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Cody Stevenson 06

Cody Stevenson (FRF Couriers/Caravello, R)

Getting Jittery!

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 09, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:20 BST

Howdy y'all! I better get used to saying that! I will explain in due course. Last time I wrote I was...

October 9, 2006

Howdy y'all!

I better get used to saying that! I will explain in due course.

Last time I wrote I was coming into some fine form, I had just won three races and was looking forward to the last couple of one day races on the program including the Sun Tour. I had planned spending mid-October resting up and catching up on all the things which have been left wanting for the past six-months.

Well, things don't always go to plan. I pulled up with a sore leg and was told to rest it for a week. No probs - put the feet up and recharge the batteries. Unfortunately, one week turned into three, and I realised I would not be doing the Sun Tour! So, here I am. My leg is 100%, but as my fitness is down I wouldn't be much use to my team mates during a tour. I am now riding again, getting fit, enjoying the sunny weather up here in the Blue Mountains, and enjoying the company of my old man (dad) on a couple of the rides we have around here (by the way, he goes pretty hard for a dude who will be 60 in January!)

I have been asked to ride a tour in China in November with the team so it will be nice to get back into the swing of things. I have never turned the pedals in anger during November, but then again I have never 'pulled up stumps' (taken a break) so early in the year. Change is as good as a holiday! During my time off I was, however, able to accept an invitation as guest speaker at a Valedictory dinner held at my old school. That was a blast from the past and a very enjoyable evening, even if I am beginning to feel old!

You may be wondering why I am throwing around so many 'aussie-isms'- I am trying to get them all out before I embark on yet another change in my career. I will be heading off to the U.S of A for 2007, Yee Haa! Super size me up! Yes, I would like fries with that! I received an offer to ride with Jittery Joes from Athens, Georgia (hence the Howdy!). I will be riding alongside a few rogue Aussies, Trent Wilson, Jeff Hopkins and Tommy Nankervis. We will all be clad in orange for 2007, and I'm looking forward to it. You can check out the team's website, thebeanteam.com. Then you can go to the online store and order up big with the coffee from the Jittery Joes roasting company!

I must thank my current team, FRF Couriers/ExcelPro, and in particular Frank Fortuna, Andy Portess and Argon18 bikes. At the end of last year, after what I would describe as a pretty dismal season, I returned to OZ without much in the way of future job prospects. I hadn't had a great season, and my old team was doing a bit of restructuring. I had a meeting with Frank basically at the 11th hour and came to an agreement. I ended up having my best season, and was able to do some new and exciting races. It was a learning curve for all involved, and for a first year DS, Andy Portess did a fantastic job.

The race program that we had in our first year was quite impressive and I believe we left our mark on a few of the bigger races that we did. For a development squad, it has served it's purpose well, and has exposed some of the younger riders with an insight into what a cyclist's life entails. Thanks to all my team mates from the "angry little elf!" To be able to leave a team with support from the owner and also the sports director is fantastic, I appreciate it and must extend my gratitude to all involved with the team this year.

So now I am looking forward to finishing off my season with the FRF team at the upcoming tour in China and then the new Criterium to be held at Cronulla in December. Then it will be full steam ahead into the New Year and the Bay Series in early January.

Later y'all,

Cody

Cody Stevenson (FRF Couriers/Caravello)

Winning at last

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 11, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:20 BST

Well, the past month has been as out of control as a Chinese Cabbie in Beijing (and I am speaking...

Tour of Qinghai Lake and Tour of Gippsland wraps, August 11, 2006

Well, the past month has been as out of control as a Chinese Cabbie in Beijing (and I am speaking from experience)!

Last time I wrote I had just stepped back into the land of Oz after a successful trip to Europe and North America. My bag did not get unpacked! Before I knew it I had organised my Visa and was on a plane to China for the Tour of Qinghai Lake, a 2.HC level race… at altitude! Serious altitude for an Aussie, between 2000 and 4000 metres above!

The hotel was sorted, the stairs were climbed and seven bike riders were wheezing at the top of afore mentioned stairs… OK this altitude thing was hurting my chicken lungs!

China, what a spin out. It had everything and nothing all at once, all in the same place. BMWs, KFC outlets and Playstations stood alongside farmers driving tractors laden with family and produce side by side on the same strip of bitumen. Once we got into the mountains the contrast was even more noticeable, there were farmers who are still in subsistence mode, and only see a road bike once a year when the tour goes up the mountain while they are farming!

