Sydney, November 2, 2005
After coming home from Europe with reasonably good form, I was keen for a good Sun Tour. Unfortunately that didn't happen. I rode this year's tour with the Colnago Caravello team. The team was made up with some great guys with different personalities and I had a really good week with them. Some nights I'd wonder if my stomach was sorer than my legs from laughing so much. The team had great morale, worked well together with a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of laughs, just the right environment for me. The team was Robert Tighello, Gordon McCauley, Peter McDonald, Peter Herzig, Josh 'the bull' Marden, George Bunt, James Meadley and me. Tigs as usual was on form, providing us with plenty of entertainment. Along with a good support crew, the week went smoothly.
The first few stages didn't go to plan for me, losing some crucial seconds by getting caught out in bad positions coming into the finish. Once we hit day five though, these seconds didn't matter anymore as I lost over 20mins in gruppetto. It was on from kilometre 0, and I was trying to go with all the moves but when the split of 20 odd riders went away I had already red-lined it and missed the move. It was a long day back in the gruppetto, and was made even longer when I snapped my chain while climbing out of the seat. I went flying over the handle bars and hit the deck hard. That was insult to injury. The last two days the motivation was gone with a time trial and criterium to go. I just went through the motions to finish the tour.
The Sun Tour Super Summer Sell Out was just as big as always and some guy got a giveaway on my two week-old Cinelli bike which I got off Frank Fortuna and the Bike Bug.
A week back in Sydney with average weather and with the off-season just around the corner, the motivation was flashing red - empty. The last race was a week later, the Melbourne to Warrnambool. I didn't know whether to do the dash for cash up the road for 200km like last year, or go for the win? I had a go to get into the early break but a few people weren't keen on letting me go. So I was content but a little nervous to sit in the bunch and see the break go out to 15mins with some classy riders in it. I was travelling well but probably overdid it between the 150-200km mark, attacking and going with all the moves. This along with a puncture I got after just bridging to make the final selection saw me go through a real bad patch. I came good after the last feed where I got a Red Bull, but it was too late; I had missed the move that went across to the break to race for the win. I ended up 15th coming home with a charge while Jonas Ljungblad won the 299km epic.
The next day was the inaugural Warrnambool Grand Prix, a 30km criterium in the wet. The weather wasn't that crash hot but the racing was still on. After that I was off to Adelaide with Russ for some relaxing, wine tasting, coffee drinking, golf, tennis. You name it we did it... Pity Russ is a former gun tennis player and not a shabby golfer either, so I was a step below in those ball sports. The wine tasting was something I've always wanted to do in the Barossa Valley and it was a top day out, along with a chance to top up the wine collection and add a bottle of Grange to it. There was also plenty of time spent on Rundle Street, knocking a few coffees down, watching the world go past as most people are working 9-5.
Now I'm back in Sydney and in my second week of the offy, and it's going way too quick. Yesterday, I went to the Rosehill Racecourse for the Melbourne Cup. That was a great day out but once again didn't back a winner. Tomorrow, I am off to Noosa for five days for the Noosa Criterium and a holiday with the boys. It's always a good week away.