- Cycling News
February 14, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
Hi Troops, My last entry saw the finish of the TDU and a bit of R&R with Belle, my wife, and Jade,...
February 15, 2007
My last entry saw the finish of the TDU and a bit of R&R with Belle, my wife, and Jade, my precious 10 month-old.
So now after saying goodbye to my little family in Adelaide, I jumped on a plane that saw us fly via Kuala Lumpur (DVD collection has now grown) and then a quick stop in Taipei. From there we could finally begin our epic journey across the Pacific for our first team get together in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Upon arriving in Albuquerque, we were graced with slightly cooler weather than usual, I think it was kicking around the 5°C mark when we left the airport and headed to the Embassy Suites hotel overlooking the city.
A very nice hotel indeed and they really looked after us for the two week camp. The hotel was so shiny that even a few celebs had decided to stay there while shooting a movie somewhere around town. Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones and apparently Vin Diesel had all heard that Navigators and TEAm Lipton were down here for a training camp, so all wanted to do a movie that was shooting down here. Susan, or Susie as I like to call her, had also decided to come down and have breakfast with the stars (Navigators) one morning, so it was great catching up on old times with her that's for sure!
Anyway back to the camp, everyone had arrived by the second day and we could meet all the new faces of the squad. An 18-rider line up and some real depth and strength this year! The temps weren't getting any more inviting and just as well, it snowed a few nights into the camp which led to Santa Claus turning up and dropping off copious amounts of clothing and some beautiful Colnago C50s and Dream HPs. Some cyclists may tend to show that they aren't excited about getting heaps of new stuff, but deep down every rider rates it! The steeds this year are once again a work of art, race bikes (C50s) with Record and training bikes (Dreams) with Chorus. The only real change this year are the saddles, we're running Selle Italia this year and my Teknologika saddle weighs in at 95grams so no complaints there!
The first few days we punched out 3–4 hour rides, and kept it steady as we were cruising at an altitude of 5,000 feet. The next few days saw us focusing on team, individual and action photos which still saw us riding our steeds but had a few pauses. Towards the end of the photo session days, we headed to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa where we were treated to an afternoon of spa 'n' sauna action - and after a 5 hour ride in 0–5°C temps it was truly welcomed by everyone!
The Hyatt is built on an Indian Reservation, which are located all over New Mexico. Every tribe has its own reservation which were allocated to them many moons ago, this one being the Tamaya Tribe reserve hence the Hyatt's name. Juan Pablo Garcia-Neveu really turned on the hospitality and served us up an awesome meal after the pampering in the spa. The following day we came back to the resort and finished off with team photos, the back drop being the Resort. You can check the resort out at www.tamaya.hyatt.com - well worth a look.
Once the photos were out of the way we could get down to some good rides and hit some mountains. We climbed the mountain shadowing Albuquerque which still had snow on it, the roads were pretty much clear except on a couple of sections. One icy section snuck up on us and it happened to be on a short down hill section on the way up. It was a matter of oh shit and hang on! You really had no control and ya just let fate ride this one out. All of us stayed upright. The other snowy sections were while climbing so that was a bit easier to negotiate.
The camp lasted around two weeks and was really good for getting to know everyone. Most of the new nicknames have been sorted out as well which was good considering normally you need a few months to sort them out. Some names just fell into place. Here are a few old and new ones but you'll have to figure them out:
Chady, Choco, Magic Man, Horse Power, Donkey, Hiltz, Kobza, Lagu, The Russian Concussion, Matt Damon, Drag Queen, Craig David, Teen Wolf, Wee Man, Dolly, Riverdance and Tex.
Some are obvious and some are spontaneous.
A big and final shout out goes to Charlie who's putting cycling in Albuquerque on the map, not only for team camps but also for BMX, with a massive state of the art complex and also plans for a velodrome. He helped a lot with our camp with the organizing of our meals at several restaurants throughout the camp and anything and everything we needed. Thanks Charlie!
