Friday, 24 January 2014


I won’t lie…it was pretty difficult to motivate myself for yet another day of racing. It was the seventh day straight with many days being double sessions, and the sight of lycra was no longer appealing, not to mention a few saddle sores that were not appreciative of another session. But after the success of the Tour Down Under I had promised race organiser Jenny Macpherson that I would support the Unley Hyde-Park criterium, and even bought along my German Wiggle Honda teammate, Anna Schnitzmeier. The circuit was fast with four flowing corners and a light cobbled section leading into the finish to spice it up. The crowd had turned out to watch thanks to the coinciding Unley street festival but unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for the A grade women’s field. It was a disappointing turn out with only one South Australian local taking to the start line of an interstate field, but still the race must go on.

The three escapees of the race - Schintzy, Julia and I

We took an easy approach to the first few laps to warm into things before Jenny launched the first attack. As is usually the way, she was chased in earnest by the small field and I countered in solo fashion. I wasn’t pleased to be solo because my legs were hammered from the previous days of racing but at least I could put my head down and get a great session in. After 8 minutes I was bought back only to have Anna go off the front with Perth based Julia Kalotas on her wheel. Go teamie! Anna was forced to do all of the work and as Jenny and Kate Finnegan began to bring them back Julia started to contribute, but it was too little too late and we were all back together. As if like clockwork I attacked again and after a few solo laps saw myself back in the bunch. One lap later I went again, but it was very short lived and I decided it was time to rest as Anna took the reigns again, this time on her own. I have no doubt the girls were very much over the orange Wiggle Honda colours off the front, but the crowd were loving it. Another chase and Anna was back, so with five laps to go I made a final bid for glory. I buried myself for the first two laps knowing that if I established enough of a gap that adrenaline would carry me across the line for the 3-lap countdown.

Soaking up the rays..
Photo courtesy Tony Reeckman

I had 10 seconds on the chasing girls at bell lap and only looked back when I entered the finish straight to see my teammate Anna coming home solo in second. I lapped up the victory down the final straight, putting on a show for the crowd and as solo wins are rare, stealing the opportunity for an awesome victory salute photo. Right now my legs are so unbelievably wrecked, but I won’t complain yet because I have a few days of chasing the Men’s Tour Down Under around Adelaide! Feel the rush…