Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Legs are Screaming

Well, its obviously a pretty sad week when the most exciting thing that happened was the fact my sister gave me a hair cut....but in my world its the little things that count and i have to say, for someone with no training she has done a damn fine job.

It has been an interesting week to say the least. My first week without Amy for a long time and im not scared to say i was a bit lonely. Its hard to adjust. One thing that it has been good for was my training. I stepped up this week. I have absolutely flogged myself on the road and the track with the out look of having 2 very hard weeks followed by an easy week leading into nationals. I spent a lot of time out on the road by myself, with my thoughts and ended up with 2 days over 150km and one where i topped 200km in a 7 hour solo ride.....i think that nearly too much time to think about things.....but the pipes in my legs are starting to return and i am very confident about how my form will be in exactly 2 weeks when i take to the track for an all or nothing 4km pursuit.

It seems like time is flying by quickly for me at the moment and the training has helped me to clear my head and look forward to what the future is presenting for me. Late this week i have made lots of attepmts to catch up with old school friends that i havnt seen in years and tried to make sure i keeping up relations with all those close to me. Usually i would just send the occasional text message but the events of the last couple of weeks have woken me up to a lot of things that i was over looking. Variety is the spice of life....i heard someone say that once....im not sure if it has any relevance to me, considering all i seem to do is ride but ill give it a try.

Kindly, i have been invited up to sydney for the weekend to spend some time training with a good friend of mine in an attempted change of environment and maybe a race or two just to bring up the form and like i said before add some variety. By going to sydney on thurday i have engineered it so i have 2 easy days to actually look arond the city, it is a place i have only been to race and never got to actually look around....im looking forward to that.

Later everyone
Oh, Thanks to everyone who has sent me supportive messages this week....i appreciate them.

See ya

Monday, January 16, 2006

Road Title a Fizzer

So i went over to Adelaide with very little expectations for the National Road Race Championship......and it was just as well, otherwise I would be devastated as to how it panned out.

The day before our race began, I was happy to watch my good friend Kate (Katherine) Bates take out the women's race. I was wrapped for her and she was stoked to be able to take the jersey and wear it year round for her new German professional team. It was an awesome ride and an effort, not unlike Alexis Rhodes ride in the National Crit title, that inspired me for my coming race.

Still feeling some of the aches and pains from my crash 1 week earlier I was determined to give Will Walker my best effort to make sure that he finished well and hopefully took out the U23 division. The race was mared by a massive crash 5km in. The crash took out some of the big contenders for the crown and, as such, completely reconfigured the field and the development of the race. Although i was fortunate enough to miss the crash my race was soon in taters when we swang the hard right for the first hill and 3 pedal strokes in my chain broke. I got a spare bike from the neutral spare vehicle and quickly got about chasing. I bridged back to the main bunch some 8km later and then set about getting the saddle height on the bike right. Once i was comfortably back in the bunch and the saddle was adjusted a rider in front of me had a slip in his gears and i rode straight into the back of him. Somehow the saddle on the spare bike broke and after chasing again (this time out of the saddle) i had no luck in fixing it and my race came to an abrupt end, some 35km into the 175km race.

Fortunately for me, i am a track rider and my "real" national titles are still 3 weeks away, time enough to recover from the disappointment and have my body in tip top condition. As it turns out Will Walker didnt need any of my efforts to take the U23 jersey as he rode solo into the finish to take the win for the day, claiming both the senior and U23 gold medals......a fantastic effort from an extremely talented kid.

The weekend finished on even more of a low for me, with Amy and myself parting company. After nearly 3 years it was a very sad day, one where i finished out the day being consoled by my closest friends. I hope that as time passes the wounds will heal and the hurt will fade and we could possibly develop a close friendship....

So on that sad note concludes my weekly update.....hopefully my spirits will be slightly recovered over the coming week and will have something significant and exciting to talk about over the coming days.

