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Trent Wilson

Noosa golf day,

A short off-season

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day, I am back in Sydney after my first road trip of the year, the Jayco Bay Classic and the...

January 19, 2008

G'day,

I am back in Sydney after my first road trip of the year, the Jayco Bay Classic and the National Champs. The off-season and pre-season have come and gone and the 2008 season is underway. It's been a busy off-season this year, probably my busiest yet.

Last time I wrote I was on the way to Noosa for the "Dash for cash." It was once again a sensational week away, the promoters really spoil us. A few rides, a bit of beach time, a golf day, some coffee shop time, a bike race and quite a few beers was pretty much the week. The race itself was tough considering the money that was on offer. I was glad I rode my bike between the Sun Tour and Noosa, it was definitely no stroll in the park.

The 'offy' was over quickly this year. I didn't have as much time off the bike as usual, mainly because I had already been cruising for two weeks before Noosa and mentally I was fresh. However, the 'offy' wasn't spent relaxing with the feet up on the lounge, because I had to move house twice in three weeks. There also seemed to be something on every weekend, or every second day for that matter.

The pre-season was good, with a few weeks of easing into training along with gym, two weeks up the Gold Coast and a few good hard weeks of training back in Sydney.

I was up the Gold Coast for almost two weeks to race the South Bank and Surfers crits. Once again, Geoff Meyer looked after us well. Most days were spent doing four to five hours on the bike, some pool time, a body bash at the beach and a pub meal with the boys. The highlights had to be Nick Gates's engagement party, the Annual Surf life saving luncheon, and the gold day at Lakelands.

The Southbank crit was a wake up call to the body and the rain didn't help make the race any easier. I had good legs in Surfers and cruised through a lot easier. It was great to see Bobby Phillips get a win in his last race.

Back in Sydney, and it was back to reality. The weather at the time was dismal, and I got wet more then a few times. It was then once again, time for another December crit. This time in Cronulla, and again we had another retirement. Matt White also took the win on his last day as a professional and then through the best "end of career" party ever, hiring a boat on Sydney harbour. I had good legs in the race and actually took out the overall sprint competition for the day.

Christmas and New Years was a low key and I got the chance to get a huge week of miles in on the bike in the good weather. Except for when I was able to see a favourite group of mine, Sneaky Sound Systems at my local pub, the Mean Fiddler.

Next was the first race of the 2008 season, my tenth consecutive Jayco Bay Series. The form wasn't too bad and I rode myself into the series getting better everyday. By the last crit I finished in the top ten. The weather was great this year and I really enjoyed the series this time around.

I spent the next week in Melbourne training with a good group, a mix of Melbournians and Gold Coastian's who were down to miss the flooding weather they were having up north. We got some good rides in mixed with a few laughs along the way. The weather was once again fantastic and it was a very enjoyable week while staying at Allan Lang's house.

I went into the Nationals this year with a lot of confidence; I knew my form was good for January, though I have never ridden well at Ballerat. It was of course a hard race around a hard course with pretty much the who's who of Aussie cycling minus a few. The field was damn good! I ran 14th, not what I was expecting, but with the legs I had on the day I have to be happy, and there weren't too many non-professional’s at the finish.

Now I am back in Syd's having an easy week on the bike before ripping into it again next week. I have another six or so weeks to make sure I'm going well when I get to the states. It's a late start there for us next year, but it will be a stacked programme once it gets underway.

Cheers,
Willo

Wilson (l) and Hop and at the races

On the bike

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day! I just finished reading Rory Sutherland's diary (Rory you can add me to your growing list of...

February 29, 2008

G'day!

I just finished reading Rory Sutherland's diary (Rory you can add me to your growing list of reader's) and the Tour Of California results; geez it looked cold and wet over there! Although in saying that Sydney, and Australia for that matter, has not really had a summer this year. I can't remember not getting wet on any of my six-hour rides in the past month. I have grim and barred it until today, today just took the piss. I was out with my three FRF training partners -- Bennett, Brooksy and Jory -- and it all became too much when you pretty much can't see half your front wheel through the water on the road. Although, we still got four hours in. I am now defrosting on the lounge with a cup of coffee and catching up on internet time.

That may have sounded like a complaint, but far from it, I'd much prefer to do that than anything else in the world at the moment. I was just thinking how hard that stage win must have been for Dominque Rollin in Cali; it looked terrible. Maybe I should just harden up?

