlled, usually these are working roads for farmers with their utes, small trucks and vans. They’re not busy roads, but there is a regular drip-feed of local traffic. Stay safe, keep well-left of the centre line and don’t be shocked when motor vehicles roar past you at speed.

It’s scenic

If the blowing wind, steep hills, coarse asphalt and loud cars are getting you down, look up: the course cuts through some breathtaking scenery.

From bright green fields, distant blue hills to inquisitive bovine friends, Singleton kindly serves up some pretty views to ease the suffering. The southern stretch of the course along Glendon Lane is the most beautiful, especially if you have a chance to look around at the top of a hill.

While most riders will have their heads down, focused on holding the wheel of their teammate, it’s worth a return trip after the race to just cruise through and enjoy the landscape.

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