Wednesday, November 30, 2005

From Cocktails to Pursuits

Well, its been nearly a week since my last update and I am here to update everyone on what happened in my first pursuit of the year......but first

On Saturday night Amy and I had a cocktail party to attend, to celebrate the 21st birthday of one of her friends, Maggie. I wasn't really in the know about how dressed up you are supposed to get for these occasions, but Amy and I spent a good 3 hrs on Firday shopping for a shirt and a tie that would go with the very nice dress she had bought.....she won't want me to say this but it only cost her $40, not bad for how good she looked......It was a good party, nice and simple with a few people who I knew, mainly just Amy's girlfriends....but i dont mind that.....they are pretty easy on the eyes. I was by far the best dressed, according to Amy.....ah....who am i kiding, i looked sharp. Together we made a nice picture. I was however consious of the fact that i had my first individual pursuit the following day and tried to spend as little time on my feet as possible.

And after 7hrs sleep, not ideal, but it'll do, i was driving into the velodrome, where i was told we would be starting around 12 or so.......4.30pm i finally hit the track. Dehydrated after vomitting, due to the pressure i put on myself to perform well, i hit the boards. And i didnt disappoint. Riding to a 4:35 schedule i pumched out a 4:34.8 to qualify fastest by 5 seconds. I was pumped, my 2nd fastest time ever and i didnt even ride double disc. I came out in the final with every intention of knocking out a PB, but after a mix up from my coach (where he grabbed the wrong schedule) i came home in 4:37, still 5 seconds the better of my apponent but a bit disappointed, because i felt really good the whole ride, but got told to just control it from my coach. Oh well, mistakes happen and i still won the event.

Now onto the World Cup. I started in the gym on Monday with my new program. I am alternating it with the pilates and it is working reasonably well. I finally felt like one with the track bike in tonights training session and was able to punch out a good session with my madison partner.

So 5 days away from leaving and here is where i sit:
-i have a race on Saturday night, big competition but im just going to get a feel for the big bunches again and mix it in the sprints, no real expectations for big results (ill save them)
-just heard that big Magnus Bagstead is racing in Manchester (awesome)
-loving the combo of gym work and the pilates and havn't missed a day yet
-just asked the head coachof the national squad if he'd give me a start in the individual pursuit in Manchester (we'll see how that goes)

Ill get back to you about Saturday nights racing and give you a last minute form guide before i leave for the UK.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Getting Started for the Madison

This is a picture of me riding my bike, incase anyone is interested. This is in full flight at the 2005 National Champs on my way to a bronze medal in the individual pursuit.

Anyway....i ended up in 3rd place on Tuesday night. Not too bad, should have won it though. Despite a hard morning and slightly tired legs, i felt good and it was an easy race. Just got boxed a little in the sprint, another 10m and i would have had them with no problem. ( Not too bad, a bit of cash to line my pockets and keep me going till next week.

So we finally got around to some madison training at last nights track session. Even though my partner for Manchester was there, we didnt actually do any changes together. Odd i know, but we were attempting to teach some of the younger kids how it was done, so they split up the more experienced guys. Good training though, some hard efforts and a slightly longer session than usual. Nice!

So now it is thursday arvo.....ive just come home from a 3hr ride and done my pilates session for the day. Im still going strong, havnt missed a day and im looking forward to it now, setting definate times where Amy and I sit down to get it done. Its a good activity for us to do together. We laugh at each other during some of the exercises, but all in all its a good work out.

Im going to race on the track tonight....not big expectations for my first race of the year......despite the World Cup coming up. I''m going to use a small gear today and just bring my cadence up to get used to the revolutions that i will need in Manchester. The bigger race is on Sunday when i get my first crack at a pursuit for the season (pursuit = 4km time trial). Im looking forward to testing myself agaisnt the clock and seeing how my form is well as scaring some people with my time.

Ill let you know how it all goes.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back to Business/Pilates Isn't just for the Ladies

After a very lazy week, since returning from New Zealand, I am back in the swing of things and have thrown down 3 days of hard training in a row. Last week I only rocked out on Wednesday for a track session, after a funeral ceremony for an old high school teacher of mine.....very sad, but a moving ceremony. I didn't last long on the track, some 3 hours of warm weather and no water, in a new black suit (which I went out and bought, the day before) left me dehydrated and with a throbbing head ache, so after my 2nd effort I was toast.

Thursday I went out for the usual motorpaced session down to Sorrento, with the VIS head coach Dave Sanders. There was about 6 of us, but it was a pretty straight forward session and when I tried to step on it and give it some gas in the hard section I couldn't even drop some of the young kids out with us.....needless to say, I felt pretty flat. My response to that was to take another 2 days off the bike trying to freshen up and recover from what had been a hard tour the week before.

