Tuesday, December 26, 2006



1986 - 2006


2 days before Christmas i had to say goodbye to a close friend of mine. A cyclist with whom i have shared a coach and many a good day with over the 4 or so years that i have known him. He was killed, in a senseless accident, while out training on Friday December 15. He was a brilliant kid and will be sorely missed. Testament to his and his families popularity were the 300+ crowd who packed the Shepparton Football Club to pay tribute to a kid who had the world at his feet and the desire to achieve great things in a sport that he loved.

Some of them may not have ever spoken to Scott, they were there just because they understood what it meant to be a rider and the sacrifices that we make and the risks that we take everyday when we strap on our helmets. Im going to use this blog, that hopefully some people read, to encourage us all to take care when we are driving our cars and riding our bikes. Too often over the last 2 weeks, since the accident, i have seen people driving and sending text messages....... talking on there phones....... involved in serious conversations with a passenger and not watching the road.......

We all have a responsibility, everytime we get behind the wheel of a 1 ton weapon to think hard about the implications that a few seconds of distraction or not concentrating can have. It can and does cause the destruction of families, the loss of innocent and brilliant lives, the break down of communities and if you think for one second that you wont wake in a cold sweat every night for the rest of your life with that face in your mind.....you are sadly mistaken.

Its not just drivers....i was horrified to hear, when i arrived home, that a group of riders had killed a pedestrian after running a red light. We owe it to ourselves as cyclists to stand up for the rights of the weak and powerless on the roads.....that means as a cyclist when confronted with a stream of cars and for the pedestrians confronted by a stream of riders.

No one is right when they break the laws of the road. I have been, in the past, as guilty as anyone....but please for the sake of your own lives, mine and all the other people that we know and love in this world.....pay attention and do the right thing because the benefits of getting where you are headed 5 seconds or even 10 minutes earlier do not outweigh the cost of stealing a life.

To Shane, Wendy, Ricky and Erin.....words can not express my sympathy for your loss. Scott was a brilliant kid and he will be missed dearly by those who knew him. May his spirit, passion and determination live on in those that were touched by him. I know that i will never forget the small kid with the big heart.

We can all change our behaviour and help to influence those around us, lets get about doing it before it is too late.
Merry Christmas and a safe new year.....

Monday, December 18, 2006


After being drilled over the weekend by some old friends at a Christmas party, it seems there is a certain demand that i return to the blog and start telling people what it is i am doing and how my time in Australia has been. There are no excuses, i have been lazy.....i havn't even checked the site until today.....i guess that is poor form.

So im trianing again now and looking forward to a busy January that will see me compete at the LA world cup....an opportunity for me to stake my claim for a spot in the Australian team for the 2007 Wrold Track Championships. My goals are revolving around the madison. I have decided to cease my career with the individual pursuit and go out as a national bronze medal winner and a 4.28 rider. Now my full attention has shifted to the madison/points and i am looking forward to the challenge of going to our National Titles in Feb and turning my silver from the points score last year into a gold.

Instead of delving into the past 2 months and trying to come up with worthy stories, i will cover them by saying that life has been good. I have been splitting my time evenly between Kate (in Sydney) and home (in Melbourne) and i am a very happy boy leading into Christmas. I have changed my coach and am now working with David McKenzie to try and make the most of my road career and avoid the problems that i had this year with burn out.

Kate and i both road Sydney World Cup for the Australian team, and although my Teams Pursuit team came in 5th.....i can take no credit....it was a terrible personal performance and i owe that result to the 3 riders who i teamed with. Hence some of the hard decisions i have made regarding my future on the track and its direction. Kate rode far more sucessfully and won the womens points title. She has been working very hard on ironing out her weaknesses and to her rivals at this years worlds i say.......WATCH OUT!!!!

So now on the road to LA and Nationals....they are the goals and training is headed in the right direction. For those of you who dont know....Theo Bos broke the world record over 200m a couple of days ago....if you ever get the chance to go and see this man race i emplore you to do it......poetry in motion......i think what he does is commonly refered to as....'taking the piss'......seriously, go and watch him.....

Cheers to everyone for getting up me about still doing my blog, its nice to know that people still want to know what im up to....


Monday, October 09, 2006


Hey all,

i guess that some people are pissed that there have been no updates of late....well get stuffed....im on holiday, not just from cycling but from everything.....nah, really the only problem is that Europe is not as wireless friendly as the USA. I have had barely any access to the internet and when i have i have been paying tooth and nail for it, so the blog doesnt receive the attention that it deserves.

I will be back in Australia and sleeping in my own bed on Monday. I have enjoyed my past month in Europe, but man i cant wait to get home and be in that area. Kate and i have seen and done some amazing things. I spent a week in Germany, 1 week in Austria for the world champs, a week in Italy and then finished off the trip in Holland.

It has been an amazing adventure for me and i have taken a billion or so photo's. There will be some posted in my next blog, once i am home. Until then everyone is just going to have to cut me some slack and allow me to disapear for a few more days.

See all you aussies in a few days and the rest of you can count on some updates when i am home.



Friday, August 18, 2006


So after a couple of weeks and no blog updates, i have started to cop some flack, particularly from Jude about my lack of enthusiasm for my blogging. Not only that but i have started to realise that some of my readers think i am borderline sucidal after my recent form problems. Well i have two pieces of good news for everyone....1, i am not sucidal and 2, over the past 2 weeks i have finally started to feel like a bike rider again.