Back to the racing, and boy oh boy it was ON! The stages have all become a bit of a blur… it must have been the mountain air! If I wasn't suffering like a dog climbing some wretched mountain in the mist, I was having a dig in the sprints. I was able to have a dig three out of the nine days, and I managed to get some good results.

I missed victory on stage two by a tyre…. Had I been told I would finish second in a stage before the event I would have had a wry smile on my face… .but actually coming second… .urgh! To come so close to a win in a 2.HC race leaves you with a taste of what might have been. After some great work from the team, which was made up of Tony Mann, Brendan Brooks, Peter Herzig, Peter McDonald, Joe McDonnell and Mr Lead out Josh Marden, I was able to win the bunch sprint on stage six to take fifth place. It was nice mixing it up with the Liquigas boys, and getting my nose in front, knowing full well I have to go back to work at the bike shop! For a small continental team it was nice. The final stage was a circuit race and the whole team was geed up! I had been sprinting well all week, taking bonus sprints out on the road, and then suffering to get over the massive mountains we had to endure, all with the help of solid team mates. The mountains were crazy, one side arid land the next dense lush fields, it was kind of surreal.

The final stage was well suited to our strengths being a circuit race. Unfortunately, some breakaway riders had other ideas and we didn't catch them until right at the line. The boys all rode flat out on the front to try to bring it back. It was nice to see team FRF Couriers chasing back the break alongside Liquigas, Bouyges Telecom and Skil Shimano. I managed to bash my way up the finish straight and claim 10th, unfortunately the courier couldn't deliver the goods! Oh well! So at the end of the tour of Qinghai Lake I came away with a second, a fifth, a tenth and sixth in the points classement. The boys all rode an awesome race, and were it not for some dodgy food which Macca couldn't hold down whilst climbing one of the mountains (read, food poisoning, ensuing stomach problem, regurgitation) we all would have finished the race. A big thank you must go out to Andy Portess, Daniel Healey, Claire Bailey and Liam Cleary. Thanks for putting up with us for two weeks, thanks for the massage, thanks for making my bike run sweet, and thanks for my muesli!

Just a side note from the racing. Unfortunately, a lot of guys got a bit of Beijing Belly and were forced to quit the race with stomach problems. This sickness could also have been a result of the driving of some of the locals. OK it's 3000m above sea level, there is a massive salt water lake, you can buy fireworks at your leisure, beer is $1… .and to get a licence you must pass a driving test which I can only assume you fail if you: A - don't honk your horn whilst driving on the wrong side of the road, B - hesitate for a split second whilst trying to cross five lanes of traffic, or C - if you indicate or stick to the speed limit! It's great to see that people definitely do things differently all over the world!

On the plane, off the plane, do not unpack bag, get straight into car, head to next race. Cootamundra… Coota… State titles… not much to say… missed the break… chased… came fourth… d'oh! Back in the car, head to Tour of Gippsland. I managed to hook up with my team mate Brendan and hitch a lift, and sleep in his accommodation, and eat his food… hadn't really planned the fine details for this tour! I was heading down to Gippsland which would be the first race in the Tatts Cup series. I was left wanting more after my placings in China. The crew for this race would be Noel Jory - Chef extraordinaire - who cooked up some wicked feasts each night, his son Chris who performed well in his first five day tour, Mr Brendan Brooks and his father Peter. Without theses guys I would never have got to Gippsland. Cheers fellas!

Okay, racing. It was flat out! With two stages every day I wasn't sure how I was going to go. I had only been back in the country for a few days, I had been in the car for most of that time, and had done a 180km road race in between. Stage 1 - my legs hurt! In the arvo road stage I got in the break and ran fourth, my team-mate Tony Mann got away with two others, took second on the stage and the KOM jersey.

Day two and my legs were starting to come good. I came away with fifth in the morning stage and seventh in the afternoon. Brendan had been in the break until 500m before the line when he was gobbled up by the peloton. The course went over some heavy terrain, and the rain and wind made things pretty cold.

Day 3 and I was beginning to feel a bit better. I got in a break about halfway through the stage, which was brought back about 10km from the finish and Tony belted off the front to try to gain some more KOM points and hopefully keep trucking to the finish. The peloton chased him and his breakaway companions down, and we caught them with 1km to go. I moved into good position for the sprint. Rob McLachlan hit out on the downhill run to the line and I managed to pass him and take my first stage win for the year. I have had some good results this year, but too many second places, finally a win! Woo Hoo!