Sunday came and I headed off to the weekly criterium. I still felt flat and lacking in energy but managed to salvage 4th in the bunch kick after an attacking race, where I was off the front on numerous occasions. Here is the race report ( After the race I headed for the hills to tag an extra 2 or so hours on to my ride, giving me 4.5 all up and not a bad days work.

Monday was a new beginning, I started pilates today. I have made commitment that if I don't go to the gym then I will do a minimum of 35 mins each day, regardless of what training I have to do. Its good stuff, hurts a little but ill get used to it and then hopefully notice the improvements in my core strength. The best part is that Amy is doing it with me, it gives me extra motivation to have another training partner, despite the fact that her tight gym pants are distracting. Track training in the arvo, a hard session, trying to make up what I missed out on during Wednesday''s session.

And now we are at Tuesday. Pilates: Day 2. After another hard motorpace session I have just completed my day 2 pilates session with Amy. I can feel the stomach muscles starting to burn already and hopefully as I step it up I will really notice the difference on the bike. Im gearing up for another criterium tonight just to top off the day. I have to say I wasn't so keen on fronting up when we talked about it this morning, but Amy is going to be at work and Iv'e been talked into it by my Manchester Madison partner, who is in Melbourne for a bit.

Catch u all. Hopefully when I next write, ive won some money from the crit....because im broke.....and my pilates is still going strong and my tummy doesn't hurt so much.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mini Golf with the Mrs.

Yesterday was suppose to be nice and sunny, my one day off the bike. I woke up and found that instead of being sunny, it was overcast and not such a nice day. I had planned to take Amy to the beach, spending a day down on the coast, at Sorrento, having fun in the sun. I wanted to swim and run and throw a Frisbee but the weather just wasn't right for it. We decided to go and play mini golf instead.

I'm not sure if I should admit this, she didn't beat me, but we did draw. In my defense I turned my back on more than a few occasions when she paddled the ball along with her putter, but still.......a draw......does that make me a disgrace?

We didn't do much for the rest of the day, but had a dinner date with one of Amy''s best friends, Steph and her boyfriend Sam. We ate at a Japanese restaurant, I have to say I wont be going there again, my food tasted like plastic. I still ate the food, but only because I didn't want to go hungry.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

The circus that was the Tour of Southland

So as a professional cyclist, when I turn up to a hard (UCI sanctioned) race, that I have extended my season for I expect a certain level of professionalism from the organisers and commisaires. This didn't happen at the recent Tour of Southland.

On stage 4, Karl Menzies was in the yellow jersey and broke a chain 5km into the stage. The field eventually sat up and waited for him, but despite the field waiting, the commisaires wouldn't let him motor pace back to the peleton.....Why not....Its such a waste and time. We lost the jersey that day to the strong Southland Times team.

2 days later Jeremy Vennell took back the yellow with a stunning time trial. Winning it by 1/2 a second from Greg Henderson. We rode hard in the afternoon stage and Jeremy rewarded our efforts by extending his 3sec lead to 36secs.

2 days left and strong head winds all day. We let a break off 3 up the road to steal the bonus sprints from Hendy. Only to be told 95km into the stage, that the stage would be stopped at the top of the climb(110km). With the break 7 mins up the road, we took 3.5mins out of them in 10km. I have no doubt that with 50km remaining we would have caught and passed the break, but the organisers decided that they would give them 2hours rest and start them with 20km to go.....Not only that they got to keep the same time gap, despite the fact they cut 30km out of the race.....So what to do.....We decided to give up the tour but make a statement, that this isn't good enough in a pro bike race, getting together with all the big teams and riding a 20km/h protest.

Man did we stir some sh!t. We coped flack from the media, organisers, police and other riders and teams. But they have to understand that this is what we do. Its our job and the working conditions were unfair. We lost out and lost big, it was a hard decision but IM glad that we did it. You can read about it on cyclingnews and make up your own decision, just read this today, seems like we have afew people on our side at least (, not Rob Young though, but that doesnt bother me too much, he still owes me money from last years Tour of Korea......Go MG/Bigpond......go get em! (this is not directed at any of the riders, they are all decent guys).

Any way....IM over that now. Just found out 2 days ago that ive been selected for the Manchester World Cup. Representing my country in the scratch and madison. That is exciting and ill be off to England at the beginning of December.

Signed my contract this morning to ride for Advantage Benefits/Bissell next year, much to the dismay of my beautiful girlfriend. For us it means another 3 months apart, but this year she is coming over for the entire 2nd half of the season and then we are going to do a big European trip to finish the year, so hopefully she can see the good side and has something to look forward to. Man I love her.

Oh well, ill keep in touch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The beginning of my blog


dont recon anyone will read this, but it is just a test to see what this thing is all about. I still am working out how to use it, i figure it will be helpful for people to keep up with what im doing while over seas and finially i can publish an explination of races i do and what i think about them and the way they go.

Ill get something decent written about my latest race, Tour of Southland in New Zealand, when i get a chance over the next week.