For the first time in, probably, 2 months i enjoyed a day out training on Tuesday. Nothing too hard, just 2.5 hours with Tommy and Kate, but i was actually enjoying myself and also looking forward to getting up the next morning to train. It has been a long time since that was the case and i am as happy as anyone. Despite that fact my name has not appeared high up in the majority of the race results, i have finally been able to string sucessive days of intense racing together and recover in order to be a decent contributor to the team. I ran a respectable 6th in a lead up race to B of A, when i was the only Priority Health rider who started. Bank of America saw me get caught behind some crashes and also a number of people who eventually found the pace to hard....leaving me with a number of chases on my hands and eventually, by about the 6th, one too many.....No ones fault but my own, i should have moved foward earlier and i would have had a good result i believe. Tommy and Robbie flew the flag for the team and made us a decent chunk of cash.

The weekend was over and i was on my way back to Michigan to see Kate who had flown in on the thursday night and had a few lonely nights alone until i arrived. Yadah, yadah, yadah I became a happy and fulfilled man again with Kate by my side. It is so nice to have a treat like that when you have been feeling down....like a hot chocolate to someone who has been stuck in a snow storm for 2 months....thats about the best analogy i can come up with.

Then off to Elk Grove Chicago for another big money weekend. Hilton Clarke and the Navigators dominated both the races in an impressive display of power and attacking riding. Hilt's rode awsome to take out both races, one in a break and the other in a sprint....Nav's have made a truck load of cash the past 2 weeks and well deserved....We had a disappointing weekend....Tommy was our designated sprinter for both races but we were unable to deliver him to right place in both races. On Saturday we were forced to chase the break and spend some men....we only had 5 starters....and on Sunday our tactic was to attack the race, but the impressive pace made that a hard task and Tommy was the only pair of fresh legs for the finish....not a receipe for success.....final result....disappointing.

So now i am sitting back at Bobs...this weekend we are back down to Chicago for the US Pro criterium Championships and i am finally starting to feel myself...like i said, i even enjoyed training the last few days. We will have to wait and see how the weekend pans out but hopefully we can lead out 3 US riders to a good result and also find some of the formula we have been chasing for a win.

Plans for next year keep rolling along. I have more options than i thought i would, which while i figured it would be nice is actually a pain in the ass. Sorting through all the stuff and trying to work out what is best for me and my direction but also my sense of loyalty to those who have supported me the past 2 years weighs hevily on my mind. Like i said it is good...but it is also bad.

Oh well....ill see you all on the other side of this weekend. Kate leaves Monday...so you will all understand that she get my attention until then.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


So during my last post my mum started to sense that i was starting to get depressed about my form and was not overly confident about performing well and..........i was right......i didnt perform like i know i can. Im still having issues with my legs that i just cant quite get a hold of......to explain it to my readers, my quads just dont seem to be processing lactic acid at the moment. It is very different to the overall feeling of fatigue and wastedness that i was feeling during Beauce, but my thighs just feel like they weigh 100kg each. I actually think that my legs started to lactate on the start line, before i had even riden on stage 3 of the tour. How can you help but feel depressed when your legs start to fatigue before they even start to turn.

The 1 positive thing that i got out of the tour was that i was able to make it until the finish of the road stages....only missing the criterium....and i actually was able to perform beyond how i felt at certain points and help out the guys that we had pegged as out team leaders for the week. The tour itsself fell apart for us a little on the last and hardest road stage when Teddy King, who was our best placed on GC had a bad day and fell away from the leaders......but some other notables from my past had unbelieveable tours......Karl, once again tore the race to peices and was unfortunate not to came away with the overall victory and also Frank Pipp ripped out an awesome finish on one of the hardest days to win his first NRC race of the year and also finish in the top 10 on GC. Those 2 in particular, along with their teams, rode a great race only to be pipped at the finish by bad fortune and a missing corner marshall.

So now its criterium time.....i pretty much now race each weekend and only have criteriums through until the end of my season. So it is important that i nurse myself through each week and try and avoid the sensation of these 100kg legs each weekend. Crits are something that i have developed a knack for reading the race and as such i am much more confident with, even when i dont have great form. Never will that be more important than over the next 2 weeks with the 2 richest criteriums of the year in Charlotte and then Chicago.

To top all of that off, Kate arrives back in the US on Thursday to just make my life a little bit easier. She has been going through some similar problems to me over the past few weeks and i cant wait to again have her with me. One of the worst things about loosing your confidence on the bike and at your job is when you dont have the right people around to console you. When Kate arrives i think that everyone will see and hear a much better Richard, which i can guarentee everyone, i am looking forward to as much as anyone else. I have been alone in my thoughts for too long now and i look forward to letting them spill and coming out the other side a stronger rider and person.

Thats all for now....i have to go out and hit the road....it is about 1 billion degrees outside and i think that my skin could melt off over the coming weeks. I hope to share good news with everyone after the weekend.....if we win i will proudly display my bank balance.....my share of 25k would be nice.


Monday, July 24, 2006


Just a quick update tonight...im about to head to be for an early evening and hopefully a long sleep before the Tour de Toona starts tomorrow.

So superweek was an absolute joke for me....last post i was keen to notch up a win but it became very obvious, very quickly that it was NOT going to be the case. I felt terrible in nearly all the races i started. My back problem began to flair again and i was just lacking energy.....so it leaves the question am i still suffering from low iron levels or am i burnt out???? I think its a little of both to tell the truth. I am hoping to nurse myself through until the end of the season where i can take a decent break from racing and riding and just have some time where i dont have a tiny saddle jammed against my ass....