The afternoon stage couldn't have gone better for me, I made it two wins in two stages! I managed to get away in a breakaway with five other riders, after some help from Wes Sulzsberger to get across, and then I used my sprint for the second time that day to take win number two!

Over the rest of the tour I managed to win two more bunch sprints but only for the placings, as breakaways were on the menu for the ensuing stages. Tony was able to maintain his lead in the Mountains classification, keeping the jersey all the way to the finish, and Brendan rode aggressively but did not have lady luck on his side this week!

A big thanks to Noel Jory, Peter Brooks, Peter Milostic, Jim Stokes and my dad for making what was a logistical nightmare a dream run.

So, I think I can unpack my bags… at least for one week! I have had a solid few months and taking two wins is some icing on the cake. I have had about ten top tens, so to win is a nice feeling. I hope that the form continues and that our team has more success in the coming months.

Cheers,
Cody

Race results: Tour of Qinghai Lake and Tour of Gippsland

Three FRF Couriers-Caravello riders

The joy of travel

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 07, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:20 BST

Five riders, six Suitcases, seven bikes, an eight-hour flight ahead and one hour to check in....

Tour de Beauce wrap

Five riders, six Suitcases, seven bikes, an eight-hour flight ahead and one hour to check in. Departing Manchester, destination Canada.

After three flights, four gate changes, ten hours waiting at airports and 30 cups of Starbucks we arrived at Quebec City Airport (a tin shed)... sans bikes and luggage, but we knew this as we watched the plane take off with our luggage still on the runway! Thanks Air Canada! When we arrived we were told that the plane only had a small luggage hold and that our luggage was never going to fit. I am pretty sure that they could have divulged this info to us in the seven hours that we were waited in Toronto. Anyway, after one hour explaining the necessity of our luggage the Air Canada officer seemed nonplussed and said that he could do nothing. Thanks mate! We finally got our luggage... two days later, in Montreal! This was, as we were going to find out, not the only "issue" we would have with Air Canada... hhmmm!

Montreal, warm weather, good park ups (coffee shops), and nice scenery. The boys, Tony, Joe, Josh, Macca, Professor, Brooksy and moi were kicking back in our new pad, for the week at least. We were staying in Montreal as this is the home of our bike sponsor Argon18. It is always nice to meet the sponsors and these guys were 100 percent helpful for our entire stay in Canada.

A little background on Argon18, as it is a name that some of you may not be familiar with. It is a bike company that was started by Gervais Rioux back in 1990. Rioux had been a top north American pro, amassing 150 victories, including three national titles. He became an Olympian in 1988. Once he hung up the wheels he turned his skills to the industry that had been his life for the past 15 years. He began to expand his range and now has distributed his bikes to North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. I have been privileged enough to receive a test bike from the company, this bike is very similar to the current Gallium but uses different carbon and will be the 2007 Platinum. I have found the bike nice and stiff, which is what I like, the angles are great and also that the seat tube is not too steep. A lot of small frames have steep seat tubes and slack head tubes so that the riders foot does not overlap the front wheel. By making a slightly longer top tube, and incorporating the AFS system, Argon have designed a bike that is lively, stiff and that you can get a good seat set back without jamming your seat all the way back on its rails.

I will keep you posted on its development over the season. To check out more go to argon18bike.com

Back to the racing. It seems all over the world there is a crit that is raced as though it is the world championships. In Australia we have Heffron Park on a Tuesday night... In Montreal it is the Mardis Cyclists, funnily enough also run on a Tuesday night. We were told to expect 50kph racing and 100 riders. Yeah right?! YEAH RIGHT! These guys were serious. Heffron paled into insignificance. There were teams of 12 riders, radios, Shimano service, a yellow jersey... oh and 100 riders at 50kph! I could see why Argon were so keen for us to get a result. Lap one was fast... so were the subsequent 40! It ended in a bunch kick and I was second, beaten by some kid who is tipped to be the next big thing, David Veilleux... well he is only 19! I was in about 15th wheel with 400 metres to go, luckily there was a corner 250 metres from the line. I did the big dive underneath, pedalled through the corner but the kid already had the jump on me. I was pegging him back... but...! In third place was an "old guy", 42 years old I think, named Czeslaw Lukaszewick. He is a Polish immigrant who did the Sydney Olympics but just rides for fun now. Apparently, after the race his team was upset because he didn't lead out his team mate. His response was (with a thick Polish/Canadian accent), "#$%@... if he can't beat me, a 42 year old, he should get a job or train more!" We ended up doing five hours with him the next day. He is one hard nut, and extremely friendly! That night we all had a night out as the Professor and I had our birthdays. We took in the sights of downtown Montreal, and had a good sleep in!

