Adelaide, Australia, January 24, 2007
I had a different December this year, compared to other years. I worked a lot on my core strength and a lot more in the gym to get a lot stronger to suit the American style of racing. With fewer mountains and more 20 up sprints at the end of races, I really need to work on that to get more consistent podium finishes. I have been working with Jeb Stewart, and he’s been great, and also working with the guys at ISIS gym.
Also this December I raced three hard criteriums and one track race, compared to when I normally don’t race at all. Although, the criteriums probably did more harm then good at that time of year with a big shock to the system.
It was great to see Sydney back holding a big race. The Cronulla criterium put on by Phil Bates was great and what we needed. The people came out in hundreds to support it. Hats off to Phil!
The other two criterium were the Southbank GP and the Surfers Paradise GP. Both races I had never done before. Although the races were way too hard for that time of the year, it was nice to get some good training in, in a different environment with a great bunch of blokes.
For the week in between the two crits, Hop and I stayed at the Gold Coast doing some good training with Gatesy, Robbie, Bobby, Carro, Crackles and others. There were plenty of miles, more laughs and a fair bit of coffee. The early morning roll out along the beach was cool and the post ride surf even better.
Christmas and New Year's was full on with the usual celebrations, the willo’s 10th annual Christmas party, a lot of miles, a track race and the Total cyclist documentary which took up a few afternoons.
The Total cyclist documentary, filmed by SBS, was a healthy competition done between the three disciplines - road, track and mtb. Apart from a few laughs it was good fun, but after training it made for long days. I may have paid the price for that later in the Bay crits.
Onto the Bay crits, and once again they were hard and fast. After my good ride last year I was keen to return and get the sprinters jersey again with maybe a stage win. After 20 minutes of the first race I knew that wouldn’t be the case. I wasn’t traveling well and it got worse as the week went on.
I think I went there too tired after a solid two weeks of training along with full up afternoons. Although, my team mate for the race was Mark Renshaw, and he took the overall win as well as a stage and showed he has really good form. My three Jittery Joe’s team mates and I tried to do as much for him as we could - though he probably didn’t even need it, he was goin that well.
The Nationals returned to Ballerat, and my horrible record around that course continued. I rested up for the week and felt ok, but once we started racing I knew I wasn’t up. I fought it all day and got to the 110km mark. It was an unbelievably hard race and on from the gun. After 40km the bunch was down to 50 riders and at the finish there were only 18. Lapthorne rode an awesome race and the Drapac Porche team showed they should be in the TDU with a 1-2 finish.
Now for the next five weeks I will settle back into a routine and rip into the miles. I am more motivated then ever, and been training well since the Nationals. This year’s race program looks good and I am super keen to get off to a good start again like last year.