On the roadside of watching the mens national road race at Ballarat, downing an ice cream after I convinced myself that I’d never ride another hill again, I got a call from Kim Palmer asking if I’d like to race Tour Down Under as one of my teamies were injured. This would be my first UCI race, against some of the worlds top names, racing against girls with experience that I dream to have, so as you could imagine no hill could deter me from that offer.
The highlight for me was stage 2; 14 laps around a 2.3km with crowds of people surrounding the circuit, supporting, making noise, banging, ringing bells, some in superhero clothes and others in not a lot of clothing at all!
At the start line our DS Kim, passed me a bidden to replace my empty water, being 36 degrees, jostling amongst the Europeans who are not shy for some argy-bargy, elbows out action, without thinking I poured what I thought was water all over my head in attempt to cool off, about 30 seconds later as the liquid began to stick to the back of my neck did I realise it was not water, it was hot, sticky electrolight… It was a fun 33km from then on that’s for sure.
I had good position coming in 3 laps to go with team mate Emily Roper on my wheel
followed by our sprinter Bec Wiasak, the ideal situation for any train. With the pace high, I started the lead out early and we simply ran out of people, however; the legs were good, the team was good, we were all there and as we continue to ride together I have no doubt in the long season to come we will execute many perfect lead outs.
My Aunty Ingrid, who is Adelaide born and bred, came to watch the racing over the last few days, as she has for the past 8 or so years because it’s such a huge event for Adelaide and the cycling community worldwide. It’s the best of the best and there are very few names missing from this huge event in the cycling calendar. She was telling me that in 2009 she was on the phone to my Mum (her sister) and said she was going to watch the Tour Down Under, Mum replied ignorantly, “What’s that?”… Thankfully my mum is much more educated now to the way of the world and is an active cycler & enthusiast of such an amazing event.
It was great to be given the opportunity to race against the worlds best, and in a team with so much potential as we progress through the season. Thank you to all our sponsors and organisers who made this possible. To Kim and Tom for stressing everything is perfect so we didn’t have to.
Thanks to Bart for doing the Teams photoshoot, some of my favourites are below but check out the website for the full gallery: