January 29, 2009
well, here we are at the beginning of another year. Hope your respective Christmas and New Years celebrations were relaxing and spent with family and friends. It has been a busy time since Melbourne to Warrnambool. Many itches have gone unscratched as I worked, trained, raced, planned and finally arrived at the realisation that I will be home in 2009.
So Melbourne to Warrnambool was run and won and I headed straight back home to work whilst having some time off the bike. A week had passed before heading to Noosa for the USM Criterium held there every year and for some end of season celebrations. Team Budget Forklifts had rented out a house for the week overlooking the water so it was definitely the way to end the year.
Then it was home for a week before driving up to Townsville for the Nick Gates Foundation Criterium and subsequent launch of the foundation. It was a great event and I ended up sixth in the crit behind Nick, Henk and Robbie. It was also a great way to send off one of Australia's top professional cyclists and to toast Nick Gate's career. Along the way, thousands of dollars were raised to aid talented juniors from the North Queensland city.
Next up was a weekend at home and then the Bendigo Ciclismo weekend with a twilight criterium and Grand fondo event. Got around the circuit well and protected the lead of Tom Southam out in the front. Was a good couple of days put on by Michael Hands and his team and hopefully it hangs around for a few more years to come.
Then from the cold to the heat, it was time for a trip out to Longreach for the wedding of one of Cally's old school friends. It was a long way out there, 685km or so west, but it was a welcome change and a good chance to check out the town where Cally grew up and my Dad was born. Nothing like training along roads where your only company was some road kill and the circling hawks. Highly recommend the old road out to Muttaburra and back if you are looking for a two-hour ride.
Training still rolling along ok and next up was the State Track titles, held once again up in Rockhampton. A few lads from Victoria came up to bake in the sun, including Casey Munroe, Nic Sanderson and Brad Edmunds (more elite riders than from Brisbane) and all the lads had a good time. States went ok and I ended up placing sixth in the scratch race and fourth in the points score. The State Titles were followed closely by the Rocky Cup on Wheels. Was another great event and along with the other Victorian lads, Mitch Docker returned to the Cup and for another turn on the Tube in the Fitzroy River Sunday morning. A-grade racing was fast and competitive and I was happy with how it all went. Picked up 700 dollars for the weekend which is always nice and just in time for Christmas. Thanks to the club and all the sponsors for putting on another great carnival and for supporting cycling in Rockhampton.
It was in these weeks approaching Christmas that it became high time to start thinking and seriously planning for the year ahead. My ride with Team Budget Forklifts was confirmed and I am looking forward to the year. My life off the bike is also beginning to take shape as I began weighing up my further study and work options.
Jayco Bay Series
For the first time in six years I jumped on a plane on New Years Day to Melbourne for the Jayco Bay Series. Team Budget Forklifts team for the event was myself, Cody Stevenson, Craig McCartney, Mal Rudolph and Abe Manion. We were staying at the Werribee Mansion Sofitel Hotel, who incidently was sponsoring the team for the week, so we were getting well looked after.
During our stay at the mansion Team Budget Forklifts had its official team presentation for the 2009 season. The other guys in the team flew down for the event and a couple of big guests flew across from Geelong Monday night. We were privileged to have Phil Liggett there who offered his time presenting the riders and also two of Australia's prominent race promoters in John Trevorrow and Michael Hands. Was a top night and hopefully it sets the tone for a successful year.
The Bay Series week went well and I was pretty happy with it. I was a little disappointed with my ride at Portarlington on Monday but was happy to back up again in Geelong and be off the front, chasing at the pointy end of the race Tuesday evening.
So the National Road Race is on tomorrow and by the time you all read this the race will have been run and won. I am going ok along with the team so here is hoping (back home now and finished up 19th in the National Road Race. Michael England picked up the sprinters jersey). The U/23 boys raced well with Jack Anderson placing 7th in the TT and 8th in the Road Race while Malcolm "Kenrick Tucker" Rudolph picked up the sprinters jersey in the Road Race.
Here's to 2009.
Til next time we meet.
Thanks to Budget Forklifts, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Ian Weigh Toyota, CQ University, CQ Crane Hire, CQ Physio, Dr. Peter Reaburn PhD, Andrew Tickner, Dr. Andrew Russel, Tucker's Cycle Inn