June 29, 2013

CHCH CX round 1

Brilliant day out in the sun after the week of rain and sleet. It would have been nice to have some snow on the ground to bring another element to the race, but the organisers did a great job with the course design. It was a hard slog through the soft grass and mud. Ben Oliver pushed me all the way and it wasn't until the last lap that I got a small gap. I only just held it to the finish after I slipped on an off camber section. Feels good to win the first round. Now just to keep the training up and keep improving. Next race for me is the first round of the Blenheim series on the 7/7

May 7, 2013

Mt Somers

This was the last mtb race of the season for me. It was meant to be on the 21st of April but because of the rain they postponed it a week latter. I was looking forward to racing in the mud and rain but it was still quite wet a week latter. It was quite windy the day of the race too and unfortunately it was a head wind around most of the course. I got straight into it from the start and rode off the front. It was hard heading straight into the wind on your own but I was just in a good rhythm. Four other riders started to work together and pulled me back in after a few kms. I rode with them for a little while then attacked them on a pinch climb. I got a gap and held it to the base of the main climb. From here I pulled away and extended my lead till the finish. A nice way to cap the last race of the season off with a win and see how I was feeling after having a rest after the national series. Thanks to all the organisers for holding the race and donating the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House.

March 9, 2013

racing update

Haven't posted anything for a while. Haven't quite found the time between racing, training, work and general life. I have just finished a block of racing over four weekends so I will give you a quick update on each...

National round Auckland-This was probably going to be my race of the season. I felt the best I ever have and was riding really strong but unfortunately I didn't get a result to suit. I didn't have the best of starts and some how managed to land on my seat so that it moved on the seat clamp and was on a crazy downward angle. This wasn't too much of a problem though as I moved up the field quickly and by the 3rd lap I was riding in 3rd/4th spot with Carl Jones. Anton and Dirk were out the front as usual. I was feeling strong and confident, riding within my limits but I had a nasty crash. I'm not totally sure how it happened because it all went so quick. I just lost my front wheel on a loose corner and that was that. I tried to carry on but when I fell I heard something "pop" in my shoulder and I was finding it hard to hold onto the handlebars. I got back to the tech zone and got my gears working again. Then headed off for my next lap but my shoulder and grip was getting worse. I tried to stop and stretch it out but it didn't help. So I finished that lap and waited to get 80%. It was disappointing not to get the result I was capable of but I was very happy with my form.

Nationals Rotorua - So this is the race which the whole season revolves around. I was very confident going into this race after the way I was riding the weekend before in Auckland. I was near the front up the start climb and feeling comfortable. Near the top of the climb just before it heads into the single track. The guys in front sat up a bit so I took my opportunity and nipped into the single track in first place. I don't know what happened from here. I just had no energy and my legs felt really stiff and heavy. Everyone was sprinting around me, I tried to react and go with them but nothing was happening. I came through at the end of the first lap in 15th place. Still not feeling great. But I wasn't about to give up seeing it was nationals, I had focused my training on this day and my parents had travelled around the country to support me. I just settled into a rhythm and started to pick off riders. I never really felt great and was only riding at the pace I was practising laps in. But in the end I crossed the line 5th U23 and 8th elite. The result wasn't too bad but I know it could have been better.

Kiwara Classic-This was the first year I did the new course. And it was brutal! We started with a fairly easy pace down the road but when we hit the first climb Brad put the hurt on. It all split up pretty quick. Myself, Ben and Brad were still together at the top. We had a short decent and breather before we started the next climb. And again Brad went balls out. Ben and I both lost his wheel and Brad was off. He kept pulling away and finished 2mins in front in the end. Good ride Brad. Ben and I rode together until we got back down to the valley road to find Craig had caught us back up. We rode together well and kept pushing the pace right up to the top of the final climb. I put in an attack on the last small pinch climb which left Ben and myself to battle it out to the finish line. I started the sprint a fair way out from the line but managed to hold Ben off to claim 2nd overall. It was good to feel my form again after my disappointing nationals a week earlier.

Pass to pub-I had never really had a good result at this race before so I wanted to make this year my race. I had some tough competition in Brad Hudson and David Coventry. We took off fast and Brad went straight to the front and had me on my limit for the first 10mins just trying to hold his wheel and not get dropped. It was soon just us two and we started to work together well and had a good rhythm going. We both pushed each other hard on different sections of the course but neither got away. The course followed a ruff river track for the last 5mins. We were still neck and neck at this stage. I almost messed up my finished as I miss a marker and Brad got a gap on me. I pulled it back just before we popped out of the river and could see the finish. I got the jump on Brad on the final corner and came away with the win! I was very happy and was pushed right to the finish. I was a great way to finish off my season.

So the last few weeks have had their good and bad moments. But all in all it has been my best season to date and I feel like I have more in me. The day after race day I have been feeling little if no fatigue so my training has been doing it's job. I have myself and Andrew Barlow to thank for that. I wrote my own training programmes this season but I had great advice form Andrew to follow. I was hoping to go to Oceanias but getting the time off work wasn't looking great and it was going to cost a fair bit. So I flagged it away for this year. I will give it a good nudge next year when it's in NZ. There is still a few more races this season but I think it's best if I have a bit of a rest and then I can train up for the Cyclocross season which I have missed so much this summer. I can't wait to get back into it. Hopefully get myself the Elite national tittle!