Next up for a few of us will be heading out to San Diego for a couple of days for some wind tunnel testing on our TT bikes. Should be cool!
Also this year I'll have a couple of trackers at the bottom of my entries - the first one being Hours on a Plane (sequel to Snakes on a Plane but a bit more interesting)
Hours on a plane in 2007 – 38 hours, 30 minutes
- Cycling News
January 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
Hi Everyone, After a nice six hour flight across to Seattle and then on to Bend we had finally...
Cascade Classic, Bend, Oregon, USA, July 12-16, 2006
After a nice six hour flight across to Seattle and then on to Bend we had finally arrived at our destination minus our entire luggage! No probs though, we had arrived at midnight and there aren't too many things you need at that time of night apart from a nice comfy bed! By the time we had got up the next morning and had some breakfast, our gear had arrived. We were all put up at host housing which is where a family is kind enough to look after two or three cyclists for the week. It's great for a change living with a family instead of a hotel room. Lovely home cooked meals and getting to know the families is also fun! So myself, Dave and Bernie were put up for the week with Henry, Laura Kay and their two sons, Alec and Rocky. The rest of the squad stayed with Al and Katie. Both families were awesome. They have been housing the Navigators for seven or more years and enjoy having us around for the week. So a big thank you to you all. You looked after us more than we could have asked for!
Stage 1: Ironhorse - A Brooks Resources Development, Prineville
The weather was good once again in the States and I did a bit of catching up before the start with a few other Aussie lads, which lifted my spirits even higher. It was a 150km stage made up of undulating terrain with a finish on top of a 1.8km climb in the city of Bend
As per usual the stage kicked off with a fast pace. There were a lot of fresh legs in the bunch and a lot of riders attempted to get away! At the 70km mark one rider went off the front solo and the bunch was content to let him go for now. With a tail wind out for 60 or so km that only meant that to head back to the finish there would be a nice head wind for us to contend with.
The bunch spilt up into bits over a KOM around the 90km mark but as no one wanted to drive it over the other side it gradually came back together. 30km from the finish, and after punching into the head wind for 20km, we turned left and you guessed it - Crosswind! And you guessed it, Chady missed the split. As the corner came up I was chatting to an old cycling buddy of mine (Mike Carter ) and as we came into the corner he said, "ya better move up!" I agreed and as I started punching it around the bunch I noticed that the speed was picking up and the smack was going down! As I caught a few guys the split had already been made. Five of my team mates were up there in a split of 20 guys so it wasn't bad for the team, only for me. I ended up riding in a group of 20 or so riders which were trying to bridge back across but to no avail! I had fun in that group anyway watching Miles Olman from the SA.com team making good friends with a few of the American riders in a manner of speaking! It went something like this, " Blow it out ya ass", "Go and get Fire Trucked" and a few other good old Aussie sayings.
As we neared the final ascent, of which the front group were heading up, the guys in my group were all sitting on saving themselves for it??? I led the group into the climb and hit it full throttle to try and peg some time back on the break up the road! No one in my group came with me, so lucky they were saving themselves. I managed to catch four guys from the front group who were just cruising up after doing their work for their team. Across the finish I was two minutes down on the winner. Sergey was third with Cesar, Valeriy and Burke all finishing in the top 10 and giving us a few options for the coming days.
Stage 2: The Center - McKenzie Pass
We started 132km from the town of Bend and went up into the lava fields of one of many dormant volcanoes surrounding this area. The race was still very open and the plan was to keep an eye on anyone who went up the road and make sure no real threats were in the moves. A move went with Bernard in it and at one point it wasn't too bad of a move until we finally got news of who was in it. There was a couple lads from Toyota and Ed decided that it was time to chase. So Dave, Burke and Valeriy started up an awesome effort to bring back 16 guys that were over three minutes up the road already. They chased flat out, just the three of them for at least 60km and eventually pulled them back. From there the climb was only about 20km away and although guys kept trying to get away it was all together by the bottom.
