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Back in the US

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With Jeff Steber

With Jeff Steber (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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With mum and brother Ben

With mum and brother Ben (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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Start of the National Champs where Niki placed second

Start of the National Champs where Niki placed second (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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Leading the pack from the gun at the Nats

Leading the pack from the gun at the Nats (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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With mum and brother Ben after the Nats

With mum and brother Ben after the Nats (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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With Jeff Steber at the Intense bikes factory in the states

With Jeff Steber at the Intense bikes factory in the states (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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Jeff Steber with one of Intense's road bikes

Jeff Steber with one of Intense's road bikes (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)
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At the Sydney 24hr race which Niki did for fun!

At the Sydney 24hr race which Niki did for fun! (Image credit: Niki Gudex and friends)

As I write this I am back on US soil and although it will be mid September before I see my family, Grant and Pushka again, I must admit that this trip was the most relaxing in a long time as one of my major accomplishments for the off-season was to organise a US Athlete Visa. For anyone who has ever attempted to do this, it is generally not a quick process. I have to send a huge thank you to Blick, Pat and Cuan at Oakley for their help, which really made a huge difference.

I am spending the first week here in the US at Laguna Beach, catching up with everyone again at Oakley and Intense. From here I head to Colorado, which will be my base for this season. I am looking forward to this, because prior to this I have never had a base and just stayed on the road the whole time. I will also have a road bike over here for some fun road rides. I know it has been a while since my last update, so I will try to keep this one to a few of the more cycling-related updates.

SRM Power Team for 2005

There is no bigger issue to start with than my team plans for 2005. It's been a long time getting to this point, but I am very happy to say that I've signed to be part of the SRM Power Team, becoming the first female member in the team's four-year existence. As part of the SRM Power Team I will maintain my bike sponsor from 2004 and continue to ride Intense bikes.

I started using the SRM power metre on my bikes at the start of the off-season as a training tool and a way to help my coach James at CTS keep track of my progress. It wasn't long before I had decided that they weren't coming off when race season came around. When you start collecting data from your training and you have a great coach who knows how to interpret the data then they can be very useful. Having the SRM on my bikes has absolutely changed the way that I look at training and racing, so while it took a while to get my plans for this year sorted, I couldn't be happier with how they eventuated.

Australian National Championships

The Australian National Champs were a little later this year, which meant that the dates conflicted with the start of the NORBA series in the US. I had wanted the NORBA series to be a major focus for me this year, so it is disappointing to have missed the first two rounds, but it was so good to race Nats. This was my first race of the season and it was great to be racing again. Without going into all of the details, I placed second, which I was very happy with.

I am now heading to Colorado Springs for final pre-season preparation at altitude before the NORBA series resumes in Park City, Utah. Colorado Springs is the perfect place for me to base myself. Not only is there such an amazing number of cyclists around, but also great riding. Also, both CTS and the SRM North American offices are based there. It will be great to see everyone again and build on the training and preparation I have been doing in Australia.

Have fun on your bike,
Niki

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Niki Gudex is proudly sponsored by: Downhill and cross-country racer, graphic designer and model, Australian mountain biker Niki Gudex is nothing if not versatile. Riding for the SRM Power Team, Niki will be the first ever female rider in the team. She'll continue to focus on the NORBA series while making time to race back in Australia. Follow all the adventures in her exclusive diary on Cyclingnews. Niki Gudex's website: www.nikigudex.com Australia UK USA