So now i sit, on the eve of a 7 day tour, with negative thoughts running through my head. I am glad that i bring more to this team than just my riding, because otherwise i reckon they would probably fire me soon. This week will be hard, but only 1 week from the 1 year anniversary of Amy Gillett's Death..... who we were able to pay tribute to, with Menzie's winning the race last tuesday night (the anniversary)......i realise that life has its downs and its ups and as i begin to come out of the trough i am in at the moment i will again be able to see the brighter side of life. Having bad legs in a foreign country is a terrible thing...because it is the only reason i am here....im not here to party or sight see....im here to ride my tail off and it is such a lonely place when you cant do it like you want to.....

Oh well...enough harping....im not the only one who has it tough....Kate passed out from the heat in her tour that she was doing in Germany....and by the sounds of it was one of the lucky ones....she had pulled to the side of the road before it happened...many others, including 2 Australian's were in motion when they blacked out and spent some time in hospital for their efforts. I also added injury to insult when i burnt my hand cooking dinner on Friday night....I was suffering from intense pain for the next 4 hours unless my hand was under running water...fortunately i seem to do a good job of fixing it because 2 days later there is barely any evidence....thanks to a quick call from my mum who helped me sort it out....its nice to know that even from 1000's of km away she can still look after me.

Gotta run....hope everyone is well....forgot to say...my birthday was boring, but i need to congratulate Zidane for spicing up the day a little with his head butt to the chest.....i thought it was awesome....what a way to go....

Saturday, July 08, 2006


So im back in MI now and still trying to get well and rebuild my bodies iron stores and get myself back to full health before Tour de Toona on July 24. It is a slow process, but one i feel i am starting to overcome having finally strung 3 days together and not feeling totally stuffed. Its a good feeling.

So from my last post we were about to start the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic....how did it go? Well it was our teams most sucessful tour to date. Sheedy won the opening TT and held the lead till stage 3. With little support and assistance we managed to finish with 2 guys in the top 10 and also the stage win. It was an excellent tour for the 7 of us, with some great results that were posted against the odds. I didnt feel great, but did my best to contribute ride myself into the tour. I had a good crit but unfortunately punctured with 3 laps to go in the circuit race where i fancied my chances in the uphill sprint. Oh well....i now look forward to my few appearances at superweek to rebuild my form.

Im currently spending time with my old pal, Karl Menzies....who has flown into MI to spend some time with the old crew. It has been good to actually catch up with him properly and hear about his year with HealthNet. He has reignited an old romance and is currently stumbling around, trying to work out how to talk and treat a lady....its quite amuzing....because this one is a keeper and he really likes her....so its fun to sit and watch the progression.

Its my birthday this Sunday....it is weird being in a country and a place without your family and girlfriend to spend it with. I have spoken to Kate nearly everyday...straight after the Tour de France coverage finishes....that schedule works for her also....so its not me being selfish....just good timing. She surprised me last week by telling me that she is going to fly back to America and visit again....how nice is that....im always in a better place when we are together....

enough of the muchy stuff....thats it from me....i have high hopes for a win during superweek....so ill keep you posted.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


So its been a long time since i last updated my blog and there are a few reasons for that.....i have had very limitted internet access over the past few weeks......i have been racing like a dog and not really wanting to tell people about it......my computer has a virus and i cant put any photo's on and all the functions take an age to work....but now im back and im going to very quickly summarise my last 3 weeks and then try and get back into the rythm of regular updates.

So like i said....i have been racing terribly. Initially i figured it was just bad form but when it got beyond a joke i had it checked out and narrowed it down to low iron levels. I guess i wasnt being very disciplined about my diet while i was on the road leading into Philly week and that block of racing. Of all the big races we have just finished the only one i stood a chance of a good result was the CSC Invitational criterium....but with 5 laps to go i took a corner too hot and dropped myslef....taking the full load of the crash on my chin and ending up with a 2 hour hospital visit, 15 stitches and fairly shook up. Fortunately i had Kate back to help me out and get me through the hard stuff. We swapped roles i guess.....i was her crutch after worlds and she got to console me when i was hardly able to pedal my bike when i got to the Tour de Beauce.

So after 8 days off the bike i am trying to rescue my season....boosting my iron levels at every opportunity i get and about to hit the Tour of Fitchburg.....i won the sprint jersey here when i rode it 2 years ago so i have some cofidence but im still not sure how the body will be, so i will try and ride myself into it and see what happens. Ive only had 2 days back riding since my break so it could take me a few days.

Hope all is well with all my readers....im not sure that there will be any of you left after this period without any updates. Ill do my best to keep them coming and also get the pictures up and running again.


Monday, May 29, 2006


The perfect weeknd get away. I am up at Bob Hughes' beach house in Northern Michigan....we visited last year and its not quite as warm now as it was then, but it is the perfect environment to take a load off, fine tune my preparations for the upcoming races and just, generally.....relax.

The beach house is in a town called Leeland and backs onto the beach.....Bob has like 50m of private beach on Lake Michigan.....its cool.....no one else is allowed. The house itself is an awesome 3 story place with great views and an equally plush interior. Im not going to cheapen this blog with wasteful words.....instead im going to let you all sit back and enjoy the photo's i have taken....take the time to soak it all in.....be jelous.....

mmm, hows the serenity????

Working the tan....man my core is pastey white!