With 20km of climbing left to do, it wasn't long until the front group slowly dwindled down to about 10 - 15 riders. Sergey, Cesar and I were still there and constantly attacking along with a few other guys all trying get some time up on each other. With less than two km to go I put in a big dig but the yellow jersey chased me down. As I was caught a big unit from the Priority Health team attacked and no one chased. He got a good gap and everyone else started to think about the finish.
That's usually how you get away in the final kilometres. If you can get a good enough gap everyone else will look at one another hoping someone else will chase. In the final sprint for the line Sergey nearly caught the breakaway on the line. Cesar was sixth and I ran ninth all on the same time.
Stage 3: Pacific Power - Cascade Lakes
A 150km stage with a 30km climb at the start. We went down the other side of the climb and rode out through some amazing lakes and scenery and then back up the same climb, finishing at the top.
The pace was on from the start as per usual. Valeriy and Burke went away in a good move of nine riders, which stayed away for the whole stage. Nearing the top of the first climb the break was still only one minute in front so Dave attacked with me on his wheel to try and launch me across. Once he had done all he could do I took over and rode on my limit to try and bridge across. I hit the one km to go to KOM sign and was down about 25secs but unfortunately I ran out of climbing and the road flattened off for the KOM and presented a nice head wind! All the elements that would not help me get across.
I chased down the other side but couldn't get those last 20 seconds. The bunch was starting to nip at my heels and Ed told me to sit up and hide back in the bunch. From that point the break pulled away again and the Toyota team set tempo to keep anyone else from thinking about attacking. They chased all the way but couldn't pull the front runners back. We came back to the mountain for the final 10 km ascent to the top.
The plan was to do a five man all out attack in the order of Bernie, Dave, Myself, Cesar and Sergey. A good move except the latter two riders didn't get on our train??? Bernie hit out then Dave, We had a good gap and I kept it going but Toyota gave chase. The bunch thinned out pretty fast but after my dig at the bottom, I found it hard to hang on.
Out at the front the break was down to three riders, including Valeriy and Burke. I was yo-yoing off the remaining six riders chasing the front three breakaways. By the top both Burke and Valeriy had attacked the other last remaining breakaway rider and finished in that order. A good one-two for the team and a good win for Burke! The main chasers came in around 30 seconds down and I rode in around 20secs behind them. The leaders jersey had now swapped shoulders to Jeff Louder from the Health Net team.
Stage 4: Arnold Market TT
An 11 kilometre time trial around a rectangular circuit on a nice sunny morning, can't fault that I reckon! Not many tactics here in such a short TT, just go flat out and hope for the best. Our resident TT guru Bernie Mac is always keen for a race against the clock. He came home in second, eight seconds behind fellow TT machine Nathan O'Neill. Sergey once again rounded off the top three. I snuck home in fifth, which wasn't too bad. My TT riding seems to be improving?
Stage: 5 Downtown Criterium
An hour and a half of flat out racing on a nice warm Saturday evening! Health Net rode at the front from the start and kept the pace high to deter a breakaways! Yeah right! It just means that guys try to attack even harder and fast to get off the front of an already steaming race. Eventually a move went with Dave representing Navigators up front. It came within 20 seconds of lapping the field but couldn't quite seal the deal.
We had all set ourselves up behind the pace setters, which kept us out of trouble. The pace was kept around the 45kph mark and as the break started to stuff around up front and I don't think they knew we were nipping on their heels. They were caught with a lap and a half to go.
It came down to a big bunch sprint, most us just cruised in at the front half of the field. Good old versatile Sergey had a dabble and sprinted home in seventh. .One stage to go and the top five are still only seconds apart!
Stage 6: Deschutes Brewery - Awbrey Butte Circuit Race
Five laps around a 25km circuit. Hot and sunny was the forecast so plenty of bidons were on the menu. Each undulating lap had a nice little 1.5km KOM every time which was gonna split the field for sure. Plus there were bonus seconds every time past the finish line, which would play a big factor in the race for the yellow jersey.