Off to Tour de Beauce, Quebec. I was feeling good after my second place, but not everything went to plan in Beauce and after a few good days I began to feel a bit empty. I lost a lot of time on the mountain stage, then pinched a nerve in my back the next day. I rode the last three stages with one leg, which wasn't much fun! The other boys had an up and down time also. Brendan Brooks, however, finished top-20 on GC and second in the u/23 category. It was a great ride from the young fella...he is only 19! I am starting to feel old!!! I got through the tour and I am in the process of getting my back and leg sorted so that I will be good for Qinghai Lake in July. It was nice to also see a lot of the guys that I ridden with over the past four seasons, I think that there were about 15 Aussies in the race!

As the weather in the Blue Mountains was hitting zero, with a bit of snow, I decided to stay in Vancouver for a week with an old friend. It was good to catch up and also to hit the mountains surrounding the area...albeit in shorts and a jersey soaking up the 30-degree days!!!

I am back in the mountains as I write this diary, the weather is ok, clear and 10 degrees.

Well I guess it is time to step aboard the Argon and give it a spin around my old stomping grounds. I am pretty sure that I will be able to give more discerning feedback after tackling Mt Victoria Pass a few times!!

Life is full of numbers, here are a few I encountered on my travels:

0 - number of Birthdays I have had in Australia in the last 5 years.
1 - number of team mates with the same birthday - Peter Herzig.
2 - 2nd my best result this month.
8 - hours wait between flight.
9 - flights in six weeks.
20 - total number of hours spent in airports in two months.
120 - cups of coffee.
35000 - kilometres travelled in plane since May.
Countless - number of times Air Canada #$@@%& me off!
For all the rest there is Mastercard!

Cody

Ahh, Guinness time

Tip top teamwork in Britain

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 05, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:20 BST

So, picking up from where I left off, which if my memory serves correct was lying on the floor of...

FBD Insurance Ras wrap, June 5, 2006

So, picking up from where I left off, which if my memory serves correct was lying on the floor of the bathroom trying not to be sick from being poisoned by some mexican...food that is! I guess that means it's time for more tales from the British Isles.

Melton Mowbray was the next race on our British Isles trip and as I mentioned before it was full of dirt road sectors and a lot of mud! Once again the team performed really well; always mixing it in the front group, finishing with two riders in the top 10 and all the guys in the top 30. The race was essentially held over a number of sectors that we would ride more than once and in both directions. A couple of the sectors were quite hard with a combination of hills, mud and 23mm tyres providing most of us with little or no traction...super fun happy slides were had by all!

After about 70km of the race we had ridden through a few of the sectors and a selection of 17 had been made at the front. This group included Macca, Josh and myself, although I was already beginning to feel the race in my legs due to my previous sickness. Joe had punctured on the worst sector and was forced to wait an eternity for a wheel change, effectively ending his chances after riding strongly in the front all day. The Professor had been caught out in a a bad split and was chasing through group after group trying to regain the front. Josh was intent on making the race and set about repeatedly attacking the front group trying to pull a few away; unfortunately they were more intent to ride across to his move but not drive a group away, which in turn brought his attacking back to the group.

Coming through the hardest sector for the last time I was basically feeling pretty average. I got dropped, chased back through the cars, got back on, got dropped, chased back on...then finally got dropped towards the finish. I was knackered! The Professor caught me with 10k to go, but I couldn't even follow the wheel. I rolled across the line on my own, with a flat back tyre and an eye for the closest can of Coke. Macca and Josh finished eighth and ninth, and the Professor finished just in front of me in 19th. Joe made it back to a group after his slow wheel change and finished in the top 30. As we headed to the showers there were still guys coming in in ones and twos, and I think only 50 guys finished with the biggest group being one of about eight riders! It was truly a battle!

After a week of good training and the odd coffee stop, we were boarding the ferry, destination Dublin, for the Ras - Ireland's national tour. The team consisted of the usual suspects, and our support staff included Ian Portess, Andy Hayton, Eric Kofler, and our fearless director Andy Portess...I say fearless because who really wants to take five Aussies to an eight-day race! Quite honestly I thought the guys could do a good ride over the ensuing 1200km, but what we achieved as a new team in one of our first international tours together exceeded my initial thoughts and left me wanting more!

