New Titles, Do’s, Challenges and Places

February 2012

Well the National Championships of 2012 have been and gone here in Adelaide and Mother Nature sure did turn up the heat for the titles. With temperatures not dropping below 35 degrees we raced in what felt like an oven for just shy of one week. The Adelaide Super drome doesn’t have a heating or cooling system and so the temperature inside is always a mirror of the outside.

Day one of Nationals saw me team up with Rikki Belder for the team sprint. Rikki and I qualified fastest in 34.54 seeing the defending champions, my team mate on the international level Kaarle McCulloch and Cass Kell from NSW qualify second in 34.55. It was going to be a very hard fought final but Rikki was able to find a little more as was I and we went on to record the winning time in 34.1 seconds. A title I was very proud to share with Rikki for it was her first Senior National title.

The next event was the sprint and I was very happy with qualifying fastest in 11.133 seconds and progressing well through to the final where I met Kaarle. I led the first race and managed to stay there for the three laps and crucially for crossing the finish line taking one win in the best of three match up. In front of a fantastic crowd who turned out to watch the cycling on such a hot night we lined up again for the second round and I was racing from the back and was able to manoeuvre myself into a good position and came around Kaarle through the last bend and took the lead down the front straight. I really enjoyed the win in front of such a great crowd and celebrated by sharing high fives with those leaning far over the fence. It was the first time I raced and won in Adelaide representing South Australia.

Final day of competition saw the kierin in action and I drew position 1 behind the derny and Kaarle drew position 6. This meant there was about 10-15 metres between the two of us and I wanted to take advantage of that by beginning to up the speed from the time the derny pulled off. It was a hard race and I led the whole way trying to make it hard for Kaarle as I knew this was the event we would most be even in, she ran at me with half a lap to go and closed the gap very quickly. I looked under my elbow out of the final bend, the crowd was going nuts, I could see her tyre was at my centre bracket, I thought that I was going to be rolled up the straight for sure but that didn’t mean I gave up, no, I fought on and ... and I held on. I was so surprised after seeing her wheel so close that I held on and was very happy to win the race in the fashion I did, not looking for the easy win but the one that would really challenge me.

After a very hot week I came away from the titles with 3 gold medals taking my career tally of Aussie titles to 29 (23 senior and 6 junior) Wow. Crazy when you sum them up like that. I must have been around a while now?

The week also saw thunderstorms roll through the region bringing with it troublesome lightning that hit the velodrome not only once but twice causing the switch boards for the electronic gates and score board  tofry from the surge of power forcing the velodrome to be run on emergency backup, we managed to get through well in front of almost 1000 people in the stands each night and more at home watching on the live TV coverage by SBS, a real boost for the sport.

The weather has since cooled and the clouds seem to have perched in permanent position over Adelaide bringing with it some much cooler temperatures.
Perhaps they know we are headed to London and planned to help us acclimatise early.

For the first time in my life I depart bound for London. It is the second world cup of the year for me but the third competition of the season and hopefully the fourth or fifth time in my life I will see snow for all reports are that London is experiencing a cold snap that we Australians would only associate with opening our Freezers.

I am very excited to race in London on the Olympic velodrome and get a feel for things over there, I look forward to seeing a city that is world famous and spotting attractions out the bus window as we drive through the streets bound for the wooden boards, I wonder if we get to see any members of the royal family? William, Harry, Catherine? I hope so. I am all prepared for racing, travel and the off chance of a royal encounter sporting a brand new hairdo from my sponsor Tony Scarfo at Zink “the element of hair”, I’m rocking a fringe for the first time J

Woohoo... London here I come!