After the first sprint we hit the first run up the KOM, feeling good at the top and while the field was spread out. I put in an attack to see if I could keep the field apart and separate a few of Sergeys threats on GC away from their team mates. As it turned out I went solo for a few Ks before a group of three came across. Of the four of us I was the highest placed rider on GC at 2min 30secs down. We worked well together and rode out to just over four minutes ahead of the peloton. From now every lap I worked it with the other guys so that I could take the 15 second time bonus every lap. This would help if I was to stay away till the end. Every second would count!
The field behind was breaking up with the attacking from the GC teams trying to break each other up and this was bringing our time gap down, unfortunately. Coming into the final lap I took the maximum bonus seconds. One rider was sitting on by now and was happy to take fourth place if we stayed away. Another guy who we were letting take the KOM points was happy with third and as I was the only guy racing for time I had worked it with the final guy that he could have the stage as long as he gave his everything and worked with me to the line.
With 10km to go the time gap was still around 1 min 40, which was gonna be close! For some reason a couple of teams started chasing that really had no reason to??? Whether it was the heat that made them do it (there was no chance they were gonna bring us back now for a bunch finish) or some coin exchanged hands (but I doubt it). Anyway we crossed the finish line about 1 min 25 in front of the remainder of the field. With that time and the 50seconds time bonuses I had picked up through the stage, that put me 22seconds behind the overall winner and into fourth place. Bugger!! It was worth a shot though.
It was never the plan but as the stage played out it gave us a second option and put a bit more pressure on other teams, which is always good. I was second on the stage and Sergey moved into third overall with myself fourth.
All in all it was a nice tour with plenty of sun, great scenery (we were racing in 30-35°C while surrounded by mountains with white caps on them still!) And the host housing was great!
Next up is a seven-day tour in Altoona Pennsylvania. We have another good strong line up. Hopefully all goes well! After that one last tour in 'The States' I get to go home to my girls which I am hanging out for!
I refer to this country as 'The States' now as some Americans found it funny when I called it 'America'?
Met a cool character by the name of Angelo yesterday who, when introduced, gave me a good old Jersey, 'How you Doin!'.
So till next time,
Latest read - Beyond the Band of Brothers, by Major Dick Winters.
Latest Flick - Clerks 2
Last tune I listened to - Coward by Peter Evrard
Cycling tip of the month - Don't wear ya grandpas brown cotton socks, even if you can get good sock height! A few of us saw you in the bunch in Oregon and you have been reported to the UCI.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Chady & friends
- Cycling News
January 23, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 21, 2009, 11:58 BST
Finally, the big stage that everyone was working to since the beginning of the tour! The weather...
January 20 - Stage 4: Willunga - Willunga, 147km
Finally, the big stage that everyone was working to since the beginning of the tour! The weather wasn't really any better than yesterday, I kind of had the feeling that I was back in the land that god forgot, which is West Flanders, Belgium. Plenty of wind and rain but no cobbles to make the trifecta complete.
So it was three laps of 39 km circuit before heading up the penultimate climb in Willunga and a further 15km to the finish. In good old cross wind fashion the gutter action came after about four kilometres.
It was a very fast and furious first lap and a break of about 11 went away at about the 30km mark and we could finally settle down a bit. Of the Navigators riders we had Darren Lill and Sergey Lagutin up there which was good. Unfortunately Sergey punctured shortly after they escaped and despite a tough, hard ride to get back across he couldn't get there.
For the remainder of the laps around the beach it was basically trying to keep yourself up front incase any teams wanted to line it out, which was the case on a few occasions. I was caught out once but got back on and made sure it didn't happen again.
The break was coming back as we neared the climb and the pace of the Lotto squad up front leading was splintering the field. We hit the climb and the race blew to bits, as usual.
The bottom seems to be the toughest 'till you can get yourself into a rhythm and ride yourself back up into or past groups. A small group had rocketed off the front and caught what was left of the break.
I had managed to ride up into the second group on the climb which had Hiltz [Ed: presumably Hilton Clarke] in it. He's really climbing well at the moment. We had talked earlier and he was feeling good so we'd decided if I was near him we'd stick together so I could help him get back up to the leaders.
