August 8, 2008
June was the last time I posted a diary entry so; a few significant things have happened since then- the biggest news being that I have officially left Team Menikni Selle Italia. Whist I appreciate the opportunities I was given with Menikini Selle Italia and the results I earned, it's time now for me to make a move, take a big step forward and start working/training more specifically with a secure race and career plan.
My move from Menikini Selle Italia was being negotiated and finalised during the Giro d'Italia which placed a little added stress on my entire body. I was not satisfied with my 3rd place podium or my two 5th places, but I also realise it would have taken a super human effort to outsprint in-form Ina Teutenberg this year!
I've been living and training in Castronno, Varese with the Australian National Team for the past month. I probably don't need to explain in detail what the national team base in Varese has to offer an athlete... all the needed support, services and facilities are right there at your finger tips - including some new super high-tech recovery pools with a built-in iPod dock!
What I value most is the atmosphere and the quality of living life in a foreign country. I've joined the Australian Women's Road team for the remainder of the year: that's Peta Mullens, Vicki Whitelaw, Carlee Taylor, Tiffany Jane Cromwell, Josephine Tomic and a few other ladies who will float in and out for particular races. This is the strongest, most talented group the AIS have seen for a long time but most importantly (to me) it's the happiest fun-loving group I've been a part of for a long time!
As a result of this team's physical strength and high spirits we pulled off a very satisfying win in Germany on Saturday at the Olympia Preis Bochum Criterium.
Our team started Peta Mullens, Leonie Burford, Carlee Taylor, Ruth Corset, Vicki Whitelaw, Josephine Tomic, Emma Rickards and myself. My team-mates controlled the race and executed our plan perfectly; every member of the team was active and fulfilled their individual requirements in order to pull off the win. John 'Pothole' Forest was our director calling the shots from the sidelines. I was delivered to the final 200m by lead-out rider Peta Mullens, and I had a powerful sprint to take the win from two strong German sprinters!
The following day we finished second in the UCI 1.1 race- Sparkassen Giro. We didn't expect a big bunch finish but after six hilly laps of aggressive riding and strong attacks from team Flexpoint the race came back together! The national team once again gave a perfect lead-out and I also must compliment Pothole for his positive motivation in the final kilometres: a man who knows how to get his team going and say the right things on the radio!
I was beaten by a stronger rider in the sprint; Suzanne de Goede had explosive power that I couldn't match! I was on her wheel with 200m to go, but lost the wheel when she kicked... I certainly underestimated her power and must be satisfied with second this time!
I'll now join one of the strongest professional women's teams in the world - Team Flexpoint - for the Post Tour Crits in Holland. I'm really looking forward to joining this team but just quietly I'm a little nervous about being able to race up to their standard in these crits - these women are unbelievably strong! Nah, honestly I just hope to have an enjoyable time and hopefully I can increase my power during these two weeks of crit/power racing.
My block of crit racing with team Flexpoint will be interrupted by another UCI race in Holland this weekend, the Holland Hills Classic, where I'll once again represent the Australian National Team.
I have a busy race schedule for the remainder of the season and will base out of Holland until three weeks before the World Championships in Varese.
More reports to come following the crits with the Flexpoint women.... Excited!