Going Back in Time

Traveling back in Time…

So I haven’t up dated my blog for some time now so I better recap on the last month or two that has seemed to fly by.

 

I will start with the Tour of Perth. This was the opening stage of the NRS (National Racing Series in Australia). We got to Perth a few days before the tour started which consisted of easy rides and chilling at cafes drinking endless amounts of coffee.

 

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Tour of Perth was an awesome tour for Charter Mason as we came away with a 2nd place in the opening stage of the tour and winning the final stage with Shannon Johnson. My tour didn’t go the best getting a big wakeup call with the step up in pace and the physical nature of racing in the elite level coming from juniors last year.  I learnt a lot of valuable lessons from the team and myself and was then looking forward to Adelaide tour the week after to prove myself.

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Adelaide tour was 4 days long. Stage 1 was an 85km stage which was mostly downhill then an accent of the infamous corkscrew climb which is used in the tour down under. The stage was super quick hitting speeds of 100km/h leading into the climb. I managed to limit my losses on the climb coming in not to far off the winner who stayed away from the breakaway. Stage 2 was a 150km stage which had dirt sections near the end with a few sharp climbs. I was feeling super good here and managed to make all the splits throughout the race until the last lap where I missed the winning move. I was disappointed but knew the legs were feeling good so can’t complain too much as we had our team leader Sam up the road in that move.

 

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The next two stages were tight Circuit races. The first was around Adelaide city where I finished mid bunch in the bunch sprint. The next day was a super tough day doing a 4km loop around 20 times with a climb each lap and having to dodge pot holes, roundabouts and traffic islands. I managed to stay in the leading bunch just behind the winning breakaway with an average speed of the race close to 47km/h. Was Super quick!

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All in all I was happy to get my first 2 NRS Tours under the belt. I learnt a lot about racing at the elite level and gained confidence racing in the bunch and at the high speeds. I definitely came out of the tours a better rider. Thanks to Charter Mason Giant Racing for an amazing 2 weeks away.

After flying out from Adelaide back to Auckland I had just 2 days at home to relax, pack and recover before I was jetting off to Atlanta, America. I am going to be racing in America for a while riding with Team Novo Nordisk Development where I will be based in Atlanta.

After flying Auckland to Sydney, Sydney to LA, LA to Atlanta I was defiantly looking for a bed so I could re charge the batteries. Luckily I managed to get a semi decent sleep as the next day we were driving to North Carolina for some Criterium racing. We managed to get a light ride on the Friday night before racing commenced Saturday. I was racing the Saturday morning as I had just flew in and was not entered in the Pro NCC (National Criterium Series). It was a one hour race with the top 20 qualifying to an invitational race that night. I managed to get in a breakaway of seven or so guys early on which ended up staying away. I went solo from the breakaway and ended up lapping the field in the process to knock up my first Win in America. This led to another race at night where I managed to get caught up in a crash and that was my night over.

The next day was another Criterium where this time I was entered in the Pro NCC race. The course was super tough with a hard climb over the start finish and some technical corners. I managed to come in around 25th place out of the 40ish guys that finished from a field of 100+. I was happy with the result coming of a long haul flight 2 days earlier and being on a brand new bike and equipment.

After a week of easy rides adapting to American time zones and drinking there average coffee’s we had another race near Tennessee.  It was 115km long where I got in the early break with 2 of my team mates and we ended up staying away. After endless attacks from all of us it ended up in a sprint where I rolled in for 2nd behind a national Columbian track rider.

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Then after barely any time at home we were off to Arkansas a 13 hour drive to Joe Martin Stage race which is a part of the national racing series of America. I was coming into it not knowing what to expect. The tour started with a 4km Time Trail straight up a mountain. I managed to come away with the U23 White leader’s jersey which was super unexpected. The next day I was trying to defend and keep this jersey. It was a 180km stage with lots of hills including a long 20minute hill. I managed to stay with the leading riders and retain the leader’s jersey for the next day.

This is where it all went wrong. I was feeling super good for the next stage a 170km road race with the legs firing and ready for a good day. 1 hour into the stage with the bunch single file in the cross wind I somehow ended up going over someone who crashed up ahead going into the ditch at about 50km/h. I got up as fast as I could but with deep cuts all over my side and not being able to lift my arm as my shoulder was in some serious pain I tried to get back onto the peloton. This is where my day ended and the hopes of keeping the white jersey and the pain was too much to keep riding and loosing contact with the race. It was a super disappointing way to let the Jersey go but racing comes with good and bad luck and today I had a lot of bad luck.

