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 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 jelous.....

mmm, hows the serenity????

Working the 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 and white.....ive captured a moment here.....just enjoy it.

Friday, May 26, 2006


So after my first successful tour result, 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 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 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, 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 .... 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 ill get over it....