Peace out....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ill Take That

So, going into this years Jayco Bay Crtierium Series i had little expectation and little pressure coming from the coaches to perform. It was intended as 5 days where i could ride myself back into form and bring my km's up leading into my training period for the National Track Titles in Feb. Little did I know that i would walk away with the biggest win of my career.

On Friday, I rolled out of the hotel at 9am with a big bunch. We covered 80km with a coffee stop in the middle in the beach side town of Torque. I spent 20km of this ride having a chat with Robbie McEwen, had to introduce myself and give him a scence of who i was and what i was about.

Some 6hrs later i rode a perfectly constructed race and found myself in the race winning break with Bayden Cooke and Greg Henderson. So far the race had gone to plan, but i never really wanted to get away with 2 of the fastest men in the world of cycling. So.....what to do.....how can i beat these guys? Thats it.....i got it......the tyres.....that why im using these crummy high pressure wheels......the best crit tyres Ive ever known. I noticed during the course of this break away that i was putting a good 2 meters into each of my companions out of each corner, thanks to the extra grip. So the plan became to get to the last corner with a small advantage and leave it with 5 or so meters and see if they could mow me down......well......i did and they couldnt. I could not believe it, but i had just won my first National Road Title, not only that, i had out smarted and out sprinted one of the quickest men in the world.

The moment i realised i had it!!!!!

Up above you can see me being presented in the national championship jersey, which i will be able to wear for the next 12 months in every criterium i do. Not a bad one to win for a guy who rides probably more crits than most if not all Australians. Its going to be a fun year.

I got taken down a notch or two, when i was bought down in a crash in Sunday's final crit. I recovered to finish in 4th behind Mark Renshaw.

So after entering with small expectations, i have earnt the right to call myself a National Criterium Champion for the 2006 season and i ended up finishing my 2nd Bay Criterium series in 5th place behind some pretty big names.
1. Hilton Clarke Jnr.
2. Greg Henderson
3. Mark Renshaw
4. Robbie McEwen
5. Richard England

Not bad. Leaving for Adelaide on Thursday this week to compete in the National Road Title. Again im entering with little expectation, more there as a helper, but who knows at the moment, id prefer to save my next victory for the National Track Races, dont want to burn all the good luck and form.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Rested and Ready

So Ive had an awesome little Christmas break. Got to spend some quality time with the family and also with Amy. I had a total of 9 days off the bike all together and although i have started training/racing again i am still taking it easy just for the first week, so I feel refreshed and ready to go for the busy month i have coming up, leading into the Nationals.

I spent most of my week off at the shops, starting and then finishing my Christmas shopping so that all my closest friends and family would feel well loved and i think that i did my job reasonably well. I got some cool gifts for Amy and my parents and I also received some really cool stuff. I will be reading well into the new year and also smelling great with the number of books and smelly stuff i got.

New years was last night, I had a simple meal down by the beach with Amy, Melinda and Brent. Mel and Brent have become our standard double date couple, we always have a good time together and have interesting conversations. We have a lot in common with them and I enjoy their company. I then drove us into Melbourne and we had desert and sat down at Southbank, by the Yarra, to enjoy the fireworks put on by the city. We werent 100% sure about what would happen because of the total fire ban that was enforced throughout the state for the day, but they went ahead as planned on the stroke of midnight. For those of you overseas, the temperature in Melbourne on new years eve hit 42 (thats 108 degrees in the USA). At one point during the day i put our thermometer in the sun and it got up to 49......man im glad we have a pool.

So now im on the road back to peak fitness, hopefully achieving that in the first week of Feb. Still weighing up my options for Comm Games, working out if it is worth having a crack at the qualifying time before Feb....possibly mucking with my preperations for Nationals.....but ill talk with my coaches over the next week and see what they think.

Big news on my pro team, we signed a new title sponsor for the next 3 years....Priority Health....this is great because it gives the team stabilty to build on for the future and of course more money. Excellent news for all the riders and management and is thanks to the hard work from the management and also the current sponsors, who have stepped aside as title sponsors and given the reigns over to a company that will work really hard with us to make the team all that it can be. Its awesome.

Oh well