After a few days of healing and a long 13 hour drive home Sunday night, I flew to Moscow, Russia to race the 5 rings of Moscow race.

This is where I am writing this post now, sick trying to get healthy to knock up a good result in the tour.

I will try to keep y blog updated more often now I have this novel out of the way so keep an eye out.

Until then o better relax before the tour starts soon

 

Cheers,

Scott

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End of Month Update

Since my last post my life has been very busy with a lot of driving around the North Island for some more bike racing.

On the 24th of January my Dad and I drove down to Taranaki for the Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge. Driving down on Friday night along the coast was awesome seeing the sunset over the West Coast. It is always one of my favorite road trips but this is the first time I have seen it like that! We decided to wing it this weekend and didn’t book accommodation or anything but ended up in a super nice motel just 100m from the start line of the race, CHOICE!

The race was 150km of rolling terrain with strong winds. I made the early break of 4 where we stayed away until I was dropped 100km into the race where my legs had had enough into a brutal head wind. I was caught by the chasing group and was able to get up and sprint for 3rd place. It was an awesome ride by Hamish and Ryan who rode away from the break and went 1st and 2nd. Thank you to the Taranaki community who put on an extremely well run event and I will certainly be back next time!

Taranaki Cycle Challenge

Taranaki Cycle Challenge

It was a long drive home that day to prepare to head down to Palmerston North on Monday for the New Zealand Cycle Challenge a UCI 2.2 Tour. During the few days before the tour I received an email from a Professional Diabetic rider for Novo Nordisk with an article on how to manage my condition better through races. I read this over and over and realized what I was doing wrong before and instantly knew I needed to change the way I use my insulin to improve my performance.  In simple terms I needed to inject more insulin for breakfast than I did before to keep my levels in range so that my body can receive the nutrients it needs to perform. Before I read this article I was having no insulin which pushed my levels high. When the blood sugar levels are high all the food and electrolyte I drunk during my rides would not absorb into my body. This can lead to dehydration and poor performance.

After the 6.5 hour drive down to the Manawatu it was time to start the tour with a 6km Time Trial on Wednesday night. For this tour I was guest riding from my current team Charter Mason Giant for the team of Armstrong Prestige along with Ryan Wills, Tim Rush and Paul Odlin. My Time Trail didn’t go the best but was still positive and excited for the road race stages of the tour. The first Three Road stages all finished the same way with bunch Sprints after the race was controlled by the leaders team of Budget Forklifts who were super strong all tour. The final stage was a 167km Road Race with some big Climbs and a Hill Top finish up to the wind farms. I felt as though my form was building well all tour and being only 35 or so seconds of first place I was looking forward to seeing how I would compete up the climb. Unfortunately I got caught up in a crash only 30km into the stage and hit the deck hard damaging my left hand side with a nasty gash on my back. After checking over my bike and body I got back up and chased back on with my team mate Ryan who also went down. After a long hard chase and a strong pull by the boss Reon Nolan we got back on 25km or so later.  By this time my body was in deep pain. I managed to make all the spits and get to the bottom of the final climb with the leaders. I ended up cruising up the climb at my own pace and my hip didn’t like putting down for than 300watts of power.  Was a shit way to end the final stage but that’s bike racing and I was pretty stoked to be able to finish the stage!

Stage 1 NZCC

Stage 1 NZCC

Stage 3 NZCC

Stage 3 NZCC

All though my final result was not what I was after I can take nothing but positives out of the week! Here is a few…

–          Managed my diabetes each day and had no issues. I am now confident it will not stop me from competing at the top and I can only learn to manage it better and improve my performance.

–          Finished my first UCI Tour and felt competitive.

–          Made some new friends and had a lot of laughs.

–          Thanks to Ryan I know to go to the race doctor when you’re in Pain after a crash. I would have kept riding without any pain killers if he didn’t say anything to me!

NZCC Stage 4

NZCC Stage 4

Next up for myself is a training camp in Bright with my Charter Mason Giant Racing team. I will be getting off to Melbourne on the 18th of February.

I have also added a contact tab on my website, so if you have any questions or want to get in contact with me this is a good way of doing it, don’t be shy!

Thanks for reading,

Scotty

Getting the Ball Rolling

So I have been Very slack in updating this blog since I returned from France so I thought I better give an update on what has been going on.

Once I returned home from France I was planning on doing Tour of Southland with a couple of races in Australia to build up to it. That was the plan and what happened next was far from it!