The operation to remove this tree from Bob's bothers behind took hours!

The prettiest guy in all of Michigan.....

Now ive gone all artistic on you.....black and white.....ive captured a moment here.....just enjoy it.

Friday, May 26, 2006


So after my first successful tour result in....like.....forever, I wasn't ready to rest on what form I thought I had. It had been my plan for the year to use this week and the upcoming Tri-peaks tour as training and good preparation for the biggest and most important races which are coming up over the next few weeks. So on Tuesday I headed out with the plan of a 4hr ride with Kate and a further 2hrs by myself. Unfortunately for Kate.....my map reading skills and distance judgment weren't exactly up to par and after 170km together we finally got back home....she was a little shattered and frustrated....but made it through that hard time together.....

My next day was even more monstorous (I'm not sure if that is a word and if it is, I doubt its spelt right).....I rode solo for 7hrs, racking up 220km (big ring all day). It was exactly how I wanted to spend this week......tiring myself and pushing my limits.....it was going to be interesting to see how I recovered for Tri Peaks......a tour that doesn't particularly suit me.....crit, road race (3 climbs) and road race (2 climbs, the last being a 4km climb at >20%).

But before I could get to the race it was Kate's 24th birthday. I have to say that it is really hard to make an exciting day out of a 2hr trip to Russellville, AR.....it is pretty much as dead end a town as you could wish to spend a birthday. So I gave her the presents that I had prepared and then took her out for a meal.....Ruby Tuesday's......for those Aussies, Ruby Tuesday's is about the equivalent of a Sofia's or a La Porchetta....I'm class all the way baby! I hope I don't pay for it the rest of our days......

Tri Peaks....much to my surprise ended up a success. I recovered far better than I expected from both Joe Martin and my big training days and ended up taking a 5th on stage 2 in a big break away of 23 and then 10th up the big climb on stage 3 and 6th on the GC. It was far better than I had expected and my team did an awesome job....we are finally start to put some good things together on a more consistent basis. Kate won her crit on the friday night and then had quite an adventure over the next 2 days in the heat and with the women covering an equal distance to the men.....she didn't go so good, but it was great prep for her upcoming world cup.

Zirbel racked up the podium for our team this weekend with a 2nd in stage 2.....and thus starts my bitching session for this blog entry.....first read this race report, paying particular attention to the comments made by the director from AEG-Toshiba ....http://www.cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2006/may06/tri-peaks06/tri-peaks062.....This Cubric fella needs to take a long hard look at himself....I really hope he was miss quoted because he has blatantly taken credit for my move and tactical genius. I was the one who planned the attack....Zirbel was the first to launch the attack....Zirbel was the one who drove it to the line with the AEG guy sitting on and Zirbel got no credit. Ripped off!!! His guy took nearly 1km to close a 5m gap to Zirbel and then pulled about a 200m turn with 1.5km to go and then sat on till the finish and only just pipped him. It may just be sour grapes from my side....but I just thought I should let everyone know the truth and now its out. To tell you the truth, I was just so glad that 1 of the 3 Toyota riders who had sat on all day didn't win.......good ride by AEG, don't get me wrong but they claimed our move....That's not cool.

So that's it for me....thanks for letting me get that off my chest.....I'm back in Michigan for a week before we hit the big stuff over the next few weeks. Kate has just left for Montreal after racing a rain soaked local race with me and the Michigan clan last night......those white knicks took a battering. It was a fun and hard race though.....perfect for where were are both at. Ill keep you up to date with all the big stuff to come....make sure you keep a look out for me up the front of those races, because if motivation is anything to go by then I am up for a big one.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


So I have just completed, arguably, my most successful ever tour. I finished 5th on GC behind some pretty handy bike riders in Gord Fraser, Scott Moninger, Ivan Stevic and Nathan O'Neill. It was for me a coming of age in tour riding, where I was able, for the first time in my career, ride a decent uphill time trial to remain in GC contention. Unfortunately my plan for cracking a top 3 in the GC was foiled when I ran out of room in the sprint of the criterium and was robbed of my chance for a win and ended up in 3rd. the time bonus from 2nd would have been enough for me to make the podium and aside from that I was very confident that I was on my way to the victory......oh well.....it would have ruined Health Net's clean sweep of all 4 stages and I would have hated to get in the way of that.....I like to do everything I can to give Gord and the boys all the confidence they need leading into all the big races coming up in June.

So any way....on the first road stage, as my title suggests, I launched 2 attacks mid way up a 10km climb. Never have I felt comfortable enough to even consider such and idea.....so I'm very happy with where my form is at. Unfortunately a puncture with 20km to go and the subsequent 10km chase, foiled my chances at a high stage finish, however Ted held up the teams end and ran 4th for the day, after a great finish. Day 2 saw me run 3rd in the bunch sprint, after Ted was caught with 4km to go, after 140km off the front of the race in a break......so I felt it only fair that I gave the kick a good go....3rd wasn't bad but I was a little disappointed with how I planned my sprint. The TT was by far the most amazing accomplishment of my weekend.....I used a massive gear and somehow finished only 13 secs shy of Moninger and 6th for the stage....It wasn't pretty but it got the job done, WOW! Then the crit is history, Health Net rode well to control the breaks and I ran with my chances for the uphill sprint, where I was confident that I could take the win and the time bonus....no luck. Still 5th was a big step forward for me. Big shout out to the team, we really started to gel this weekend and iron out some kinks. Eddy in particular was my right hand man, kept me out of trouble all weekend and with some help from the others we laid down some good results....although I you read the cycling news reports, you could be forgiven for thinking we weren't even racing.

