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Australian Professional Cyclist

Granfondo’s, Commentary, Resorts & Racing!

Rest stop on La Pina ride!

Dear family, friends, sponsors, fans and followers,

Please accept my sincere apologies for not updating you all regularly during the past months… I’ve been busy, but it’s no excuse. I’ll try to give you a brief update now, and then promise to update my website more frequently so I can share my experiences with you!

My last updates were posted during the Giro d’Italia where I felt as fit as ever but lacked finishing power and speed which prevented me from standing on the podium.

The weekend after the Giro d’Italia I attended the annual ‘La Pinarello’ event. This is a weekend where I get to catch up with all the top Australian dealers and enjoy dinners and rides with the Pinarello family and my fellow Aussie friends! It’s always an event that I really look forward to as I can feel at home with the Australian’s while I’m just a couple of hours away from my Italian home mid-way through the racing season.

As much as I loved hanging out with the Aussies, I must admit that the highlight was testing the new Dogma 65.1 with EPS!! What a dream! The 65.1 feels lighter, stiffer and smoother than previous Dogma’s and the EPS exceeded all my expectations. The electronic system didn’t miss a beat/gear during the weekend- it was perfect…. Honestly, it was.

(NB. I ride a Kuota bicycle in Europe during 2012 with my UCI Professional Team, Faren Honda and was only test riding the Pinarello Dogma 65.1 with EPS)

Luisa & I at the start – Charly Gaul GF

The following weekend I attended the Charly Gaul Granfondo in Trento and very much enjoyed the atmosphere! The ride was 138km with 4000m of climbing!! I started the ride with Luisa Tamanini (a team mate and famous local) and then finished with a couple of guys who I met after the halfway point. It was a great training day!

Next was my big job in London, commentating for EuroSport! I was very excited about this opportunity but also very nervous, not only for my work with EuroSport but also regarding my studio and on location presenting work with Australia’s Foxtel and Channel 10. My main concern was delivering my knowledge and appreciation for women’s cycling in a way that would be received well by the audience, especially the new audiences that women’s cycling would attract during the Olympic Games.

I really thrived on the new challenges and experiences with EuroSport and I endeavour to develop a career in the future, along the path of those like Sean Kelly and Phil Liggett. As women’s cycling develops, I’d love the opportunity to commentate the live coverage and packages! In the meantime, I am still loving the competitive side of cycling and developing Women’s cycling in any and every way possible!

During my time in London, I was able to train in Richmond Park and surprisingly I hit some personal best power outputs. I put this down to the form coming off the Giro d’Italia and the Granfondo’s…. the peak came at the right time if only I was ‘in’ the race, not just ‘at’ the race! So, the next race was a couple of days after I commentated the Women’s Olympic TT, in Belgium. I had a great race and an amazing feeling throughout the 120km’s but unfortunately it was all wasted when things fell apart for me in the final corner…. I’m not sure what happened but in the corner, 300m from the line, I got baulked and slipped from 2nd position to 10th position in a split second! Game over. That’s sprinting. I left that race very disappointed but 24hrs later I was focused on the next race – the Sweden World Cup.

Sean Kelly, Me, David Harmon at EuroSport

The couple of weeks preparing for the Sweden World Cup were pretty uneventful. I trained for one week at home in the dolomites and then relocated to the Relais Sul Lago resort in Varese. I’d organised the stay at the resort as a gift for my mother who had travelled to Italy to celebrate her birthday with me. Varese was also the perfect location for me to do some good power and speed/motor-paced training during the final week of preparation.

All went well in the lead-up to the Sweden World Cup but there were signs of fatigue and over-training during the final days, I felt strong in the race but I wasn’t exactly having my ‘best’ day. I could feel fatigue and pain in my legs before the race started so I do wonder- if I was a little ‘fresher’ could the result have been different?

My team staff would say and admit that I lost the race tactically. I was instructed to stay relaxed and calm for the first 5 laps (of 12) because I normally use a lot of energy riding in the top 5-10 all the time. Of course, the break of the day went away on lap 3 and I was too far back and missed it. The main bunch had no interest in chasing as all the teams (except my team) were represented in the break. I didn’t have a team to chase so I was left powerless. I’m still losing sleep over being towards the back of the peloton when the initial break went…. I’d like to know if I could have moved with it, and if I could have stayed with it. There were 12 riders in the break, then Kirsten Wild and Judith Arndt beat me to the line from our group and I finished 15th in the World Cup. All my training data indicates that I’m at my strongest and fittest for the season… let’s hope I can do something with it before the season soon comes to an end!

That brings us up to date until today. I’m sitting on my bed in Belgium resting up before the Lotto Decca Tour starts tomorrow. It’s a three day tour from Saturday until Monday. It looks like all the strongest teams and riders will be there, preparing for Worlds (minus those targeting Plouay). I will be racing with the Australian National Team alongside; Jessie MacLean, Taryn Heather, Allison Rice, Jessica Mundy & Emily Roper. I’m really excited to be racing with the Australian’s again and under the direction of Donna Rae-Szalinski and Sara Carrigan (Olympic Champion)… if anything, I’m sure we’re going to have a great time!

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