The last six or so weeks have been spent setting what I think is my best ever pre-season base. I have enjoyed riding more than ever this year and, as I put it, "going to the office" has been a pleasure. This pre-season has been my biggest ever as far as I can remember and I put it down to just loving my job. I can't wait to head into the office and sometimes not that keen to get home. A 6.5-hour day in the saddle and the occasional smoko break and you've got yourself a nice little day in the office.

Who knows what has brought this new release of motivation this pre-season; well, I have an idea, but hopefully the hours I have put in this pre-season will pay off during the year, which I think they will.

Between doing 900-1000km weeks I have managed to win four races from four starts, but two wins that really count. I finally won the Joseph Sunde Memorial after coming close a few times and leading Hoppy out two years ago for his win. Damn, it felt good to finally get that win, and it meant more when people approached me afterwards to tell me how happy they were that I'd finally won it. The other win was last weekend at the Macather Open criterium. There was quite a handy field with a mix of young hitters and older sparring partners that brought me back to the late 1990's.

I normally talk about more off-the-bike stuff than on-the-bike stuff, but to be honest there hasn't been much of the former. The golf sticks have been getting dusty, though they are coming out on Monday at my annual going away golf day. The weather hasn't been beach weather or Barbie weather. I did however get a chance to head up to the Hunter Valley to stock up on the wine collection.

I am off to the United States next week and straight into the teams training camp. From there we're off to California for the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands Stage Race. I am ready to come out swinging, if I don't, well the next diary entry will be a bit more morbid.

Life, how good is it?
Cheers Willo

Trent Wilson (2nd r) with his 'mates' at the brewery for the team launch.

Georgia camp

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day! I am back in Nash-Vegas, just arrived a few days ago after a ten-day training camp in...

March 27, 2008

G'day!

I am back in Nash-Vegas, just arrived a few days ago after a ten-day training camp in Georgia, USA. I've just arrived home from training and I can say I got snowed on. I wouldn't get too carried away, it was no blizzard but it's enough for this warm-blooded Sydney-sider to carry on about.

It was good to roll into Nashie a few days ago and catch up with a few of my old mates. The boys were pretty keen to catch up and wouldn't even take "no" for an answer. After saying "no" on the phone twice, the guys resorted to driving around to pick me up. One guy I was particularly happy to catch up with was Sharpie, I have to give this guy a 'shout out.' He's our sock sponsor and actually has a sock called 'the willo' which has four inches of sock height. His socks are the best, end of story! I am back living with my DS, good mate Jesse and his wife Jen.

The last week in Sydney was spent as it always is, running around getting stuff sorted and tying loose ends, along with catching up with family and friends. I got my annual 'going away' golf day in a few days before leaving. I shot a very impressive 125, I got my money's worth around the former PGA course. The par five holes really need to be more like a par seven.

My trip to the States was a nightmare. This is my ninth season racing overseas, and my seventh as a professional and I have had some epic journeys, but nothing like this one. It started with a two-hour drive in Sydney's peak hour traffic, which left me cursing at everything and pretty happy to leave the city. Once I was through customs it turned pear shaped, our flight got delayed time and time again and eventually left the runway 12 hours late and 10 minutes before curfew.

It was one thing after another. Firstly, engine problems, we got on the flight and the problem was still there, then they had to change the crew, then the meals went off, then they changed the crew again before we finally took off. Once getting to Los Angeles, I got on the red eye flight to Atlanta. After getting the middle seat from Sydney to LA, it was awesome to get upgraded to business class for that short trip. Door to door the trip was 39 hours. That alone is bad, but then I was straight into a ten day training camp. That afternoon on the sponsors ride I found myself falling asleep on the bike.

With the trip behind me, the training camp was great. After two easy days we jumped into a solid three-day block on the undulating roads of Madison, Georgia. We then had the team launch at Terrapin Brewery (where we got to sample a few brews), a day easy and then three days in the Georgia mountains. I pretty much got my butt handed to me the entire training camp, I felt like I was chasing my tail to recover all week. On top of all the kilometres we did, we had a fair bit of publicity to do along with photos and meeting. It was full gas the entire camp, but it was a good time. We have a great bunch of guys on the team this year, and as a first I will give a quick rundown of the squadra....