Kate is also here now and raced the women's race....She was suffering from some jet lag and winded up in 15th on GC, after top 10's in all the bunch stages. Just wasn't a big fan of the uphill TT. When she arrived....funny story really....I went to the wrong airport to pick her up. It was a bit of a balls up....and to add to the drama there was a massive thunderstorm going on.....finally, 60 mins after her landing I turned up to a slightly disappointed girlfriend sitting in a virtually empty foyer at 12.15am.....not the best start....but I think she has forgiven me now. She is with us for 2.5 weeks and competing in the same races until she heads off to Montreal. It is great to be able to spend time together and still be able to do our jobs.....and after my good form this weekend, my team would be crazy to not try and get her to hang around for the remainder of the season.

So that's about it for me this week....a big shout out to my mother and any other mother who reads this....for a HAPPY MOHTER'S DAY. Love you Mum.

Also just wanted to let my readers know that I got 1 up on Menzie's this week....I beat the time he did on the same course in the uphill TT this weekend....I rode 8.43 for the 4km....Menzie's rode 9.00 last year. In his defense he did score an extra podium over me and was able to finish in 2nd overall...which I couldn't manage. But little victories are all I'm after.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Just finished our 11 hour drive from Alabama to Arkansas following the conclusion of the USA Criterium Series. The series was reasonably successful for me and the team, without being fantastic. I finished in 10th overall and had 4 top 10 results from the 6 races. My finish was impressive at times, but i continually found myself caught out of position coming into the last lap. Each and every race of the 6 race series came down to a bunch kick, with Toyota-United choosing to nulify every break to set it up for their 2 fast men, JJ Haedo and Domingez. It actually became a very boring series with no Health Net to challenge the Toyota. The addition of another strong team really would have helped to make the racing more attacking. I guess its really not Toyota's fault....maybe im more disappointed with the other teams who, with exception to a few occasions, didnt really attempt to take the race to them. The last race in Anniston Alabama i decided that i was just going to attack the whole race. I reckon i spent nearly 80% of the race off the front....most of the time with Trent 'Willo' Wilson. I raced my ass off, but as usual it was all brought back together for a bunch kick, so i was hammered and it was Tommy's turn to shine.

So now thats over....and i am about to get back into a road tour. A 3 day tour that i am really looking forward to. If everyone gets healthy, we have a very good team for the Joe Martin Stage Race. This race, last year, was really our coming of age in the US peleton. We took our first NRC win here last year and Menzies started to scare some people after taking 2nd on GC. I am looking to step it up this year and try for a good GC position and also try and make sure that our guys who can TT will finish well in road stages. We'll see how it pans out.

More exciting than all that......Kate arrives in 11 hours. It is so frekin' exciting to get to see her again and, this time, spend a decent amount of time together. She will be with me and the team for the next 2 weeks and then rejoining us after a brief race in Canada. So over the next few weeks the blog will have an influx of picture involving the 2 of us. If its going to make you feel ill looking at 2 love birds....then maybe steer clear for a few weeks.

In other news.... Robbie King has gone amish....and
Tommy is in love....with the girl seen here with Robbie in Athens
PS. I want to thank everyone for their comments....im not exactly sure of the relevance of a mens health clinic.....but by saying she wanted to bite me, Kate started some weird little game with what the weirdest things people could write.....with exception to kate.....lets keep them constructive. Kate....you can write what you like sweetie.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Finally i have some racing to report on. After nearly 5 weeks of little to do but bash my head against the wall (i.e. train), i have finally been able to strap on the helmet, shave the legs and get pumped up. The question was, would i come out firing or would i suck after such a long break? The answer....

Well i didnt suck, but i also havnt put the races together quite the way i wanted to. So far i have ended Athens twilight in 7th and then Roswell, the following day in 8th. Both days came down to bunch kicks and i scared myself with the amount of speed i had in my legs to finish. Athens i just came into the last corner way to far back, probably in 15th and then overran about 8 guys. At Roswell, i rode a far more aggressive race, spending some time on the front and trying to bridge some gaps only to be pushed to the gutter with 100m to go in the sprint, stopping me from at least a top 5 position. The signs however are very positive and the speed i have found in my legs at the end of both races has been surprising. The 5 guys who are representing the team at these crits have confidence in me and the podiums will definately start to come once we organise our finishes slightly better....time is all we need.....its coming....i promise.

The team has been racing awesome. We split into 2 squads and our boys over in Shenandoah kicked some ass. We had 3 guys who wore the leaders jersey, all 3 of them also won stages and eventually it was Brent who came out on top, winning the tour by nearly 1.30. The victories havnt only been going the way of that squad either. On Friday night, as part of the Athens Twilight festival we had all 3 of our riders in the final of the compu-trainer competition. For those who dont know, a compu-trainer is like an ergo that increases and decreases its resistance over a set course and measures the riders power and other such things. The competition was run over a 6km course for this night and Ted King came out on top, with our other boys Tommy and Robbie coming in 7th and 4th respectively. It was a good night for the team and an excellent warm up for the crit the following evening because it garenteed the team 4 riders on the front row of the grid. After Menzies won the compu-trainer last year, Teddy is hoping that he also earns some attention and maybe a feature section in my blog.....we'll have to see. For any of you who thinks it sounds easy, you need only look at the effort on the face of Robbie King. Tommy could do nothing but laugh....it looks like he's seen a ghost in an extremely hot climate....ive never seen fear like this.

