Archive for January, 2008
Four Days into the 2008 Tour Down Under and so far Adelaide and the Pro Tour has really turned it on to make a great spectacle for the tens of thousands of fans who have travelled from far and wide to watch what is a history making event. The UCI Pro Tour has never left Europe until now, as Australia and the Tour Down Under was awarded the Pro Tour status in October last year.
The race takes in most of the stunning scenery in and around Adelaide over six days. It kicked off with the Tour Down Under Classic on Sunday which isn’t included in the tour now but with 75,000 people lining the streets of the beach suburb Glenelg it was a great way to kick of a week of exciting racing. This year lining up with my professional team La Francaise des Jeux it’s been a slightly different experience to last year where we took on some of the worlds best here with the New Zealand team. As the French are so used to racing in their own back yard heading down under is a whole new experience for most of them. Though with the new view of the UCI it looks like world of professional cycling is in for some more travelling as races in
As the lazy days of the NZ summer continue I once prepare myself in haste to leave these shores. Today the bone mineral density scan and the orthodontic check up to remove a long overdue wire, remind me that there is still much to do before Friday’s departure. I also need to keep the tax man from my door.
As I reflect on the past year of bike races, plane trips, crashes and rehabilitation I think my major goal for this year is just to make it through the season in Europe and hopefully find myself in Beijing in August. The 2007 year ended well with a silver medal at the World Cup in Beijing, plus a NZ record to boot. It was a great to experience the track there and see the Olympic set up plus the bonus of an early morning hairy taxi ride through blizzard conditions to see the snow covered Great Wall and a visit on return to the Silk Markets. Xmas shopping covered.
As I had an enforced break last year I have continued training through the holiday break just with a quick spell off the bike after Beijing. As the 08 road season kicked off last weekend in Hawkes Bay I found my 4th place in the disappointing, but that was a reflection of where I am at with my training to date leading into a long season. Yesterday’s road race began at 12.30pm so we raced through the fierce Hawkes Bay sun, with melting tar making the roads in places very tricky. After 5 hours in the saddle I couldn’t really complain with my 8th placing again reflecting my road condition, and undeniably our best NZ bike rider and great role model and ambassador in Julian Dean won the race.
I’m hoping the racing in the heat will stand me in good stead for the Tour Down Under in Adelaide that begins next Tuesday. I will be riding with my trade team La Francaise dex Jeux so it’s back to the language lessons with my own Institute.
To those I have missed seeing over the break, do keep in touch. I will need some home based news on my solo return to Albi at the end of next week.