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Cody Stevenson

Cody Stevenson rides for an Australian team

Cha cha changing

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 20, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:24 BST

Last time I wrote I was still searching for a team and the outlook was somewhat bleak. Fortunately I...

February 20, 2009

Last time I wrote I was still searching for a team and the outlook was somewhat bleak. Fortunately I was picked up by a new Australian team, Budget Forklifts. I will once again require a change of living arrangements as I will be based in Australia for most of the 2009 season.

I will certainly miss living in San Diego, I was just starting to get things in order there and really enjoying this stage of my career. With the Jittery Joe's team stopping and me being both on the wrong side of the UCI age limit, and a foreigner I was certainly a less prioritised commodity in a struggling market. A few decent wins wouldn't have hurt the cause....

Since returning to OZ I have done quite a few days of racing starting in the first week of January with the Bay Series and the Nationals and then on to Tour of Wellington in New Zealand. It has been quite a successful transition to my new team so far, with a stage win in the team time trial at Wellington and being on the podium three more times with a second, third and a day in the green jersey.

There is now a bit of a lull in the program for the Budget Forklifts team and I can put this time to good use to plan out the rest of my season. The team has allowed me to head back to the US for a few months so I can race and train in a warmer climate and get ready for the very full National Series, in the months of August, September, October and November back here in OZ.

As has been the model for this year, there have been a lot of changes. New team, different country, different opportunities and also a few changes off the bike, one of which is the direction of the diaries on the Cyclingnews website, as they are pairing down some of the older diarists to make way for new ones, and bring some fresh insight into the pro peloton.

I have been doing the diaries for a few years now and I thank Cyclingnews for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the website and I hope that the readers have enjoyed the occasional quirks of a non-Pro Tour riders' life on the road. Now you will be able to enjoy reading about the travels of Basso, Schleck et al as they tackle the Grand Tours, the Classics and the rest of the top level races that these riders experience on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading,

Cheers,

Cody

2008 diary entries

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 20, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 11:56 BST

Latest entry: February 20 : Changes for 2009 February 20 : Changes for 2009 December 10 : What will...

Latest entry: February 20: Changes for 2009

2007 diary entries

2006 diary entries

2005 diary entries

What will 2009 bring?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 09, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 11:56 BST

Crikey, What a very interesting off season it has been! The world economy tanking, a whole bunch of...

December 10, 2008

What will 2009 bring?

Crikey,

What a very interesting off season it has been! The world economy tanking, a whole bunch of teams stopping and a whopping load of riders, mechanics, soigneur, managers, sports directors out of a job. Including little old me!

I have been doing everything possible and have been pursuing all avenues to keep racing my bike in 2009. Hopefully, I will have some good news in the near future. It is looking grim out there, and when you think of guys of the calibre of Scott Davis, Ben Day, Hilton Clarke and Trent Wilson to name but a few, who are still on the market, it shows how incredibly volatile this sport can be. One minute on top of the world, working hard, planning ahead, the next minute you are put in a position where you have to make some tough decisions. Professional sport, like any job that you put your whole life into, can be, well, in a word, brutal.

Firstly, I have to give a big thank you to BMC Bicycles Australia for helping me out with a bike on my arrival back to OZ, and even getting me out to do a four-hour solo MTB race, even though it hurt (a lot) and doing an MTB race in road shoes and Speedplay pedals is less than ideal, especially when your technical skills are that of, well, a roadie. Also thanks to a long time supporter of mine, Panther Cycles, for helping to get everything sorted out mechanically on my road bike. Thanks!

So, the weather has been awesome since I got back to Australia. No rain, and I have managed to head out a few times on my infamous Hampton loop, out west of the Blue Mountains. Funnily enough the hills have not become flat, and the wind still blows, constantly, and not nearly enough from the correct direction i.e. from behind me!!!!!!!! There really is nothing like slogging it out at 19kph, slightly uphill into a block headwind for two hours, only for the wind to die down on the return leg of the loop! It is certainly a juxtaposition from the bunch rides and training with the same person everyday for the last 12 months in San Diego, to heading out on your "pat malone" in the Blue Mountains!