So i did actually shave my legs for the first time in 5 weeks on Friday. Id say this is the longest i will see them for the remainder of my career. My team mates were embarraced to be seen with me on our training rides. You make the call....should i shave my legs even when im not racing? Do cyclists shave because its practical or because they want to look good, even when they are just training? I have to admit it was nasty looking....but i cant be bothered doing it when im not racing....its a psychological thing, once the hair is gone my head knows its time to get in the game.

MENZIE'S WATCH: So its been a while since my last Menzies report, but the boy is in Europe now and ripping it up on the other side of the globe. In his first race he came in 7th....not too shabby in a field filled with Pro Tour riders. This picture of Karl has no significance, except it is one of the only days that i have beaten the beast. I think its one of the only times ive seen him tired.

Later all

PS. Notice i didnt mention kate?? Thats because she left me out of her last entry. But she is racing well and kicking ass in Europe. She will be here in exaclty 1 week. It has been only 2 weeks since i saw her last....its sad how much i have missed her in that time.....and now i loose because i have dedicated 4 lines to her. Im ashamed...but im also in love...so ill get over it....

Thursday, April 27, 2006


We are finally into the last couple of days training before we embark on a hard month of racing. We have had to keep our legs pumping around and heads on straight after nearly an entire month with no racing. There are no garentees as to how Tommy and I will race when we hit the road at the Athens Twilight Criterium this Saturday, but if hunger is any measure then we should be fine.

Since arriving back in the USA, after my brief stint in Europe, we have been well looked after by one of our team mates, Eddy Hilger and his family. He lives atop a range of mountains just on the Georgia and Tennessee. It is a fantastic training venue but we have had to suffer the insult of seeing the Tour of Georgia come nearly straight past our front door. As fun as it was to ride down the street and watch some of the best riders in the world time trial by us, it was equally as hard, feeling that we too should have been part of the race. We have, however, covered plenty of quality km's and had as resanoable preparation for racing as is possible....without actually racing. One of the greatest thing about spending time at Eddy and Carlee's is getting to spend time playing with and looking after their two fantastic kids. Jackson and Kenzie are 2 of the best behaved and coolest kids I've ever come across and it has been so much fun seeing them again, this time 8 months on from when i was last here.

The training here is a nice change to the roads we were battling in Michigan. Don't get me wrong, Michigan has its charm and also its benefits, but the winter has not been kind to poor old Grand Rapids. Tommy and i were forced to point out the holes in the roads on a regular basis, at certain times during a ride, our hands barely touched the bars.....not the way you want to train, not to mention that it doesnt have any climbs over 1km long within 100miles and its not ideal for a big training block.

But now we are in the run to racing. We have done all the hard miles we can handle....we are pumped and ready to show this country and some of its teams what we can put together and how we can get the job done. I am really looking forward to throwing my leg back over the bike in anger and winning some races. In 2 weeks time Kate will also be here to make the season go a little smoother for me. After some great team performances in the races she has done since getting off the track she will be in the USA leading up to the womens Libery Classic in Philly, which coincides with our Philly race....i guess it was meant to be.

Hope everyone is well, where ever you are. Peace out (hahahaha)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Introducing the latest and greatest bike to come from the Ridley factory, the Australian Criterium Championship bike. With all the bells and whistles you would expect from these sweet looking machines.

The complete bike with its custom paint job is sure to turn some heads.

The Priority Health Cycling Team choose to ride full carbon Record from Campag. It is a sweet groupie and the carbon cranks are a great asset to any bike, especially a full carbon ride.

The carbon Easton's are a fantastic peforming wheel, but lets face it, it is more the look that impresses the ladies.

The thing that makes me most happy about the bike is the personal touches that were designed by my manager and Lance "The Ridley Man". The paint job and the little labels that give it a personal touch that i will forever be able to reflect upon.

So the big question is, how does it race? Well that remains to be seen, it wont get its first run until Athens Twilight Criterium this coming Sunday. But if looks are anything to go by, I guess i should win by a clear margin. I took it for its first outing today, i want to pretend its special but up the hills of Georgia it felt just like the regualar team issue. Oh well, crits are a different story. My rating is 5 / 5. A fantastic bike.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


So I have just returned from my whirl wind trip across the world to France where i was able to catch 3 days of the Track World Championships. The primary reason for the trip was to support Kate in her quest for a world title but it was also an opportunity for me to learn a little about a country and continent i know nothing about.

The city for the worlds was Bordeaux. A beautiful town south west of Paris which is based along a river. The city itself is highly famous for its wine and while that is one such pleasure i passed on, i did get to soak up the atmosphere of some of the little villages where the production is at its peak. I flew in on Friday and was able to spend an afternoon with Kate before here points race. She was a bit down after a less than perfect day in the pursuit and i took it upon myself to try and repair some of the damage. Though she is not one to make excuses, she was suffering from a pretty nasty case of the flu. Despite this her performance in the points was one she should have been happy with. Despite missing a medal she put in a solid ride to finish in 5th. The scratch was equally as frustrating for her as the pursuit and also frustrating to watch as a spectator. Eventually it was just agreed that it would be put down as a bad week and something to improve on for next year. The remainder of the Australian team also struggled to back up from their efforts at the Comm Games, with exception to the teams pursuit who put in, what i considered to be, the best race of the meet to win the world title. Awesome effort boys.