January 16, 2013

Bluff Nationals round one

I won! Great way to start the National series. I had a bit of luck with Anton having chain trouble which meant I could take the win. I am quite happy with the way I rode considering the course was one long climb and downhill. I prefer two or three shorter climbs. I had a strong start coming from the back of the grid entering the single track in 5th spot. The pace on the 1st lap was pretty hot and I died a bit near the top of the climb, but the rest of my laps were fairly consistant which is a good sign of my form. When I finished I thought I came second. This was because the U23's were racing at the same time as the elites. But little did I know some of the U23's had decided to race in the elite category. One of them being Dirk, who I knew was U23 age so I thought he was leading. So really I was the 2nd fastest U23 rider. But I will still take the win. I was circulating in the top 3 placing in elite so that's a good result too. I even got the speak to the press after the race which is a first for me. It got published in a couple of papers and on cyclingnews.com. That may seem pretty miner to some people but everyone starts there sometime. I still feel like there is plenty of room to improve before nationals. So I have some very hard training planned before I head up to Auckland and Rotorua.

December 10, 2012

Hanmer Hammerhead

This one didn't go to plan. I ended work the day before with a slight niggle in my throat and woke up the morning of the race and it was pretty sore. I still decided I would still race because I really enjoy the course and we had already planned to stay over night in Hanmer. I knew I wouldn't be at my best but I was just going to see how I could cope. I started okay and was up with the front group. My legs didn't feel great (probably struggling from a poor nights sleep), but I was hoping they would come right by the second lap. I didn't get a chance to find out unfortunately. 3/4 of the way through the first lap a rider fell off in front of me which in turn made me come off. As I got riding again my chain kept jamming. I stopped and went to fix it. I got it untangled but the links had bent and it was unrideable. Not a great way to start my Giant xtc advanced sl's race season. But considering how I was feeling I was happy to be with the front guys on that first lap. And in the short time I rode it the bike was awesome! Very stiff, and fast.
Now the sore throat is a bad cold. I am on the better side of it but have lost my voice. Luckily there isn't anymore racing for a while so I can just recover to full health and get back into the training.

November 28, 2012

Ok, so I now have my computer back after leaving it behind when I was on holiday, haha. Time to update the race report bank. I have been racing every weekend for the last few weeks so I will try to keep them brief.

Timaru 6hr solo...
Super fun race. Never got board of the track. Kept dialing it in all race. I felt really strong in this one. It was myself and Phill Patterson setting the pace at the front for the first third of the race with Craig Tolson following close behind. I just kept the pace fast and consistent throughout the race. I was riding on my own for the second half and extended my lead right till the finish. I came in with 5mins to spare, completing 15 laps. 1 lap ahead of second. I also had the fastest average speed of the whole event including all the teams.

Hanmer Springs, Spring Crusher...
This was a brutal climbing course. I was really looking forward to this one because I had never done it before and I wanted to compare myself to the best riders in Canterbury over a hilly course. The race went straight into a tough climb and by the top a small group of myself, Anton, Kyle Wood, and the Oliver brothers had formed. We stayed together for a while. Kyle went back after getting held up on a technical section and I think his chain dropped off? So the four of us were left. I got dropped slightly on one of the longest climbs but pulled myself back just before the top. The Olivers were just too good and knew the tracks too well to keep up with on the descents. Before the flatter section they opened a 30sec gap on myself and Anton. Anton had trouble with his seat post and had to stop a couple of times. I pushed hard on the flat and got back on the Olivers wheel. Only to be dropped again on the next climb. But again I caught them back up just before the last climb. By this stage I was stuffed so I had nothing to give when we started to attack up the climb. I finished 20sec of the Olivers and won open men. I am happy with that ride and my form.

LongBeach Coastal Classic...
Had a good race at this one, finishing 2nd behind Anton. About a minute back. There was a decent group of us for the first part of the race until the first major river crossing. I pulled a good turn on the front before hitting the river crossing then rode through it (I was the only one who did) so I was puffing pretty hard after it. But just at that point Anton attacked. I tried to stay with him. But I was maxed out. Craig Oliver was there too but we couldn't hold his wheel. Things may have been different if I hadn't gone hard up to and through the river but I will never know. Brad and Ben caught up to Craig and I so we started to work together. I lead into the next technical beach section and after it I looked back and had a good 200m lead. I thought about sitting up and waiting but figured I would take the risk. I pushed on alone. I never closed the cap to Anton but it didn't open either which I am pleased with. I did open the cap back to 3rd so I finished comfortably in 2nd. 

Things are looking good for me this season. I'm feeling stronger than I ever have and training is going well. My new race bike has just arrived today so that will give me an advantage, plus a hole in my wallet! Next up is the Festival of cycling Crit. Riding the road scene for a day should be fun. Then It's the Hanmer Hammer Head.

October 6, 2012


So I have had a few things going on lately. I recently went up to Auckland and passed the Shimano mechanics course so I am now qualified to work on bikes which is pretty cool. Also I have just moved into central Chch with my lovely partner, Shannon. For those of you who don't know her yet I'm sure you will meet her at some of the races this season.

Just over a week ago I was hit by a car while riding to work. I got hit on my left going through a roundabout. Luckily I came out with no major damage but my bike was destroyed. Snapped through the frame in 4 places! The driver's insurance is covering it so should be all good and I will have a new bike soon. I obviously had some time off the bike to recover and let the bruising go down. But today I went out to the short track racing. It was only my second time on the bike since the accident so I planned just to see how my injuries held up first, then decide to ride or watch. I felt good and had no pain so I started the race. The first few laps went well and I was up in the front group and finding the pace fast but comfortable. Until Phil made an attack. I stayed with the others up the hill on that lap but the lungs couldn't keep up with the legs. So I settled into my own pace and rode home in forth. I felt like my legs were strong but it was just the fact that I pretty much hadn't riden for over a week so the tank was empty. Also eating donuts and sticky steamed buns at the Riccarton markets that morning wouldn't have helped either.

I'm looking forward to getting back into the training mode and after a week of solid riding I should be up the front at next weeks short track.