5 Days ago I left the Sunny Queensland, where the coldest day in winter means you wear socks, not thongs, “Pack warm” Mum said as she stuffed another jumper into my suitcase preparing me for the 6 week journey to Melbourne, then Adelaide and the last stop; Switzerland. However when she brought out the thermal underwear I thought she might be overdoing it. Neither-the-lest, Melbourne exceeded all expectations, recording the coldest week of the year, and the thermals became a valuable clothing item.
The Melbourne ITS is a crucial opportunity for riders of all nations to test the legs before major competitions. For me, that is the UCI Jr Track World Championships in July. There are multiple races over the 5 day track cycling marathon, staring Wednesday, finishing Sunday, all designed for a leg cooking good time.
The Melbourne ITS started with a bang, with a crash in the first scratch race, however; most riders rejoined the highly contested race where the New Zealanders kept us on our toes. Despite some attacks, the race came down to a sprint finish where Victorias local, Ruby Roseman- Gannon gave me a run for my money in a sprint finish. The legs were thankfully there and I managed to pip her on the line.
The second day consisted of another scratchy. Some hardy attempts at a break from NZs Dummonds, lead to the counter attack that saw Ruby and myself with a gap. We were shortly joined by Western Australia’s Jade Haines who completed the trio. However, with no New Zealand colours present in the front they pursued a chase which split the field. Drummond attacked with 3 laps to go as Jade and I hopped on her wheel, however neither of us had the legs to contest the strong New Zealander, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The third day was the much anticipated Tasman Cup where Australians and New Zealanders went head to head in the team pursuit. Riding off against the reigning world champion team; New Zealand. We knew we had our hands full however after the previous days of racing the Aussie girls showed some good form and I was very keen to lay down a time and see where we were at. In the final, after qualifying fastest, we started out with an early advantage and managed to hold it for the 4k, finishing in a time of 4:46:030 to New Zealand’s 4:46:948. I am very happy with how we went for our first trial run, and I am looking forward to see how we progress as a team heading into D-Day in July.
Both Jr. men and women teams won their respective team pursuits, which gives us a bit of a confidence boost heading into the coming month. However, if last years results were any consolation, the New Zealanders will not settle for second. Tomorrow we head to Adelaide for a two week training camp, under the guidance of Jason Niblett, who, from what I’ve been told, also wont settle for second.
Thank you for all the support from everyone to get me where I am, everyone who donated on my fund and came out and watched. Massive kudos goes out to Nick Formosa. Having not done a TP before, I felt very good, and that is massively due to his coaching and advice.
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