Sunday, 29 June 2008


Forgive me for such a delayed blog. I have many excuses, of which none are truly legitimate, except the one that goes something like … “My apologies. I’ve been busy enjoying the sunshine, the lake and the lifestyle too much to really find the time to tell you all about it” … The reason you’re receiving an update at this time is due to the intense storm that has recently hit. In the last hour two of the upstairs bedrooms have been flooded, along with our bathroom, the basement, and even the office to a degree. Prior to this incident, my days have consisted of sunshine, many hours on the bike and the resulting severe tan lines. When Vicki and I (pictured) get sick of our lycra, we cook, we clean (which lead to my first experience with a toilet brush), we sunbake and then we watch romantic chick flicks!

The dynamics of the house have changed once again. All of the boys have returned from holidays and departed for an altitude training camp in Stelvio. Replacing them for three weeks prior to the Junior World Championships in South Africa are the Junior World boys themselves; Michael Matthews, Alastair Loutit, Michael Hepburn and Michael Freiberg. The MTB’ers have returned from the World Championships with an array of results and an Olympian among them. Dan McConnell has qualified the ONLY position in the Men’s MTB Olympic Event!!! (Pictured below with Lachlan Norris). Our proposed women’s team has slightly dwindled. Amanda Spratt will not be returning this year as she is getting a chronic injury sorted that will see her fit and strong for next year! While Josie Loane is currently spending some time back home in Australia. Joining us instead will be proposed development team members Carlee Taylor and Josie Tomic.

When we get really bored, we head to Lake Maggiore, but our last trek didn’t go quite as planned. After five hours had been spent in transit to and from location, we were left with merely two hours to enjoy ourselves. The water was cool, calm and refreshing!…but after a solid 5 minutes of swimming some were struggling to keep their head above water, so it was time to hit up the wall. It was a long jump from the common ridge, and an even longer jump from the roof of a building we found. So in true Aussie style, we showed up the Italians, having the boys make the epic plunge to the waters below. When we haven’t got time for the lake, we have to opt for the backyard. Call me a ‘patch of snow’ or ‘top-deck’, but I guarantee I will sunbake in this country (pictured with Johnny Walker) until I get a god damn tan!

So the countdown to the Giro D’Italia begins…7 days remaining. Some epic exploring has been taking place in preparation, and I have been able to venture over some of the passes we conquer in the Giro itself. Most of them I did on no breakfast after sleeping in past 9am! Vicki, Tiff and I have been joined by fellow Australians Oenone Wood, Lorian Graham and Rochelle Gilmore out training, and the form is slowly coming along (hopefully not too slowly)! It’s getting harder for me to take my mind off racing, or more so, the lack of it. I haven’t paddled to Switzerland, I’m not fluent in Italian, and I haven’t studied a single letter of my course notes for the year…on the other hand, I have studied every stage of the biggest tour on the women’s road calendar. So, if you don’t hear from me, cross your fingers and wish me luck!