Tuesday, March 13, 2007


So after the 3 solid weeks that i have behind me on the road, it was again time to jump on the track bike and get around fast in the Bendigo Madison. Always one of the great carnivals for the year, Bendigo didnt disappoint, with a stella crowd packing into the stadium on the Sunday night to celebrate all that is good about Australian endurance racing.....one hard arse madison.

80km in all and this year i was partnered with arguably Australia's best junior track cyclist Leigh Howard. He is 17 years old and out rides most if not all in Australia at nearly any event he choses. We had high expectations leading into the race only to have my front wheel taken out about 15 laps into the 200 lap race....because im as tough as they come....or maybe because i knew Leigh would have probably tried to ride the whole thing solo, i got back up and in the race with less skin and nerve than i had begun with. Despite being the older and more experienced of the team Leigh got into me and motivated me to get back in the race and stop riding like a lady (sorry to all those hard ladies out there). A 30 lap solo attack by the pair of us, saw us within 80m of taking a lap and possibly winning the race, but with the strong wind down one straight and a heated battle for points in the main field we were reeled back in with 65 laps remaining. It was our chance gone begging as the remaining 60 laps of sprints saw us begin to tire and not finish as strongly as we would have liked.....4th or 5th we finished....no one can actually tell me which.

Leigh rode a great race and showed maturity beyond his years and i look forward to sitting back and watching him clean sweep the junior worlds in Mexico this year....much in the same vein as Cameron Mayer did last year. The winners, Miles Olman and Nic Sanderson, rode an unbelieveable race...they would have cleaned up nearly any competition world wide and were very deserved winners.

just to prove that its not all glitz and glamour....i have to re-dress this bad boy daily and i can tell you the first couple of showers were not pretty.

Now im back home, feeling like i have been hit by a bus and struggling to dress myself after the crash....but still looking forward to leaving next Wednesday, first to the World Track titles to watch Kate tear some legs off..... then on to the US, where my team has just won a 3 day stage race in Cali.....adding weight to an already impressive start. I will need to be flying when i arrive or i will struggle to get a spot.....even for local stuff.

I would like to finish on a sad note...which has happened far to often this year already....Last Thursday i attended the funeral of an old teacher of mine, who passed away after a nasty bike accident. Rob Graham was a terrific teacher, cyclist and personality who always supported me and my cycling be it mentioning he saw my name in the paper or coming out with his wife Julie and watching me race in the bay crits and Sun tour. Right until his last stand he was a generous man, donating all of his vital organs and being the first patient world wide, without brain damage, to do so. One thing i know is that who ever becomes the recipient of any of these organs will be greatful for the fact that this man, while small in stature, had a big heart.
RIP Rob.....you will be sorely missed

1 comment:

Monster said...

Hey Rich, good to catch up yesterday at Glenvale etc. You rode well, especially considering your crash last week. Have fun in Spain and get some great results in the U.S. All the best mate. S.