Day 1 - Rain, 140 guys, a bit of wind...oh and did I mention rain?

It chucked it down the whole day, I don't actually think it stopped raining until 10km to go, and by this stage a group of 15 had spearheaded off the front including Joe. The day had been full of attacks as is usual the first day of a tour, but it took until about 90km into the stage before anything significant got away. The finish was up a hill that had a dodgy corner at the bottom. There were 15 in the front and Josh and I thought we should have a hit out in the bunch kick, as we rounded the bottom turn the front group was in sight. We figured we wouldn't catch the front so we just followed the wheels and then Josh hit out with 250 to go I was on his wheel and we began to catch a few remnants of the front group. At the finish Joe had taken third on the stage and Josh and I had run eighth and ninth. Not a bad first day! Joe also got a jersey, so he was up on the podium!

Day 2 - Not much to say today

I really can't say a lot about this stage as I missed the front group and finished safely in the peloton. The boys rode super again with Joe taking 11th on the hilly finish and Professor, Macca and Josh all finishing well up in the results. From all accounts Professor and Macca drove the break the whole day, putting some boys into difficulty. Nice work boys... Especially with only 90 psi in your tyres.

Day 3 - Did I mention the rain before?

Apparently there is a reason for every blade of grass being more green than a rookie! After going with a load of early moves I got caught out again and Joe and I were stuck in a group that was not the front of the race...for the second day in a row! The upside to this was that Josh 'the bull' Marden took the teams first international victory! Great ride mate! After the Professor attacked with 4km to go it was touch and go that he would stay away, Macca dropped 'the bull' off towards the front of the chasing bunch and coming into the last corner Josh sensed that Professor was going to be caught so he launched himself into second wheel as the rounded the final turn with 300m to go. 'The Bull' charged down the left hand side of the road menacing up the inclined finish straight to roar home with a two armed victory salute, with Professor punching the air in delight 50m before the line! Woo hoo! The team has a win, and importantly our young bull had taken the champagne, fuelling the whole team for ongoing success! We celebrated with a sip of Guinness, and yes, it does taste different in Ireland.

Day 4 - Today it didn't just rain. It was freezing rain!

By now we had covered the southern part of Ireland and were heading into the heavy terrain of the west coast. Today was billed as the hardest of the tour and it included seven categorised climbs including a cat 1 towards the finish of the stage. Professor had ridden his way into contention for the climber's jersey so it would be a good opportunity to go on the attack and take some points. I attacked from the gun and got into a lead group of four riders. I had to be aggressive today to try to help Professor as much as possible and I was also sick of riding in the unmotivated peloton.

I also needed to get some results, plain and simple, and I had missed the bunch sprint yesterday. There was fuel for the fire! We stayed away over the first kom, and were brought back just before the second where Professor hit out to take maximum points, putting the jersey on his back by one point! There was constant attacking for the next 30k when finally a group got away. The Professor, being the sort of lad that he is, decided to then ride across the gap on his own. The peloton slowed slightly as we rode along the coast and Professor was putting all the guys "in the box", building a lead for the front group. By this stage it was FREEZING, the rain was coming down....I needed more clothes! I went back to the team car and got the boys some bottles and my rain jacket and a pair of dry warm gloves.

The pace was beginning to lift again in the peloton as I was trying to make my back up the front, and with bottles and jackets stuffed up my jersey I looked like the Michelin man! Once I made it to the front I had discarded the bottles to my team mates, but I still had not put on my jacket or my gloves...they were still stuffed under the front of my jersey...and the attacks were flying as the lead had blown out. I covered a few moves then found myself in a group with all the GC riders - Pate, O'Laughlin, Hegreberg and Evans - oh yeah! They rode flat stick and crossed the three minute gap to the front...I never got to put my jacket on and I rode for 10km with one glove still stuffed up my jersey. It wasn't until we were really closing in on the leaders was I able to get the other glove on, my hand was almost blue! At this stage of the race, Professor had the yellow jersey on the road! We reached the front at the bottom of the Cat 1 climb...great, just what I needed!