I am keen to keep the legs turning and my next race, and last race for Jittery Joe's is going to be the Cronulla International Criterium. For this year, the race will serve as the Australian Championship and it is sure to be on like donkey kong. Australian championship, volatile market, a bunch of guys still looking for a job, domestic guys looking to make a mark against some of the Euro pros, add into the mix the event being televised nationally and well... it's gonna hurt! Nothing like a bit of suffering in December to get you going for the season ahead!

Hopefully in my next entry I will have more of an idea as to what my 2009 will look like.

Cheers,

Cody

A look at Big Sur

Off to on season

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 27, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:24 BST

Well, the off-season, in part, is finished for me. Today marks the first day back of structured...

October 28, 2008

Well, the off-season, in part, is finished for me. Today marks the first day back of structured training in getting me fit for 2009. The last month has been spent doing the usual off-season activities, getting up late, eating more, visiting friends, doing the yard work you put off for the past eight months and basically just being a little more "normal"... well as normal as I can be.

The best part about the off-season is the day you get back on your bike and just "go for a ride."

I hit a few "firsts" this off-season. I went to two weddings, in two days, one on the east coast, one on the west. I finally became a surfer and broke a board. Lastly, this is the first off-season that I have spent without having already signed a contract. It's is very tough out here at the moment, so I just have to keep working on it.

The last week was pretty cool and relaxed, Neil had is 30th birthday, so we had a little get together for that and it was a lot of fun. I just got back from doing a little trip with my mate, Brett, who was travelling around the USA. We hit the Big Sur coast and that place is amazing. Check it out.

The two weddings I attended were my friends, now known as Jeff and Leigh Hopkins, and Austin and Suzanne King. It was an awesome time, albeit my head hurt a little bit.

It basically went like this: Hopkins wedding, Friday night, Atlanta -- ceremony, reception, a drink or two, get in the taxi and go straight to Atlanta airport. Sleep on plane. Arrive in Phoenix, put on a different suit, go to ceremony, get told what to do as I was in the wedding party. Go to reception, have a drink or two, sleep the entire drive back to San Diego from Phoenix... Congratulations to my friends.

Breaking the board, although sounds kinda gnarly, was actually less a reflection on how big the swell was and more on my lack of skill as a surfer. I wish it was because I tried to catch a 25-foot wave.

A contract

Now, the most important thing, I need a contract for 2009. With all of the economical problems around and other problems surrounding cycling at the moment, it is a very hard market for some of us.

I am putting all my energy into getting a ride for 2009. The only thing I can control at this point is to get my arse in the gym three times a week, start doing more structured training on the bike and giving the Swiss ball a workout. My time off the bike has been great and I really enjoyed it, but it is time to get it all going again to get the body and the mind focused on the job at hand.

Training

I am getting excited to have the routine of training back and all the good sensations. All the little things, like being so sore from doing a hard gym session that you end up walking like Quasimodo for two days or doing 10km/h up a hill with your heart pushing 200bpm. I'm also looking forward to losing the extra weight I have put on.

My training partner, Neil Shriley, and I have still been getting out there and doing physical activities, but now we will be hitting the roads together again and planning some pretty cool pre-season rides. I have a few tests to do on the ergo to see exactly where I am at with my power numbers and I am working together with Neil on specifics strengths over the coming months. We will reassess my numbers on a regular basis to get me where I want to be for 2009.

Now is the time to really set things up for the season, to get the foundations. You can always tweak the training as the season progresses, and this foundation will help the body to adapt to different workloads. Every athlete knows that this is the time when you have to be patient with yourself and trust that you will reap the benefits later in the season.

Right, well, I have some work to do, that thing isn't going to ride itself!

Cheers,
Cody

Out the back of Burke, a spot for Steveson and his dad – if mom agrees.