- Jesse Lawler: The "boss," not Bruce Springsteen, but our director sportif. Not only does he do an awesome job but he's a top bloke too. Best DS I've ever ridden under.
- Neil Shirley: Third in last years USPRO road race. He's riding the cloud nine after a great 2007 and new baby girl.
- Evan Elkin: He's back for his 17th year with the JJ's team. Nah jokes, he is though the longest serving rider. The former baseball pitcher is without doubt the winner of the most weight lost in the pre-season. He looks ripped and is going to shock a few this season.
- Cody Stevenson: Cody looks lean, haven't seen Stevo yet! The San Diego pre-season with Shirls has definitely paid off for the five-foot of fury. By the way, read his diary entry for the differences of Cody and me. We look nothing alike, I'm better looking.
- Matt Shriver: The worst thing he did in 2007 was say he hated the nickname 'Shirvo.' He doesn't sprint like Matt Shirvington but man, he can climb.
- Tim Henry: The man with two first names also has had an eventful offy, getting engaged. With a bad knee he's going to be sidelined for a while but should shine in summer.
- Ben 'Diesel' Kneller: Mate, how strong is this guy? A new guy on the team and a neo-pro, he turns up to camp with a broken collar bone and rides the entire camp in the saddle without complaint. Hard as nails...
- Ryan Sullivan: Just like his brother, strong on the bike and dry-funny off the bike. He's going to be a good asset, on and off the bike.
- Jonathon Cantwell: He's going to win some races! Enough said.
- Jared Barrilleaux: This young neo-pro who we have nicknamed 'Junior' is good. Watch out for this kid in the future, oozing with talent, he's a former quarter back, tri-athlete, runner and golfer. He's a born athlete.
- Chad Hartley: Already the class clown of the team he is going to be valuable on the bike and a necessity off the bike for team moral.

With the guys mentioned above we have a good team with all sorts of personalities, it'll be a good year. To my sparring partner Hoppy, it'll be a shame not to have the red mullet flapping in the breeze next to me. Also after riding with Austin King for the past two seasons, Kinga has decided to rack the bike and get a nine-to-five job; we'll miss you mate!

I am off to California tomorrow for some good weather and some good racing. The 2008 campaign is about to begin.

Cheers Willo

Getting some fuel

Anything but beer and skittles

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day, Tour de Georgia is upon us, six weeks in the states have flown by, we have a few races under...

April 24, 2008

G'day,

Tour de Georgia is upon us, six weeks in the states have flown by, we have a few races under our belt and the team's biggest goal of the year is only a few days away.

After training camp I had a few days to settle back into Nashville before heading west to Califonia. Out in Cali, we had the first two races of the year. These races were very important seeing they were the only two races before Tour de Georgia. They had to be used as good prep and for a few results where possible.

I thought I would struggle at San Dimas, being the first hit out of the year, and go well at Redlands. It turned out to be the opposite way around. I surprised myself in the 5k uphill time trial in San Dimas. The biggest effort I'd done previous was get out of bed. It had all been long miles on the bike. I ran twelfth, which was far from disgraceful. In the road race I rode aggressive, making a few breaks, and eventually making the major break, only getting caught 2k from the line. The tour finished with a crit, which was pretty much a formality, well for everyone but Rock racing that lost the tour by one second.

The week between San Dimas and Redlands I felt like I was stuck to the road, which is how I felt pretty much the entire tour. It's not the Redlands I expected personally, the legs just weren't there. Got to give a shout out to Big Ev Elkin, who ran fourth in the last road race of the tour. It's a solid race with a hard climb every lap and the big fella (now a lot leaner) got around in the front group of 20 to just miss a podium, with Shirls finishing sixth just behind him.

Since California it's been good to really get to settle into America and stay at home in Nashie for a while before Georgia. I have had the chance to relax, train properly and get into a routine. The weather though, has had no routine, varying between 7 and 28 degrees at will. One day you're wearing all your kit, and then the next day you're getting a sun tan.

I did head two hours south last weekend though for a local derby. I stayed with my "now good mates" Jamie and Desiree Pillsbury. These guys are cool! I had never met them before and they willingly opened their door to me and Sulli. We had an absolute ball hangin' with them last week. The race itself was a good hit out for Georgia, and that's about it. There was a TT, a road race and a crit but it was pretty much controlled by Toshiba who had seven riders and weren't too keen on riding with anyone with an orange jersey on.