Professor hit out to get the points on the climb, and I rode flat stick just trying to hold Pate's wheel! I got dropped just before the top and Mark Lovatt was just in front. He waited for me and another guy, and we proceeded to ride flat out to catch the front. I was on my limit. We caught two groups including Professor, who had done enough to secure the KOM jersey, and kept riding flat out. In the last 5km we were told that the front seven had about a minute, and unfortunately we would not be riding for the win. I took our group sprint for eighth. I was pretty pleased with my ride because basically a day with seven categorised climbs would not normally be the terrain for a rider better known for his sprint than climbing ability! I was smiling even though I was freezing! The team had the KOM jersey, and maybe I am becoming more than just a silly sprinter!

Day 5 - A little bit of bad luck

Today was the first day that there was some control in the bunch. A group got away with Josh in it. The peloton let it blow out to a few minutes, then they chased to make sure they didn't have too much time at the finish. Some of the other teams wanted our help to bring back some time, but with Josh up front we weren't "doin' a tap for no..." It was fast, but smooth. Josh flatted on the downhill run to the finish after having been in the lead for 120km. He got a wheel change and got back onto the group but other riders had taken advantage of his misfortune and had jumped away. Josh did another great ride and took fifth place. I won the bunch kick, and nothing changed in the overall. Professor still had the KOM jersey, and was slowly getting used to having team mates getting him food, taking him to the front, and relaxing a bit!

Day 6 - A day I'd rather forget

Today was a split stage. A team time trial in the morning followed by an 83km road stage in the arvo. It is actually a day I would rather forget. I was bad in the time trial. I tried to help as much as possible, but I just simply had nothing in the legs. The boys did a great job, but due to there being two teams classifications our results do not clearly reflect this. The teams were split into International and County, that's fine, but they then penalised the teams according to this classification. This meant first teams in each classification would be given the same time and then each following team would be penalised in team ranking and not on their time. The first County team was given the same time as the first International team even though they were three minutes slower, handing the lead to Tommy Evans even though his team finished minutes behind the Recycling team....bizarre, but that's bike racing!

The arvo stage was then a 'lets rip it up in the crosswinds fest', commented by Mark Lovatt mid stage in broad Liverpool accent "...that's not f***ing normal that was, the pro world's weren't this f***ing hard!" I made second split but Professor our GC man was in the third group. Macca and I then went back to help him - when we got back to Professor he was in a bit of a "panic", (I guess that's what you would call it) after telling a few guys to please remove themselves from the echelon if they were not going to contribute...in no uncertain terms, Macca was able to help him get back to the front whilst I went out the back and only saw them again at the finish. Joe had made the front split and was trying to take KOM points away from Power. Once again the team was riding well, and looking after each other.

As I said...I would rather forget today!

Results - stage 7a
Results - stage 7b

Day 7 - At last, not quite so much wind

We are now heading across the country, the rain has stopped and the wind is at our backs. Professor unfortunately lost the KOM jersey yesterday, but as there are no climbs today he can switch off a little and recharge the brain for our assault on the last climbs on the final stage. Macca had a great ride and would have probably won the stage, but Recycling chose not let the gap get too big and it was not meant to be; a strange tactic for the seventh day of a Tour! Macca attacked from the gun, and formed a strong breakaway group. The lead grew to more than one minute, but then "oddly" the Polish team and the Recycling team began to ride tempo and not let a gap grow. Normally a group would build a lead, especially with nobody a GC threat, and then make the sprinter's teams chase in the last 50k. Not today!

Macca was caught 4km from the finish after doing away with his other breakaway companions some time before. Four kilometres - that's 164km of a 168km stage off the front. Nice work Macca, it's just purely unlucky! With Macca now back in the fold, FRF Couriers/Caravello set out to lead out the sprint. Josh was looking after me really well and we had planned for Josh to hit out early and for me to make my sprint in the last 100m, which suits me better. Professor was on the front with 1km to go, we rounded the last corner and there was a rush to the line. I screamed at Bull to go, but by then it was too late. The 1km to go banner, was a little closer then 1km and someone had not erected the 700, 500, 300m banners, just a lonely 150m to go sign, which effectively signalled "too late" for our lead out. The guys all did a great job once again, but lady luck was certainly not on our side today. Macca was caught, our sprint was thwarted and Joe had run off the road and got two punctures...one in the last 3km!

Day 8 - One last chance...