Monday was a day i got to spend looking around town with my girl. We had a great day, despite the fact that the town was lacking its usual atmosphere due to the public holiday. It was however a fantastic day of sight seeing and just general wandering. It was a great finish to a short trip which also included a nice river side dinner with Kate and her parents following the racing on the Sunday night. The following morning we had to tear ourselves away from one yet again and go our seperate ways. It is only 3 weeks, however, until we are reunited when Kate flys into the US to spend some time with me and the team. It is a trip that i am looking forward to with great anticipation because it should serve as a good filling to the middle of both of our seasons.

So now i have returned to Georgia to continue my preparations for the upcoming criterium series. Its still 10 days away, however and the team is suffering from a severe lack of racing. We are considering a 6hr drive this weekend just to get in a race before we start in Athens Twilight next weekend. The tour of Georgia TT comes within 1km of where we are staying here tomorrow, so i have scheduled in some time to cheer on Menzies as he passes by. Looking forward to getting back into my stride and hitting the racing scene again.

I hope everyone is well at home and all around places that i have been. Keep in touch and hopefully keep an eye out for some good results in the coming weeks.


Saturday, April 08, 2006


It is no secret to most of those close to me that i have been depressed since i have been here in the US this year. After a rushed departure from home, I feel like i missed out on some of the time i needed to recover from the intensity of my summer. Without getting time to come down from the disapointment of missing out on worlds selection, i was whipped off to the USA, where i have had to try and survive on my own. It is something that, until Monday, i was struggling with.....It was something as simple as a picture that has turned my season around. Its amazing how simple the things are that can change a persons attitude and motivation. While i dont feel like my depression was affecting the way i was racing....as far as i am concerned, when i pin on those numbers then my game face is on, regardless of what is happening to me off the bike....I can't help but believe that when i am happy, as i am now, that all the other facets that go into making me a good bike rider improve and will show their signs when important parts of the season come around. The pictures that i speak of are some of those that show kate enjoying herself at the Comm Games. They are simple...nothing special....but somehow, they make me feel part of something that i wasnt able to share (sorry about showing them Kate, but....the post wouldnt be the same if i didnt). So for all of those who have experienced the Richard England, who over the past few weeks has been getting out of bed from the wrong side and been wearing...as Kate would say....his grumpy pants, i appologise and look forward to re-establishing the Richard that people used to know.

Now...on a different note....the cat is out of the bag. In one week i am jetting off to Bordeaux, France to watch Kate in the World Track Championships. I was trying to keep it a secret from her and just show up....making it one of the best all time secrets and surprises i would have pulled off....but circumstances arose and telling her was the only option. Fortunately for me, the excitment and surprise wasnt lost on her and it has created an positive environment for the two of us....who knows, when she wins, hopefully i can rate a mention in the victory speech. For me it will be the first time i have travelled to mainland of Europe and its something that, although its only brief, i am thoroughly looking forward to.

So just a short one today....next week i should have some fantastic updates for you. Ill get my camera back once im in France and we also have our team presentation to look forward to next Thursday. From what i hear it is going to be a massive event, coverage from numerous TV stations and Cyclingnews reporters will also be there. Its going to be an interesteing experience in comparison to last year....

Ill see you all later....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Today it snowed. That's right....snowed.....how am i supposed to deal with that. Tommy and I didn't spend any longer than 30 seconds outside all day. That 30 seconds was spent getting to and from the car in the car park of the local mall (normally i wouldn't call it a mall, but that is what they say here so im trying to embrace the culture). Today we went on our first shopping trip of the season, I introduced Tommy to the joy that is cheap American prices. I limited myself to a new beenie and a head set for my computer so I can get a handle on this skype program i just downloaded. Its amazing......i called Kate for over an hour and it cost about AU$1.....and once she has a head set we can talk for free....it doesnt get much better than that.

We had a good weekends training with all the local boys from the club team. Cold weather but once i was warmed up it went along ok. It was great to see some familiar faces from last year and begin to catch up on all the stories i had missed since i last left.

The one great thing about staying at Bob's is even when you wake up to rain and snow in the morning it isnt such a bad place to be stuck, especially when you have company. With entertainment areas like some of the photo's you can see, it is easy to pass the time. The tabble tennis table, pool table and the basketball game mean that there is never a dull moment......and if for some reason you hit one.....why not just sit down and watch cable TV on the massive 61 inches of screen. You certainly wont find me complaining.....

So now an opportunity for me to show off the new kit. This is a picture of both my national and the regular team clothes. They are pretty kick ass compared to what we were cruising around in last year....both the quality and the look of the gear. (Sorry about my feet....not sure how they snuck in there). One of the coolest things about my national kit....my name and the year is printed on the inside collar....very nice.

So now Tommy and i have to work on our Crit form. We have a small break from the big races but we have to be ready to hit the ground running after Georgia finishes with the crit series that starts as part of the National Racing Calendar (NRC). After our team presentation on the 13th of April, which will also coincide with the launching of our teams website we head off to Eddy's house at Lookout Mtn, Georgia for a training camp. So these are some of the things that we are looking forward to in this quiet period.

Kate is about to fly into Bordeaux to begin her worlds campaign. It is a nervous and tense time despite the fact that she would have to be confident with her form coming off the Comm Games. I have been updated daily on her training and preparations....without which i would be lost....something about hearing from her in Germany makes the distance from home seem smaller......and i have to say to those people who will be competing against her....watch out.....this girls going all the way this year. WORLD CHAMP!!!! So have a look at this face....beacause in 2 weeks time it will be the face of a world champ.