Circus life

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 12, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:24 BST

I am into the final month of my season and this means that I am in the final throws of airports and...

September 12, 2008

I am into the final month of my season and this means that I am in the final throws of airports and travel for 2008. I was sitting in Detroit airport this morning and I was counting the flights that I have had this year. I couldn't come up with a number, as I was continually being distracted each time by people doing things that I thought was funny, myself included.

Like only packing one pair of pants and spilling coffee down one side! Also of note are the people that stand right up close to the baggage claim... you know the ones, standing and waiting for their bags, oblivious to the fact that if they stand about two feet (60 odd centimetres) away from the conveyor then everyone can step in, grab their bags and get the hell out of the airport! Yes, this did happen to me this morning. Also, the people looking for their gates, they see a monitor and just stop in the middle of the walkway. Or the dude that got pissed off with the other dude for not walking on the correct side of the aisle. Or the bloke with the blue tooth headset sitting next to me. I now know your e-mail address, the name of your wife, you have two kids, a dog... oh and you are seeking a raise from your present salary of 120k. I am not sure that I needed to, or should know this information and I'm pretty sure the 20 other people that were subjected to your phone call also know these facts. Just because you can't see the person on the other line does not mean they are deaf! Thanks to everyone, you made my morning an experience.

A lot of "life" has been going on outside of the cycling bubble, my Dad rode his motorbike around Australia and I assured him that when I stop racing bicycles we can do a trip of our own, or perhaps Paris-Dakar! Not sure Mum would be so keen, but I reckon we've got a couple years to get her to come 'round and think it's a great idea or, better yet, make her think it was her idea! I am yet to meet my little nephew, Oscar, so I booked a flight late in the year so I can be home for Christmas and spend time with all of the family, play golf, surf, drink a beer or two and chill out. We also lost a family friend in a skiing accident back home, always a time to add some perspective and reflection to "life."

So on the racing front things have been ticking along okay; I placed seventh at the Priority Health Grand Prix in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I enjoyed the race last year and was glad to be back again. Over the past month, I have been doing only criteriums and fighting off small but frequent bouts of bronchitis. The end of the year is quite tough, as your body starts to fight against you and a little sore throat can turn sour pretty quickly.

The team has been scattered all over the country for the last month, with split squads attending Utah, Downers, Charlotte, Elk Grove, Univest and Michigan. It has been all criteriums and plane rides for the best part of five weeks now. Back and forth across the US of A, doing what I love most, racing my bike. I still have a few races left on the calendar and I am looking forward to hitting them with the fervour of a junior having just upgraded to a 52-tooth on the front. Then, alas, it will be all over for another year.

Speaking of another year, what lies ahead is uncertainty. I was informed last week, as were all of the riders on the Jittery Joe's Team, that the continuation of the team for 2009 is unknown. We have all been allowed to seek new teams for 2009. I am in the process of sending out the resume, and in the current climate of US cycling it looks as though it will be a buyers market. I have had a solid year and improved from last season. As a loyal domestique it can be difficult to project your own talents to prospective teams, but I have had a win or two and a few podiums throughout the year, so I can only keep doing what I am doing.

The focus for the end of the year is pretty simple, race my bike until the end of the month and find a team for 2009. Most everything else will play second fiddle to these goals until they are achieved. I am confident that all of my time spent off the bike will be in attempt to make sure I am on it for 2009. I feel as though I am at a point were I am just starting to put all the pieces together and am looking to see what I am capable of in the future, over the next few years when I will be entering my prime as a rider.

I am home for three days now, until I have to pack the bike up and head to San Francisco and then on to Vegas and possibly Washington D.C in the middle. A few more opportunities.

Cheers, Cody

Meat Pie (only in Canada).

BC Superweek

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 24, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:24 BST

OK, it's not the "supersize" week, it's not in America so it isn't bigger than US Superweek that...