Professor was equal on points in the KOM with Ciaron Power leading into the final stage. We had to just get one point ahead. There were four KOM's along the road. Ciaron is better known for his sprint, and with the climbs only being cat 3 it was going to be a hard job. On the first KOM there were two away, Power took the third and Professor took fourth. Power now had a 1 point advantage. I tried to take the points from Power but to no avail. On the next climb it was the same scenario. I hit out early to try and keep the pace high, hoping that we might be able to get a gap, Macca and Joe were also in the fold trying to disrupt things in the charge for points....not a chance. Power was basically too fast. On the third climb, Power had a small lead heading to the climb. We gambled that the lead would make him tired, and that the GC teams would pick the pace up as it was in the last 30k. We gambled and we lost. I hit out at the bottom of the climb absolutely flat out trying to bridge the gap with Professor on my wheel. I put myself "in the box" and Professor jumped the gap, but couldn't secure any points. KOM jersey OVER! We tried all week, and we certainly threw everything we had into the last day, but Power was just better on those final climbs.

We now turned our attention to the finish. I had only just regained contact with the front group after the climb and I had the nose of my saddle crammed somewhere uncomfortable. We hit the climb with 10 km to go and I was at the front but just didn't have the legs. Macca made the move, but although I didn't know it, that was my last chance of taking a stage victory. As we crested the top of the climb the lead group had 15 seconds. Professor, Joe and Bull and got on the front and drove it. I thought we were going to get them back, but with 2k to go the gap had not closed. The boys kept driving, as we were also trying to protect Professors GC place of 6th. I took 2nd in the gallop, but no win. 8 days and no win. I could only shrug it off....with clenched teeth! To add salt to the wound, Professor had lost his 6th place dropping down one place to 7th. He finished on the same time as 6th, but 6th place finished higher than him on the final stage. I think each rider in the team ended up with about 3 top 10 placings each, not bad for a bunch of Aussie mugs!

All in all the team performed really well, we mixed it up everyday, took a stage, and very nearly the KOM jersey, seventh on GC, third overall in the teams classification. We became a team that week. Under our director Andy Portess we made the best of every situation that was available to us. His input every day gave us all the information and motivation that a rider needs. Thanks for believing in us, mate. To all the staff - Ian, Eric and the other Andy thanks a million. Oh and our Audi A3 team car was the best by far, thanks Andy Hayton!

So now we are back in England for a few days before heading over to Canada where everything might seem a little easier, and we might be able to understand the Canadians....even if they are speaking French!

May the form follow,

Cody.....

Bashing out the k's

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 26, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 11:56 BST

Hello to all, I have shelved the mountain bike and the track bike and kicked on aboard the Argon 18!...

April 26, 2006

Hello to all,

I have shelved the mountain bike and the track bike and kicked on aboard the Argon 18! My sanity has been re-assessed after my 8 hour experience and I have been let out on day release!

Since my last diary entry a few things have been happening in my world and the world of the FRF Couriers/Caravello cycling team.

Some of the boys headed off to South Africa for the Giro del Capo, and got in a good five-day tour. The Giro del Capo looked like quite a hard tour and the wind was a huge factor in the outcome of each stage. For some of the boys that gained selection it was the biggest race they had competed in, and I'm sure they learnt a few things and will gain experience from it for the rest of the season. Unfortunately Tony had a nasty crash on stage 2 and had to abandon. Hope the wounds are healing mate!

The rest of us were busy training and racing locally, and with some success. Robbie Cater, one of the young guys on the team, took two victories and second overall in the summer criterium series held at Heffron Park. Nice work! I managed to win six races and the overall at the Penrith criterium summer series. Of course, these races are not huge milestones but are nevertheless important building blocks to a solid training base and a solid season ahead. After not going to South Africa I prolonged the building stage for my season and I hope it will pay dividends in the coming races.

The team recently took a victory at the Macarthur criterium through Josh Marden. After getting away in a three-man break early on with Troy Glennan, the two boys up front managed to consolidate a win and third place. I leapt out of the bunch with about 20 minutes to go accompanied by Cam "sock height" (surname unknown) - I took fourth place and Robbie brought home the bunch for sixth. A great day for the team!

I also did the 120km Blayney to Bathurst and what an eventful day that turned out to be....but for not exactly all the right reasons! My teammates Brendan Jones and Aaron Little performed well to take fourth and third respectively. I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time by myself (and it wasn't because I have no friends!). As the event was not exactly a normal road race, allowing for the fact that it had a component for non-affiliated riders, there was no neutral service; unfortunately I punctured after 27km and watched 10 bunches ride past me until Mark Chapman pulled up and gave me a wheel...so I took off and did an 80km time trial - I caught bunch after bunch but figured I might as well just keep bashing my head against the brick wall that was positioned on top of my Cinelli stem!