Thanks to all of you who have told me about reading my blog....including my Mum....that is a massive effort for someone i know is technically challenged. Keep the comments and feedback coming. I want questions to answer and ideas about what people want to see included.

As i promised a couple of weeks ago i will start my log of Ted King's choppers. This week's log comes from 2 weeks ago in California. While he is obviously having a little trouble filling them in....you have to give him the benefit of the doubt for trying....he has done much better than i could ever dream.

So thats it for me at the moment. Hope everyone is well. Ill get another post in this week.....because honestly.....i have very little to do, maybe something exciting will happen.....jeez i hope so.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Finding My Legs

The team got hooked up with our new kits on Thursday before Redlands....and like Brent says....we look good. We now look like a real pro team and can now be confident in how we look when we hit the road. Sad thing...i cant find a picture of them, that will have to wait till next time.

So although i havnt felt bad the past few weeks on the bike, i have really had no results to hang my hat on and to prove to some of the new guys on the team that i am worth working for....well that finially changes this weekend in Redlands. Although i didnt win anything or even make to podium, i did crack the top 10 for both the criterium and the circuit race.

FRI: As i mentioned in my last post....i suck at uphill time trials....i lost 1.27 to Nathan O'neill. Now sure the guys is in good form but it was only 5km. Why are there hardly any flat time trials in this country?????Booky rode a solid time and finished in 15th for the stage, giving him the team leadership.
SAT: The crit was a 90mins slog. I got a call up and for the first time got to crack out the new national kit that my team had organised for me.....it looks pretty sweet. I rode out the majority of the race mid field and then moved into the front for the last 10 laps. The wrestle for position was tough and i was continually shoved back by teams with groups of 3 or 4. Being alone this made the last 10 laps a war, where i survived, but didn't come out on top. I finished in 8th....not bad but still not quite where i should have been.

SUN: The circuit race was a much tougher affair than last years race. 12 laps of a 10km circuit with tight corners and 4km of climbing per lap. With Helath Net going into the final stage with a slim lead it was bound to be an aggressive race. Health Net controlled the breaks and rode themselves into the ground and eventually the pack was wittled down to 30 survivors on the last lap. The field then decends down and finshes on the crit circuit from the previous day. I was less aggressive than i should have been and have regretted it ever since. I came in 6th, 2 places further back than the same race last year.....but i have to say that this was a far more select field.

So after the red eye flight back from California, Im now back in freezing Michigan, living with Bob Hughes, one of the teams sponsors. It has been great to catch up with Bob and Heather again and climb back into the most comfortable bed i have ever known.

Kate has left for Germany now and over the next few days will begin her preparation for the World Track Championships. Although her arrival date is continually getting closer, the constant travel and flying are making us feel further apart. We have spoken nearly every day thanks to some sweet phone card she was able to land. Im not sure if talking everyday is a good thing or not.....it makes you so dependant on the contact....and now she is flying and we cant talk i dont know what to do with myself. Im really looking forward to her worlds campaign though, it will be fun to be part of someones success even if i cant be a competitor myself. It is also Nat Bates' birthdat today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Commonwealth Games Road Racing Champion, it was so good to see her and Kate racing together.....and boy would Judy and Rob be the proudest parents in the world. 2 girls, each with a Comm Games gold medal....what a gene pool.
So for me for the moment i will have to work off their success to get me through the home sick and empty part of our season.

This weeks MENZIES WATCH.....i can only say nice things because Menzies road like a beast on the weekend. He finished 14th in the TT, won the crit and then road the 3 laps of the circuit race on the front, in my opinion he saved them the race. Im not sure that without him O'Neill would have been able to withstand the constant attacks that Toyota-United would have unleashed. He then......riden into the ground, helped me in the final crit circuits to finish high up on the stage........Thats why he is someone i admire so much (Im not gay i promise, he's just a good guy). So for this week i dont have anything bad to say.....but i will drag out a picture from the past.....back before Menzies was the superman he is today......he used to drink....a lot.... and even then he didnt know how to talk to women.....but i wish him luck with Jamie this week....his flame from the US 2004. She is way to good for him....but if she doesnt realise it, then i wish them luck.

Later all

PS. Menzies didnt drink all that beer, i think he bought it to try and make friends....it worked....look how popular he is. Jamie wasnt far away.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Redlands (CA), what a view....

As promised, i have some of the photos of the amazing place that we are staying in Redlands, California. It is an awesome house, with some great hosts. You got to check out the views from the front and back decking area.....

This is a picture of the mountain range we look at from the front porch. Its snow covered at the moment.....Hotham would be happy with the levels of snow.

The awesome entertainment area and pool at our host house.

This is the view from the decking and pool area. Doesn't much better thatn this, especially on a warm day.....which we havn't had a lot of.

This is a picture of my machine. It is a sweet ride. Custom team paint job which adds a bit.

So that's it for the moment. We started tour of Redlands today and it is official.....I SUCK at uphill Time trials. Im not sure if i should even bother anymore. In fairness our team is at a slight disadvantage because we don't have our TT rigs yet and i had a last minute bike change drama which wasnt ideal. But i really suck TTing up hill. Ill go into more detail after the weekend when i do a race report. We did get our new kits yeasterday which was an exciting time for everyone, so even though i didnt go up the hill particularly quick....boy did i look good.