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Australian Professional Cyclist

Tour Of Qatar: Day Two & Three

Doha Qatar from the 3rd to the 5th of February

Credit © CJ Farquharson/

Day two was much better, no crashes! I decided I would relax during the race and sit back for the intermediate sprints and give everything for the stage win. I gave it my best shot, a really good shot actually! I had Kirsten Wild’s wheel and she hit the front 200m from the line, I kicked off her wheel with 150m to go and felt explosive but there was someone holding my wheel, Giorgia Bronzini. Giorgia waited until 50m to go and came off my wheel like dynamite! It was a headwind finish so her timing was perfect. I was happy with my sprint but I was not content with 2nd, I was feeling good for day 3!

Day 3 was going to plan until 2km to go! There’s not too much to say, it was a pretty cruisey stage and I was feeling good leading into the finish, I was positioned well and very relaxed. The last 3km of the stage was ballistic, there were riders attacking everywhere and the pressure was on! Ahhh, I don’t know what happened but there was another high speed crash and I was a victim- one of the luckiest ones! I lost my front spokes and as I was trying the keep my bike straight, I felt my back wheel get tangled and my bike came to a stop. I once again pulled it from the rubble but this time it was over, both my front and back wheels had the spokes ripped out and the wheels were no longer round, they wouldn’t turn… I thought about throwing the bike like a frizzby but I managed to stay calm, I think seeing a number of riders on the bitumen not moving was enough to bring me back to realisation, I was fortunate to have come out of that accident with all my skin!

I walked a couple of hundred metres back along the course with my bike on my shoulder before exchanging it with another bike from my team car- which was held up behind the riders laying on the road. I was instructed to ride the new bike to the finish, this was when I came across the next big crash just 100m from the line, I had to squeeze past and get to the line (to obtain my 4th overall on GC) before I could rush back to see if Chloe Hosking was ok… it was not looking good with all the paramedics around her, I can’t express the feeling I had riding past her laying still on the road- I felt so much fear and emotion that I shed a tear before reaching her, it was an awful feeling. I was much more relaxed after I spoke with her; she was being placed on a stretcher but was able to give me a little joke and a giggle before being put into the ambulance.

My team mate Liz Hatch was involved in the same accident that ended my race; Liz fell hard on her right hand and was transported to the hospital for Xrays and treatment. Liz will have her hand in a cast for the next couple of weeks but hopes to hold fitness while training indoors.

So, I’ve returned to Australia with a podium finish (2nd) on day two and 4th on the general classification. It wasn’t quite the result I’d hoped for but I am very satisfied with my fitness and power at this point of the season, it’s an exciting level to work on!

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