It ended up just being a training ride...except normally I wouldn't get up at 4.30am to go training! Once I did get to the finish line I pretty much decided to just keep plugging along...ending up riding home after the race. Mount Victoria Pass hurts at the best of times, but after 200km I was seriously questioning my mental state and I knew I still had another 30km left to get home! I guess it was a good way of getting a big day of training in...with almost 3000 metres of ascending according to the Polar!

So apart from that not a lot has been happening; I've just been bashing out the K's, basically. After Canberra Tour the team will be heading over to the Tour of Ireland and GP de Beauce in Canada, which are two great races. I am just about to once again do battle with the rain gods and try and dodge those round drops of precipitation....ahh, nothing like living 1000 metres above sea level - it's been a bit wet of late up here in the Blue Mountains...I guess it ain't snowin' so it ain't that bad! Back to the building blocks!

Cheers,
Cody

Bashing out the k's

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 26, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 11:56 BST

Hello to all, I have shelved the mountain bike and the track bike and kicked on aboard the Argon 18!...

April 26, 2006

Hello to all,

I have shelved the mountain bike and the track bike and kicked on aboard the Argon 18! My sanity has been re-assessed after my 8 hour experience and I have been let out on day release!

Since my last diary entry a few things have been happening in my world and the world of the FRF Couriers/Caravello cycling team.

Some of the boys headed off to South Africa for the Giro del Capo, and got in a good five-day tour. The Giro del Capo looked like quite a hard tour and the wind was a huge factor in the outcome of each stage. For some of the boys that gained selection it was the biggest race they had competed in, and I'm sure they learnt a few things and will gain experience from it for the rest of the season. Unfortunately Tony had a nasty crash on stage 2 and had to abandon. Hope the wounds are healing mate!

The rest of us were busy training and racing locally, and with some success. Robbie Cater, one of the young guys on the team, took two victories and second overall in the summer criterium series held at Heffron Park. Nice work! I managed to win six races and the overall at the Penrith criterium summer series. Of course, these races are not huge milestones but are nevertheless important building blocks to a solid training base and a solid season ahead. After not going to South Africa I prolonged the building stage for my season and I hope it will pay dividends in the coming races.

The team recently took a victory at the Macarthur criterium through Josh Marden. After getting away in a three-man break early on with Troy Glennan, the two boys up front managed to consolidate a win and third place. I leapt out of the bunch with about 20 minutes to go accompanied by Cam "sock height" (surname unknown) - I took fourth place and Robbie brought home the bunch for sixth. A great day for the team!

I also did the 120km Blayney to Bathurst and what an eventful day that turned out to be....but for not exactly all the right reasons! My teammates Brendan Jones and Aaron Little performed well to take fourth and third respectively. I, on the other hand, spent a lot of time by myself (and it wasn't because I have no friends!). As the event was not exactly a normal road race, allowing for the fact that it had a component for non-affiliated riders, there was no neutral service; unfortunately I punctured after 27km and watched 10 bunches ride past me until Mark Chapman pulled up and gave me a wheel...so I took off and did an 80km time trial - I caught bunch after bunch but figured I might as well just keep bashing my head against the brick wall that was positioned on top of my Cinelli stem!

It ended up just being a training ride...except normally I wouldn't get up at 4.30am to go training! Once I did get to the finish line I pretty much decided to just keep plugging along...ending up riding home after the race. Mount Victoria Pass hurts at the best of times, but after 200km I was seriously questioning my mental state and I knew I still had another 30km left to get home! I guess it was a good way of getting a big day of training in...with almost 3000 metres of ascending according to the Polar!

So apart from that not a lot has been happening; I've just been bashing out the K's, basically. After Canberra Tour the team will be heading over to the Tour of Ireland and GP de Beauce in Canada, which are two great races. I am just about to once again do battle with the rain gods and try and dodge those round drops of precipitation....ahh, nothing like living 1000 metres above sea level - it's been a bit wet of late up here in the Blue Mountains...I guess it ain't snowin' so it ain't that bad! Back to the building blocks!

Cheers,
Cody

Author
Cody Stevenson 06

After two years in Belgium with Team Cyclingnews.com, Cody Stevenson has returned to his homeland to ride for the brand new Australian outfit, FRF Couriers-Caravello. Follow Cody's adventures with his new squad as he makes the best use of his European garnered skills to make an impact on the domestic circuit. Australia UK USA