July 25, 2008

OK, it's not the "supersize" week, it's not in America so it isn't bigger than US Superweek that goes for 14 days or something like that, and it doesn't have an extra day in the week. It's just "super" because it's in Canada and it's a week-long race fest. Well that's what a Canadian told me!

It was actually a pretty super week, except for some low life scumbag who stole two of our bags and forced us to leave a team-mate behind because he now has no passport! (You'll be back in no time Willo!) Apart from that one shitty episode it was great racing.

A big thank you must be extended to all of our host families for the week. I must apologise to Curt and Carla for failing miserably in the salad making department. I am more of an eater than a cook. What can I say? Evan Elken is also a natural at most things requiring hand/eye coordination, including Guitar Hero. He was rocking out by the end of the week. I'm not too sure that being an expert on Wii Fit is something to brag about, but he was good at that, too. I was good at watching Top Gear DVDs over and over again...

We started off with Tour de Delta where Matt Shriver took second overall and I was able to take second on the last stage and fifth in the criterium. Willo, just getting back into racing after his broken wrist, thought it would be a good idea to go up the road for 130km, take eight of the 10 KOMs on offer and seal the jersey! Not a bad start for the boys in orange and white.

Next up was Gastown, hard, fast and Evan was fourth. It was pretty cool to be back in Vancouver for the first time in two years. I was able to remember a ride up to Horseshoe Bay, much to the joy of my team-mates who were not looking forward to doing lap after lap of a city park!

Burnaby was Thursday night and it was a pretty sweet crit. Ev and I were working together and it just didn't pan out for us that well with sixth and 11th.

Tour of White Rock was the final race in the series and we had to deal with Bissel, Symmetrics, Health Net, Mike Sayers (in his last season) from BMC and Chris Horner from Astana. Matt Shriver won the race last year and we were all gee-ed to repeat the feat! Shirvo began his defence well by taking third in the uphill prologue TT. He then took fourth in the uphill, downhill crit. I was able to run in fifth, so it was a good team effort.

D-day, the final road stage at White Rock involves a pretty cool circuit race; pretty cool because it started early in the morning and it was cold, not because it had two decent sized hills on the figure of eight lap. Why do they persist on putting hills in races? Just kidding.

A group got away and we set about riding tempo to keep it in check. About 70 kilometres later and with my body telling me that the beach that we rode past on every lap was a better place to be, Horner hit out, smacked out, whacked out, annihilated the field into smithereens on the 15 percent slope, taking Shriver and Pinfold from Symmetrics with him.

With 20 kilometres to go it was the first three on GC riding away to the stage win and the overall. But who would it be? Pinfold the sprinter? Shriver the climber? Horner the climber/badass strong man? With less than three k to go, on the final climb Horner attacked again and blew the trio apart. Shriver hung tough and got a gap over Pinfold. Horner went on to take the stage and Shriver took second and with it the overall title for the second successive year! Nice work boys, nice work Shirvo! Impressive stuff from the quiet fella!

I really did enjoy the "Superweek".

We drove back to Seattle and hung out with a good friend of the Jittery Joe's team, Dan Byrne and his son Connor. We had a nice celebratory dinner for Shriver, down by the water. A nice way to end the week.

I am basically just doing crits for the rest of the season, so I will be resting and doing lots of intense training. Sorry Neil but you are gonna have to do your six-hour mountain rides on your own!

Willo, make sure you don't come back with an accent. A?

Ben Brooks, get well soon mate.

Cheers,

Stevo

Author
Cody Stevenson

After two seasons in Belgium with Team Cyclingnews.com, Cody Stevenson returned to his homeland last year to ride for the brand new Australian outfit, FRF Couriers-Caravello. Now it's all change once more as Cody packed up and headed Stateside in '07 with a clutch of other Aussies on the Jittery Joe's Continental team based in Athens, Georgia. Follow Cody's adventures on the US domestic circuit as he gets to grips with a new style of racing and picks up some choice phrases along the way. Australia UK USA