As it turned out we didn't have to as the leaders jersey was in our group and he had a couple of team mates with him plus Team CSC were keen to bring back the break as well. It was a fierce, fast ride across the top of the climb and back down the quick descent in the rain.
As we neared the five kilometres to go sign we had caught the break and were now apart of a 50 strong group. The attacks continued along with heaps of gutter action right to the line.
A Choco' Jaques rider took the honours just ahead of Sergey with third going to Martin Elmiger of Ag2r. The two-second time bonus he gained from his place jumped him ahead of Menzies by a second to give him the leaders' jersey going into the final stage.
- Cycling News
January 23, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 21, 2009, 11:58 BST
No rain today for the final stage but a hell of a lot of wind! The race was going to be a battle...
January 21 - Stage 5: Adelaide City circuit, 81km
No rain today for the final stage but a hell of a lot of wind! The race was going to be a battle between two teams: Ag2r and the Aussie - UniSA team.
We had 18 laps to complete and the first time bonus sprint came with 10 laps remaining. We figured that the race would be controlled 'till at least that time bonus sprint and it was.
Elmiger managed to win it giving himself an even bigger advantage over Karl. The UniSA boys weren't gonna go down without a fight, but that Ochre Jersey had given Elmiger some extra HP [Ed: Horse Power] as a leader's jersey often does and took it right to the finish.
The final sprint was a hotly contested one with a few hands being raised between the sprinters as they crossed the line. Hiltz came out of the last corner in third, but got caught up against the fence and by the time he was able to back out of that and go again the race was pretty much over!
So that was the TDU for another year, another close one! I think the weather helped the Euros a lot this year for sure, normally the high temps really take their toll on the field and you see a lot more splits on the climbs.
But what a well organised event! More and more people are coming out to this event every year and it's an awesome buzz when you're riding amongst so many spectators. It's an event for any keen bike race fan to definitely experience some day!
I've got a few days now to kick back with Belle and Jade before heading off on Thursday to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a three-week training camp. After that I follow onto the Tour of California.
Hopefully The Governator will be there again this year and I might see him and catch up on old times.
So till next time: "I'll be Back"
- Cycling News
January 20, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
Well the weather man finally got it right! The rains are here. Although we were greeted with a break...
January 20, 2007
Stage 3, Stirling Victor Harbor, 128km
Well the weather man finally got it right! The rains are here. Although we were greeted with a break in the weather while we headed to the start in Stirling. The break was welcome because the winding roads out of the town were bound to be greasy.
It wasn't the South Africans' day. On an early descent, Robbie Hunter had a spill and teammate Darren Lill crossed it up on a corner but he managed to hold it up. Nice work, mate!
So the attacks kicked off early and by the tenth kilometer, a 19 man group had formed. They rode hard for the first hour, holding off the chasing bunch by a minute before the Chocolade Jacques and Agributel teams gave up. The first 50km were all over in an hour which was making for a short day and caused us to finish half an hour ahead of schedule.
For the main field, it was just cruise mode for most of the day except for the KOM at 85km. I noticed CSC forming at the front before the climb, so made sure I was near the front once the climb began. Sure enough, they lit it up. About 30 riders went over the top together, with the leader's' jersey on his own, but no one wanted to keep riding over the top, and everything came back together.
Back up front, the rain was still coming down, and the break started to split apart. Two riders had gone clear and managed to hold off the bits and pieces of the break. Viktor (Rapinski) had been up front all day and had collected a number of sprint points along the way to take over the lead in that category.
For the rest of us, it was a reasonably easy day, a welcome one at that given the upcoming almighty Wilunga stage.
As far as I know, it has never rained like this ever in the TDU but it's proved its point and can go away for now.
- Cycling News
January 18, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
April 22, 2009, 20:15 BST
In good old fashion, we lined up under the bright warm sunshine that Adelaide always seems to have...