After battling it out training in the final few weeks of New Zealand winter trying to find form that just wasn’t coming I was supposed to fly out to Australia until I got very sick a few days before hand. I had really bad tonsillitis and the flu so decided to pull the pin and take a month off the bike as I thought it was just my body deciding it needed some rest after my first season in Europe.

During that month I lived the normal teenage life hanging out with friends and enjoying the odd beer or two a little too much. After the month was over I was super motivated again and ready to get into the 2014 season and start my build up to Elite Nations in January. After a month or two of training I started to feel worse than I did when I first started riding after the break and could barely ride 20km without cracking. This was really annoying especially when I couldn’t ride 20km without needing to stop to go toilet. I even did a club race and had to pull over and take a toilet stop only 30 km into it!! These were super hard times as I was training as hard as I could but seemed to get worse and worse. During these times it was very depressing, I was thinking about hanging the bike up for good at one point as I was just so frustrated and upset that no matter how hard I would ride I was just getting worse. After this I deciding to go to the doctors as I was 7kgs under my usual race weight and see what was up and get a few blood tests done. After the Pee test I found out I was peeing sugar which is not a good sign so was rushed to Hospital that day and admitted that night as my blood Sugar levels were 46 when they’re supposed to be 5-8.  That night I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which was a HUGE shock to me and the family.  After 5 days in Hospital and a lot of depressed times thinking why me I was super motivated to get back on the bike and not let this stop me. The day I got home I was back on the bike, all be it 30km max.

Christmas Day With the Family

Christmas Day With the Family

After a few hard weeks of learning how to manage how to ride with keeping my levels and being confident in riding knowing I wasn’t going to go all funny, I was back into riding and training.

For the 2014 I was fortunate enough to sign with Charter Mason Giant Racing Team. This is an awesome team which provides great development for me and with a good pathway for the future. This is a very professionally run team running the best equipment provided by the best possible sponsors. After training for a month or two starting from scratch after no riding for a good few months it was time for the first race of the year which was Hub Tour.

This is an awesome Tour based in Napier and Hastings where I deciding the get the season started as I didn’t have enough time to prepare for Elite Nationals. I came away with 4th over all after a very tough tour with many ups and downs. I came into the tour with no racing in the legs so was expecting to be a little flat. I managed to come away with 2nd in the first stage Time Trail which was an awesome start. First road stage started off well being aggressive and getting in the early move, the race ended in a big bunch sprint. I unfortunately crashed with 200m to go into the grass without any serious injury which was lucky considering we were hitting speeds up to 60km/h. luckily my Lazer Helmet which took all the impact from my head, did and good job keeping all my brains intact and working. That Afternoon we had a Criterium (Lap Race) which was going good making a very promising move holding a good gap on the bunch until an unfortunate incident occurred and the race had to be called off. Last day was a road race with a hill top finish, long story short early break stayed away with a solo winner with myself coming across the line in the following group of 5 behind.  All in all it was an awesome weekend with some bad luck thrown in, but loved the racing and being back riding hard again. Was a very well run tour as always and awesome sunny weather!

1st Stage Time Trial

1st Stage Time Trial

2nd Stage Road Race

2nd Stage Road Race

Final Stage Hill Top Finish

Final Stage Hill Top Finish

After a good week of training it was time for Tour De Ranges which is my local race around a loop I often ride. The ride is a challenging course of 110km of rolling hills and usually quite a bit of wind.  With early hills in the race a group of three slipped away and built an impressive gap. Rolling in the bunch until we hit the coast with 50km remaining the race started to light up averaging about 50km/h along the coast with the bunch breaking and a select group breaking away to chase the leading three. I had a few digs and got away for a little bit with a super strong Ryan Wills but wasn’t going to get away. The group ended up catching the break with 2km to go, it ended up in a bunch sprint where I sprinted to 4th which was an impressive result for me seeing I usually cannot sprint to save my life. Was pretty cool coming 4th to the winner Aaron Gate who is a current Olympic medalist and Track World Champion.

Rolling with Team Mate Morgan Smith

Rolling with Team Mate Morgan Smith

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Sprint finish

4th Behind Winner Aaron Gate

4th Behind Winner Aaron Gate

Next up is Round Taranaki Cycle Challenge and then on to Tour of Manawatu. I will be guest riding for Armstrong Motor Group, looks like we have one of the strongest teams so should be a good week!

Huge thanks to my team Charter Mason Giant Racing Powered by Brennan IT which will by my racing team for 2014.

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Keep following me for further updates, as I will be blogging my season and improving this site every day.

Scott