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Australian Professional Cyclist

Reflections on 2010

As I sit on another domestic flight to Melbourne on the 1st of January 2011 I have a moment to reflect on 2010.

In December I and the Honda Dream Team came together to compete in the inaugural International Honda Insight Grand Prix series, a 5 day criteium series held in NSW Australia.

The race stages took place in Bathurst, Parramatta, Gosford, Coogee and Cronulla from Wednesday through until Sunday the 12th of December.

We, The Honda Dream Team entered the race with a very strong team but we never dreamed of winning every stage, we knew the series win was a very possible goal, We took the races day by day treating every day as a one day race that we wanted to win…  It was an amazing 5 days with Peta winning a stage, Mel winning a stage and I took the other 3 stages and the overall series. Tiff and Jos were the strength of the team, delivering our lead out train to the final 500m in perfect position every race.

2010 has been my toughest year of my 10 year professional cycling career in Europe. I took more time off the bike than any other year and for the first time had to mentally deal with injury. I’d coped with serious illness in the past but that seemed easier, you’re normally imprisoned at a hospital and way too sick to think about mounting a bike. Injury management was much more difficult, especially given that the Commonwealth Games were fast approaching and I desperately wanted to win in Delhi.

I sat on the couch for 6 weeks in Italy, alone for the most part from July until mid August until my coach- Warren McDonald and I decided we had to do something. Wazza, with the support of Martin Barras organised for me to travel with Australian team (preparing for Worlds) to Stelvio and Livigno in order to receive daily (sometimes twice daily treatment) from their best Physiotherapists, David Hayes and Beth Duryea. It’s a beautiful place to travel for treatment and I was able to finally get out and ride towards the end of the training camp…… I had 5 weeks to reach peak fitness and power before the Commonwealth Games.

I was very unfit when I raced the Holland Ladies Tour at the start of September but I was injury free and gaining fitness. I returned to Australia to finish my final preparation at the Australian Institute of Sport with the national team, led by Dave McPartland. Warren McDonald made a final trip to Canberra to make sure we were on track and to wish me luck for the race in Delhi, India.

I must say, when I was 10 days out from Commonwealth Games I wasn’t sure if I was going to reach the power outputs needed to win a sprint at that level. Wazza was much more confident about where we were at. 5 days before the Commonwealth Games, I saw some exciting numbers (PB’s) and knew I had made it back to form in time, I was ready.

It was very satisfying to win the Commonwealth Games after a pretty hectic and challenging year, the title is so prestigious simply because it’s only on offer every 4 years and the preparation and form must be perfectly timed.

The win in New Delhi made 2010 a great year for me…. I hope for something equally as special in 2011!

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