Thursday, April 27, 2006
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
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
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
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
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.