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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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