Speaking of Sulli (Ryan that is), you know he's Sean Sullivan's brother don't you? You know they look so alike it's not funny? They even talk the same. Well anyway, after two beers I even called him Sean. I think Ryan will get over everyone thinking he is Sean. So from now on I'm calling Ryan "brother of Sean". He loves it!

Lastly, just to let everyone know I haven't had time to even play golf, plus the greens in Nashville aren't really playable due to the weather at the moment. A lot of people think all I do is cook barbie's and drink beer, I just let you guys know about the cool stuff. The month has definitely been anything but "beer and skittles".

Cheers,
Willo

The DS and me in the 2008 Tour de Georgia

Georgia is gone

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day, Tour of Georgia is GONE! Its over for another year and as always it was a great race, in many...

May 8, 2008

G'day,

Tour of Georgia is GONE! Its over for another year and as always it was a great race, in many ways.

I went into the tour with mixed feelings. I knew I had done the training to go well but the form just wasn't there in the races the month previous. I decided I would ride for stage results so I came into the first three days of the tour going bananas to get into the main break of the day. Everyday I made at least a few moves that looked like they were gone and another few that looked dangerous, but of course missed the move of the day every time.

Day one: I was away with two early break specialists Eric Wolberg and Mike Sayers gaining 40 seconds before the break of the day decided to go. It came down to a wild bunch kick though after a hectic day in the wind.

Day two: I gained 50 seconds solo before getting swallowed up, luckily as it was a block headwind and wasn't keen to be out there solo all day. It was once again a bunch kick and once again hectic. This time though there was a crash bringing down Cody.

Day 3: I got a decent gap with Mike Creed and Mike Lang before getting caught and later made another move including Hilton Clarke, O'Bee and others that never got away. I was definitely getting frustrated. It came down to a bunch kick again. We got Cantwell up for a top ten in the bunch kick that was run around a cool but very hard finishing circuit.

In the team time trial, we didn't set the best time and didn't ride to our full potential but it happens. I personally though felt incredible and decided to change tactics and ride for the finale the following day. I felt the long hilly stage with the hard finish would suit me. I made the finish with the front group, but royally stuffed the finish. I finished 10th, but I was filthy at myself. Opportunities don't pop up like that everyday for a non-specialist like me.

On the Brasstown Bald stage I was tossing up whether to go in the break or sit back. I decided to sit back and Neil Shirley went for the break. That he did and he made the move collecting the most aggressive jersey along the way. I had an okay climb to the top of Brasstown finishing 22nd.

The final day gave us our first bit of bad weather in the Atlanta circuit race. It dried out by the finish and it was a bunch kick again, just! The main break of the day got caught in the closing kilometres. We had Jared up there flying the flag.

Now, I am back in Nashville relaxing and spending time with Ali. The first major goal of the season is over so I've had a pretty easy week on the bike. I even got out for a round of golf, the first for the USA season. Wasn't hitting em' too bad actually!

Next up is few local derbies before my next major goal of the year, Philly week and Tour de Beauce. The next few weeks will be a big build up of big kilometres so I'll be going well by then. Think we're going to recruit Sulli up here for a few weeks to help pump them out.

Cheers Willo

Joking about at Beauce

Off the bike

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST

G'day, I just had to check up to see what I wrote about in my last diary and didn't realise it's...

June 17, 2008

G'day,

I just had to check up to see what I wrote about in my last diary and didn't realise it's been so long since I last wrote. I did mention in my last diary that I was pretty pumped to have a good Philly week and Tour de Beauce. I didn't mention that they were my major goals for the year. I came out of Tour de Georgia in good form and things were looking good until Allentown, the first Philly race.

After Georgia, I got the following weekend off to relax at home and spend some time with my girlfriend Ali. The boys went to Roswell and Anniston to fly the flag and notch up some results. I enjoyed some down time before getting ready to rip into the kilometres.

The following two weekends were spent doing some local races. Two races, two wins, not bad! I won the Hot Sumner Classic in White House for the third year in a row and Sulli backed that up with a second. I love that race and it's always a good hit out. Not what I can say about the previous weekend's dog show at a Georgia Cup. Pretty happy I don't have to do anymore of them.

