Sunday, 5 October 2008


I love family. I love friends. I love food. I’m aussie. So what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than celebrating the 2008 AFL Grand Final?! (Pictured below with my younger sister Kerry). I wasn’t aware of what teams were playing until the opening bounce, and I’ll be honest…I didn’t actually see much of the game, but I had a great time and it was good to get my head away from cycling and out of the books. It may come as a surprise to some, but when I’m at home, I actually study full-time at Swinburne University. I am completing a Certificate IV in Fitness to complement my Certificate IV in Massage, and thanks to the VIS, I am able to study via correspondence and complete my course while travelling with the AIS in Europe. I'm postponing off-season celebrations until the year is done and assignments are in!

I am yet to miss the regularity of donning lycra in the morning and racing every weekend, which means that my time-off was much needed, and has now been cut short. After 19 days away from the sport, small bouts of cross-training and many consecutive days of being unable to walk, it was time to get back on the bike (pictured below). I ventured to bikesports in Melbourne where I picked up my new T-Cube Bianchi on Friday, had it built up on Saturday, and gave it a test run on Sunday. The sudden urgency in getting back into training was prompted by none other than the University Games, to be staged over 5 days in Melbourne. As the sole representative from Swinburne University, I felt obliged to participate in recognition of the support that Gavin Mooney has given me through the year.

It was an epic journey to Lancefield on Monday to kick off the cycling program with a scheduled 90km road race. After discussions with Laurie Norris (being bribed below by Livia), the race was cut to two laps of an undulating 30km circuit, with the first attack of the day 10kms in belonging to Jacinta Collier (Vic Uni). A counter by Clare McKechnie (La Trobe Uni) saw a break of 6 quickly form. For the 40kms to come, Angeline Papajcsik (Griffith Uni QLD) would be the aggressor, yet unable to shake the trio from Melbourne Uni in Lisa Friend, Chloe McConville and Madeleine Oldfield. As the race wore on, my whole body pain became greater and a final attack with 10kms remaining saw Chloe off the front, soloing her way to victory. I was in no state to chase, happily finishing third behind interstater Angeline.

After suffering through the road race, it was hard to find motivation to front for the Time Trial on Thursday. I hate them at the best of times, so when I ran away with the win by 1 minute it was more than a surprise! Gold for Swinburne Uni! :) Friday signified the final day of racing, and I had woken with stuffed sinuses, sore legs, and regret for having confidence in form that clearly wasn't there. The crit course incorporated a short climb, an early break, and an even shorter sprint. I led into the final corner and was overhauled by both girls before the line, Angeline taking her first win for the Games. This gave me second in the overall classification, and a bit of form to take into my next few races. What better way to cap off my week than a hit out at Glenvale? As if Uni Games wasn't enough...

Results: University Games Road Race, Lancefield, 60kms
Results: University Games Individual Time Trial, Kew Blvd, 24kms
Results: University Games Criterium, Yarra Bend, 30mins + 3laps
Results: University Games Overall Classification