January 19, 2007
Stage 1: Mawson Lakes Tanunda 155km
In good old fashion, we lined up under the bright warm sunshine that Adelaide always seems to have for us in January for the Tour Down Under (TDU) week, but apparently that's about to change in the next couple of days as rain has been forecast. We shall see!
So off we went with a nice rolling 8km before someone finally decide to try and sneak up the road. Once someone attacks, that's pretty much the signal for everyone to start attacking. Usually no one wants to be the initiator of the first attack as you are generally frowned upon by the peleton. But we were finally underway, and as history has proven, once a good sized break forms, the race is over, and the main field watches the break ride 20 to 30 minutes up the road to the finish.
As was the case again this year, 18 riders went clear after 20km of racing and for a first in the TDU history, there was at least one rider from every team represented including yours truly. I was feeling a tad shabby but hoped that I'd ride myself into it. Mid-way I started to feel a bit better, but still worked on looking after myself as best I could. CSC had two guys up here, so they would be ones to watch for sure, plus the SouthAustralia.com boys also had two and seemed to be riding well. Coming into the final 30km lap through Tanunda, the heat got turned up in the break and the air, and I was feeling both! Our group split into three groups in the final 20km and turned into a good old drag race to the line. Top fueler Karl Chopper Menzies took the honors ahead of an AG2R rider.
Karl had mentioned to me earlier in the stage that he didn't rate being the GC guy of Australia-UniSA now, but I'm sure he'll be fine. I've raced him a fair bit in the States and he's a tough man to get rid of! As for myself, I managed to sneak home in 18th, which I thought was a great result considering there were only 18 of us in the break! Ah well, I'll be looking for a couple easy days in the bunch before tackling the Wilunga stage on Saturday.
Stage 2: Mannum Hahndorf, 150km
Temps were down today which was welcome at the start near the almighty Murry River in Mannun. Its amazing to see all the local support from the host towns and all the people that travel to the start and finish of each stage. These crowds are getting bigger every year and are giving tours around the world a run for their money!
So we kicked off at 11:00 am again, and this time we racked up 15km before the first attacks began. Ben (Brooks) and Serge (Pauwels) were getting amongst it early and if it wasn't for the Chocolade Jacques lad who finished up front yesterday being there, they would have ridden away. He was first asked very nicely by every rider to go away because the move would never work with him in it, but he wouldn't budge! Then I'm guessing he was asked a bit more sternly, and based on how it worked out, Serge Pauwels probably won't be on any of their Christmas card lists this year?
By a lot of hard chasing the Australia-UniSA lads had pulled back the dangerous moves in the first half of the race before letting a good break go with no real threats to the overall in it. Hiltz (ed. - Hilton Clarke) and Viktor (Rapinski) had managed to get away as we got nearer to the 18km finishing laps in Hadndorf. The main field had settled down nicely and we watched the break ride off into the distance. All the GC contenders were content to sit back and rest up for the coming stages.
Up front, things were starting to play out, with the final lap beginning. The Agributel rider attacked on the small climb out of Hahndorf with Hiltz and (Stuart) O'Grady in tow. They managed to hold the remnants of the break off for most of the lap before a bit of stuffing around by a rider led to their demise with 600m to go. The speed of the pursuing group saw two Chocolade Jacques riders launch off the front as the three escapees were caught and were never challenged for first and second. O'Grady ran third with Hiltz coming across in fourth. He was fourth on this stage last year as well, but I'm sure he'll notch up a win before the week ends.
Only 128km tomorrow, but the rain has finally arrived as I'm typing these last few words. (I) don't really want to wish the rain away as the farmers need it, but don't really want to ride in it either! We'll see what happens.
- Glen Chadwick 06
Leaving the sunny shores of Belgium after riding with distinction for Team Cyclingnews.com in 2005, Australian Glen Chadwick has leapt across the pond to the USA where he'll ride for Navigators Insurance. Follow 'Chady' as he races with this US-based squad throughout North America and the rest of the world. Australia UK USA