I'd been ripping into the training but the solo miles were starting to crack me so I recruited Sulli to come up to Nashie for 10 days, just before the Hot Sumner. We ripped into the training and had a great time while doing it. The golf clubs came out and the cricket bat made a come back also. Sulli, Ali and I raised a few eyebrows playing cricket out the front of Jesse's house in Nashie. My golf game has also been on the up! I have slowed everything down and spent time keeping my left elbow straight and it seems to be working. Unfortunately for Sulli in his first game ever, he spent a fair bit of time pulling golf clubs out of the bag, but he was getting there by the end.

Finally it was time to come out to play; I'd done the work, I had the form, I just had to get the results. The pressure was on coming into Philly week. I hadn't have too many race days in the legs and therefore not a huge array of results. That as well as the fact that I'd told my team this was 'my week,' I felt some pressure.

I lined up at the CSC Classic for the first time, mainly to use it as a hit out and to lead out our sprinters. Well, there was no use for the lead out as a break went in the opening laps and we missed it. So we chased along with Kelly Benefits. I pulled the pin after the wasted effort but felt good on and bike and was content with that.

Going into Leigh high, the first Philly race, I had mixed feelings. I knew it wasn't going to be as tough as Lancaster (my favourite of the Philly races, but excluded from the format this year), but not as easy as Trenton (another former Philly race). As it turns out, I didn't have to worry too much about that after I came down in a stupid pile up just before the feed station mid-race. Straight away, I knew I'd done something to my wrist or hand. It's the first time in my career I hadn't gotten up after a crash.

After the race I went to the hospital and sure enough I'd broken my hand and fractured my wrist. I was completely devo'd! The one fortnight of the year I'd focused on was over though I was still determined to line up in Philly and Tour de Beauce. As time dragged on though I realised that I was kidding myself. You can't ride Philly 90 percent fit, let alone with a broken hand. Plus I didn't want to ride a race, I wanted to race it and win it, not just roll around for a few laps.

The team itself decided to send me to the Tour de Beauce anyway. It was either that or send me home where I'd sit on the lounge feeling sorry for myself. At the time though, while I was mopping around it did bring light to the situation when I saw Karl Menzies go down. I thought, 'shit it could be worse ay.' It is good to hear though that the big fella is going to be alright, it looked nasty.

In the Philly race, Stevo had a nice ride to finish in the top 20 and showed he can step up to the plate when needed. It was also his birthday so no doubt he knocked down a few quiet ones that night. I rode in the car, as I also did in Reading and it gave me a different prospective that's for sure. I also noticed things I hadn't noticed while racing: the crowd, the scenery, etc.

Tour de Beauce

The team headed to Quebec for Tour de Beauce. The hopes of me doing anything in this race were all but over so I thought I'd go out with a bang. My plan was simple, attack from the gun, win the KOMs, finish the stage, start stage two in the jersey and pull out. In cycling, it doesn't work to plan that much though. I did, however, get up the road solo after attacking first (which I have never done in my career) and got five and a half minutes. I won the first KOM and sprint, and thought I was looking good. However, it was not to be they brought me back short of the second KOM. When I got caught I jumped straight in the car, my wrist was killing me and I could hardly hold the bars.

For the first time in my career I also changed my brakes around so I was riding left hand front as I couldn't use my right hand. My mechanic wrote me a reminder on my handle bars (see photo).

I did gain some broken ribs from my stupidity also. I had cracked ribs, and I think from the rough roads and the breathing I finished the job on them. So I am kicking back in Saint Georges, near Quebec, playing a second DS role. It's been good in the car; I never realised actually how beautiful Beauce actually is. It was extremely painful yesterday though, to watch the hill top finish, where I really thought I could've done well.

I was just about to send this diary entry in when I walked down the road to watch the downtown criterium. My roommate Evan Elkin won the stage in class; solo with arms raised wide. I was so happy for him, couldn't happen to a nicer guy and it was well deserved. It finally gave me something to celebrate, it was fantastic.

I haven't touched my bike since I pulled out, mentally I need a week away from it and I think it will do my body well anyway. So I head back to Nashie in a few days. I will get back into training and my first race back will be BC Superweek near Vancouver in mid July.

The other think that's cracked me is that I wont be able to swing a club for a while, that's doing my head in, especially while watching the US Open on television.

Cheers,
Willo

Author
Trent Wilson

Trent "Willo" Wilson is in his second year with the Continental Pro team Colombia Selle Italia. Follow his progress and get a taste of Aussie humour as he lights up the road in Europe. Trent also his own web site at www.trentwilson78.com where you can find out even more about this Sydney rider.