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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tour of NZ

About 2 weeks before Tour of New Zealand i got a call asking to join the National NZ team to replace Alison Shanks. I was given the chance to join the team for experience and to learn as much as i could. This was by far the biggest race i had ever attended and said yes without question. So a day after Bev May tour i was on the plane on the way to Wellington. The team consisted of; Jo Kiesanowski, Rushlee Buchanan, Linda Villumson, Cath Cheatley, Kaytee Boyd and myself.

There were about 100 other riders from all over the world competing. The first 10km i was scared as hell, i wasn't used to people riding so close nor the amount of surging in the bunch. Then after about 10km i felt relaxed and alot more confident. About 3 quarters through the race we hit a 2km VERY steep hill, the Americans went from the start and the whole field completely broke up, into almost single file. Over the top i got into a bunch of about 10 and we caught the leading bunch of about 14. Our bunch of 24 stayed away for the rest of the race, containing all 6 of the NZ team. However USA and the Ausies were too strong at the finish, but Jo finishing 4th.

The next 3 races consisted of 2 road races and a short time trial. The team went well for all of these with Linda Villumson and Rushlee Buchanan in the top 10 and everyone else in the top 21. Also Cath pulled out after the first stage due to major knee issues.

The fifth stage was by far the most exciting. The peleton shrunk to about 40 after the hills and various attacks on the flat. With about 20km to go Jo and Rushlee got in a break away of about 5, But unfortunately got caught in the last 500m, having no legs left they both finished in the bunch with Kaytee finishing 4th.

Coming into the last stage, the criterium, all the NZ team were in the top 21. With Linda 6th and Rushlee 10th. This was the hardest race i have ever been in. From the start the pressure was on, with the Americans driving the pace. I learnt that in a criterium like that it is very important to be at the front, where i was not. Over 3 quarters of the bunch got pulled out of the race, including myself. Therefore being a race between 20, including Jo and Linda. With Jo achieving 3rd place at the end.

Overall I learnt so much from these races and enjoyed every moment of it. The team was so inviting and taught me heaps!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm back!

Woah, so been a bit slack on the blog updates, slash i completely forgot.
Have had a busy first half of the year, the plan was to transition to open women and get used to riding in the higher grade, however plans have moved forward about a year. For the better though, heres whats been happening lately;


Bev May Women's Tour - On the 20th and 21st of February i competed in the Bev May cycling tour. This is one of my favourite tours that is put on to honour Bev May, an amazing lady who is hugely significant in womens cycling. Bev was my first proper coach who has given me knowledge that will last a lifetime, she has gotten me to where i am today and i will never be able to repay her for all she has done. This year was the 21st tour and unfortunately was only a couple of days before the tour of NZ, which impacted on the entrys substantially, however not affecting the enjoyment of the tour at all.

The tour comprised of a 21km rolling time trial, a 75km flat road race, a 80km hilly road race and finishing with a 30 min + 3 lap criterium. (Over 2 days).

The Timetrial was extremely hard, went as hard as i could and was completely stuffed by the end..as it should be! I finished 3rd to Sonia Wadell and Ashleigh Neave, who both had awesome times given the conditions.

Next up was the 75km road race, this was a rather negative race with only a small amount of the bunch doing any work. There were quit a few attacks but nothing managed to stay away. Sonia and I duelled it out for Queen of the mountain with Sonia getting me each time. I finished 3rd in the sprint finish, again to Sonia who was just too fast at the end for anyone.

Day two started off with the 80km rr, after numorous attacks a small bunch of us got away, I took out all of the QOM's and a couple of sprints throughout the race, then at the end did one better and got 2nd, once again Sonia having that strong kick at the end to win.

Finally was the Criterium, I felt really good from go and won all the sprints throughout the race. Then 2nd again at the end, to Sonia.

Overall finishing 3rd in A grade and 1st in Sprint Ace and Queen of the Mountains. With Sonia Wadell clearly too strong as she won every stage.