Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Well, I'm alive. I made the drive to Bendigo on a single stop to empty my bladder, fill up the car and check that my un-insured vehicle was still in one piece :) The following afternoon I drove across to Maryborough for the second day of the Victorian Christmas Track Carnivals, setting up camp with the remnants of 'team love' (pictured r-l) in Livia, Apryl and a new addition, Chloe McConville. With men and women recieving the same number of races and exact same prize money (for all bar handicaps) through the five day series, it was a week of racing I felt obliged to support. I began to regret my decision after three hours seated in such a dust bowl, enduring soaring temperatures, waiting for the ambulance to be moved from the track after a nasty crash, when I had raced a mere 'one-lap dash'...

I stuck it out to race two 12-lap points scores comprising 4 sprints each, with the first one part of the Godfrey Family Omnium series. After rolling through for second in the first sprint, I went on the attack taking Shannon McCurley with me. Chloe bridged after the second sprint and Jess Griffiths made contact after I had claimed maximum points in the third. By now the chasing bunch had been blown to pieces and many had pulled out altogether, proof that 9 laps can cause a bit of damage! I took the win on 14 points, Shan second on 11 and Jess claimed third after taking a flyer in the final sprint. The two races were almost held in succession, permitting the second to be a sprint-recover match. My endurance held up for another win with Jess and Shannon reversing earlier positions.

I woke up with good legs the following morning, suffering a severe case of dehydration and sports-bra sunburn for another long day in Maryborough. First up were qualifying heats for a 2 lap sprint derby that saw me finish second to Annette (Nettie) Edmondson (SASI) in the final. Next was an 8 lap scratch race that would normally favour the sprinters, but minimal rest between events allowed me to roll Nettie in the home straight for another win in the Godfrey Family Omnium series. When the all important handicap finally arrived only two back markers remained...Shan and I. It had been a massive task in the heats to qualify, resulting in the loss of all scratch markers and a never ending chase in the final. After finishing second to Sam Wood (WAIS) in another scratch race, I was out to make amends in the Madison (video).

Last year in the women's madison hang-slings were not permitted, a simple touch on the back indicated a change. This year, after spending the morning in practice, all 14 participants went to Laurie Norris with the confidence that we could in fact perform a decent and safe madison change...and slings were allowed :) I was partnered with a very nervous Chloe (pictured above in HP-Teschner kit), who was surprisingly calmed by my 20 minutes of life madison experience. We practiced some changes pre-race and discussed our tactics...to lap the field. Although Shan/Jess stole the first attack of the race, we can lay claim to taking the first lap. It didn't take long for the race to split and become a time trial for all involved, and as if one lap wasn't enough, we went on to lap the remnants on the field four times, and the minor podium places twice! Quite a debut performance :)

Results: Central Goldfields Track Carnival, Day 1
Results: Central Goldfields Track Carnival, Day 2

Saturday, 27 December 2008


After pre-Christmas celebrations in Bendigo on Sunday, I was on a 6am train back to Traralgon to receive my first Christmas present…from me :) I missed my train, settled for the second which was running late, and as a result missed my transfer in Melbourne. By the time I made it home I was over an hour late to my driving lesson, which would in turn proceed to my driving test in an attempt to get my licence, albeit 2 years overdue… My Buzz Box Driving School instructor is coincidentally an avid cyclist, which certainly helped when it came to disposing of my bike for two hours. I was nervous to the point of sweating when I began my test, knowing what impatient mothers of four are like in their 4WD’s three days before Christmas. I spoke choice words during the deeds of attempting to drive while in park…and speeding in a 60km/hr zone, but these faults seemingly went unnoticed on my final test result of 100%! Which now means I have my licence!

Although my best present this year came from myself :P (its hard to beat the freedom of driving), I’d go as far to say that I had the best Christmas ever! But I’m pretty sure I say that every year. I was spoilt from my parents as per usual, and after spoiling oneself with presents I went on to spoil my Christmas lunch at Nan & Pop’s with pancakes for breakfast, pre-treats on arrival in Maffra, and followed up with after-treats before returning home. Five minutes of cricket (pictured) did little to burn off the calories I consumed! Then continuing on with the spoiling theme, I took full advantage of 8hours of boxing day sales! So, I now have my licence, a car (bought from my parents this morning), and Christmas Track Carnival racing to attend to in Western Victoria…so alas, I am about to depart for my first solo driving experience…on highways, through Melbourne, totalling 4hours in duration during the silly season. Let’s pray my parents aren’t purchasing ‘touched by the road toll’ stickers in the morning…

Sunday, 21 December 2008


After the cancellation of Scotty’s Track Race, I was grateful that the fourth edition of the Revolution Track Series was to be run indoors at Hisense Arena. Although not a full house, the ambience was, as always, electric inside the track with the big names of cycling fronting to race. I rode alongside HP-Teschner team-mates Rochelle and Tiff (pictured) in the impressive women‘s field, with the aim of being aggressive through the night. A fast paced scratch race made attacks difficult and despite having surprisingly good legs following efforts the day prior, I still seem to be lacking that top end speed, resulting in 6th in a bunch sprint. Our 30 lap points score was pure madness, with a sprint every 5 laps! I competed in four of the sprints, claiming the minor points in each to give me 3rd in the final tally for what was an extremely anaerobic workout. It was unbelievably torturous but fun all the same.

A late night rolled into an early morning and I found myself at the media launch of the Jayco Bay Classic Criterium Series in Williamstown. I woke up to rain, and realised that my attire of white pants and a thin top perhaps wasn’t the best choice I’ve ever made. After a small introduction and interview session I noticed how much of an underdog I was at these proceedings. With the likes of Robbie McEwen, Graeme Brown, Baden Cooke and Simon Gerrans I certainly felt out of place. For entertainment purposes, race organiser John Trevorrow had prearranged for paddle boat races to take place at the docks, for what turned out to be a very competitive and all-contact sport! I was partnered with my favourite professional cyclist Matt Wilson, and was determined not to let him down. A methodical approach to the race saw us run away paddle boat champions! My greatest victory to date :)

After defeating Simon Gerrans and Graeme Brown on the water, it was time to hit up the 52km Bendigo Christmas Road Handicap today. I started as a middle marker in a group of 10, which quickly dwindled as some struggled with the pace, and another dropped off the back when hit by a kangaroo! By the end of the first of two laps I was following the lead car, swapping off with 6 guys in a bunch of 20. The group splintered over the final climb and was headed by a break of 9 when the scratch mark chasers finally came into view. With 300m to go the catch was made and in similar fashion to the Bendigo Club Madison, I finished 2nd to Jarrod Moroni. Pizza and drinks during presentations were a prelude to ‘a drink or 50’ at the Bendigo Christmas get-together this afternoon. Christmas will be spent at home this year…breakfast in Traralgon, lunch with the family in Maffra, and an early date with my bed that night.

Results: Revolution Cycling Series, Race 4, Vodaphone Arena, Melbourne

* Image 1 courtesy of Dan Peters Photography
* Image 2 courtesy of Fyxomatosis Photography

Monday, 15 December 2008


After waking up feeling sore and sorry following my crash in the madison, and doubting the weather would hold up, I chose not to venture to Shepparton for Scotty’s Ride with the Stars. But even multiple downpours of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the many who did show to honour the memory of Big Sexy. I had expected to be in Shepparton that afternoon, but rain managed to flood the local velodrome resulting in a cancellation of the much anticipated Scotty’s Track Night. So it was a day trip to the annual Scotty People’s race the following morning and as if Scotty was looking down on us, the heavens opened to provide us with howling wind and sunshine. If I didn’t know any better I’d say Scotty had prayed for those conditions himself…he loved it hard and he would be laughing at my subsequent tan lines.

Even if I had broken my arm in my madison crash…not starting still wasn't an option, even then Scotty would have told me to harden up! So I ignored my small insignificant injuries and fronted on the line. As soon as the neutral flag was dropped, the attacks were thrown down and the race was very deeply in the gutter. Being a female, I was caught in conversation at the back of the bunch and would presume that it was a long way to the front. Unfortunately I never made it that far, so I can't verify that statement, with the field of 200 being split into 7 groups before the 20 minute mark. I made fourth bunch and would have fallen further back if not for the help of Matt Jensen and fellow CCCC member Craig Porter. As the only female in my bunch, I was able to savour my victory and as you’d presume, think of Big Sexy. Zak Dempster took the men’s title in aggressive fashion, a result and race that Scotty would have loved to have been a part of.

For a second I thought that I had made it through the day without crying until I saw Scotty's mother Wendy after presentations. Conversation didn’t last long before the tears started to flow and all of a sudden I realised that nothing really needs to be said about Scotty, we all know how special he was and still is to those who were fortunate enough to meet him. So with my arms around such a strong minded woman I reflected on his infectious laughter in silence. I loved and respected that boy, and respect held for Scotty was obvious when the entire men’s podium donated their winning cheques straight back to the developing Scotty People’s Foundation. Although it doesn’t help to bring him back, he would be at ease to know that after his passing, he was still making a difference in this world.

Results: Scotty People’s Memorial Race, Shepparton, 120kms

Friday, 12 December 2008


As summer approaches, the weather turns foul and the solitary training begins. Solitary training means time at home, and time at home means social outings. In the past week I’ve celebrated Cathy’s massage graduation, Sammy’s going away (for two weeks to QLD) and the Traralgon races. But celebrations are aside now and it’s time for me to don my helmet (to cover my ‘top deck’ look after putting some colour through my hair) and get back into racing. After three weeks away from the track bike, my coach Scott McGrory had no trouble convincing me to trek to Bendigo for their local track racing, doubling as their club madison championships. My legs felt great during the night, giving me 2nd in the B grade scratch race and 3rd in the Men’s handicap. Clearly I suffered when given the task of a standing start, finishing where I had started in the women’s handicap…last! lol

It was then on to the madison and Scott had come down from the hospital (despite the birth of his newborn Leilani) to give me a few pointers prior to race start. I was partnered with Peter Ladd in a pink jersey, and nervous as hell about my ability to perform a correct hand sling despite pre-race practice with Kess Jelbart. I missed my first change, and came in wayyy too slow on my initial attempt. Had it not been for the guys continuously reminding me to stay above the wheel and keep both eyes open, I would have crashed earlier than 10 minutes in! I wasn’t thinking ahead and found myself caught under the wheel, behind a change. As predicted, I ran up the arse of Tim Decker and bought myself down :( Following a quick recovery I don’t remember much of the race. Jarrod Moroni towed sprint specialist Damien Keirl through the race for a convincing win, and I lost second on a count back to Mark O’Brien and partner. I even won sprint points…which came as a surprise considering I never even heard the bell ring!