Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Track Nats

I’ll start at the end, it was an exciting 4 days of racing in the Avantidrome, the atmosphere didn’t have the same feel as back down in the south but when it was packed out you still got a buzz. My week was reasonably busy as I was racing 5 races in the IP, 500m TT, points race, scratch race and TP.

I was reasonably happy with my IP and 500m TT, they weren’t amazing and I had hoped to go a bit faster but considering how the last month had played out they were a good start. I did, in hindsight, go out too fast in the pursuit, maybe I forgot it was 12 not my usual 8 laps, either way I did get to pay for it and in the last 4 laps I crept round the track. The good news was it was the best I had ever felt doing an IP which I will admit hasn’t happened very often, but encouraging as it was my first attempt at the 12 lap hit out. In the 500m TT I opted for a smaller gear than most as I am still baffled that my best 500m time was done when I was 17 and on a small gear. I was still a second off my best time but it was much better than anything I had been doing in training over the last year, most likely due to the gear size however.

Friday night was the big night, this night I had my favourite race on the track, the points race. To be honest I didn’t come into the race with too many expectations, I just had a race plan to suit me where I pick up points in every sprint and go for a break or two, if it came off it came off but if it didn’t I knew I will have done everything I could. I was feeling pretty good in my little gear, I followed wheels to try and pick up easy points in the first few sprints. I can’t remember which lap I attacked on but it was chosen because the opportunity appeared when everyone swung up the track. It was good to see racquel sheath on my wheel and we lapped it out for 3 sprints with myself picking up all 3. This was where I got my lead, when pulled back into the bunch I knew I just had to hold on and keep picking up points. It was a tough last 20 laps with jaime nelson putting on the pressure being half a lap ahead I wasn’t sure where we were all sitting so I was still trying to win each sprint. with about 9 laps to go secquoia cooper went to the front of the bunch and held a charging jaime off for the last sprint where Lauren ellis took off and I tried to follow spinning as fast as I could. Crossing the line I wasn’t sure where I had ended up but when I found out I was ecstatic, I could hardly believe it with all the bad luck I have had and so many things just not going the way I had hoped in the last year it was certainly the best feeling.

The scratch race was still amid the buzz of winning the previous night. Although once I’d hopped out on the track I realised my legs remembered the night before a little too well and my gear instantly felt big. It was a strange race with what may as well have been a big team pursuit for the first half of the race. This made it difficult to attack and so as soon as someone swung up and broke the flow I went for it, although not completely committed for a solo attack I was more looking at getting some sparks flying to kick things off. This worked but unfortunately I wasn’t able to use it too my advantage as my legs just felt heavy and I didn’t have any kick so when it came to the final when I tried to follow the fast wheels but I wasn’t able to match it and had to settle for a disappointing 5th place.

The final race was the Teams pursuit which is always a good way to end the week. This year Southland had a pretty decent team and we hoped to be able to challenge for the gold. We cruised through the qualifying just doing the time needed to qualify. In the final we planned to really lift it. disappointingly everyone was feeling the week catching up on them and we weren’t able to do our fastest time. The good news for me was that my legs had pulled through from last night and I wasn’t feeling too bad but there wasn’t much I could do to hold off the waikato girls.

All in all I was more than surprised with my week and how my legs pulled through, I had little pain from my injury and I didn’t feel as under done as I thought I might. I guess being relatively fresh does have some good points. Although I did have a great night on sunday and monday morning my knee felt a little worse for wear but it should just be a little tweak which fades over the next few days..Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to those that have helped me over the last few years, my friends and family, especially my coaches, dad and Ross Machejefski who are always there for me, to John green for being the most generous person alive and always helping me out, to Pure Sports drink for recently sponsoring me and the lovely Rodger family for putting up with me for the last month and a half. There are always more but I’m sure you all know who you are so big thanks!

Will update again before I depart for the states!


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

On the Boards

This last 6 weeks has been a nice change of scenery for me, I had to make the move up north to the other island for some training on the track and to get my bearings in Cambridge which now has the home of cycling.

Unfortunately one week into it, I came down in a big crash at the Bev May women’s tour caused by the lead police car chucking the breaks on just in front a fast moving bunch.

Luckily this time my injuries weren’t major and I quickly picked myself up and straightened everything out again including my cleat which had been knocked way out of place and in my state of high adrenaline tried to test my luck at continuing racing until my derailleur broke about 5km later.. Then again in my resistance to give up the race I tried to start the next stage on a quickly modified borrowed bike. needless to say the body wasn’t sending out the best sensations ever and I should’ve shut it down straight away to not risk further damage.

After a nights sleep I realised I was back where I seem to be finding myself a lot recently which is back to basics, waiting for my body to heal and rehabbing. Each time I get to this situation I do learn new things about what to do and more importantly what doesn’t work...Swim, gym and stretch were my go to’s.

2weeks later I was on the bike doing my best to keep the pedals going.  With only one hiccup where I pushed it a bit too hard and had to back right off again for a few days I will be back on the boards racing this weekend. The body is not in the form I wanted it to be in but sometimes you just have make the most of what you have got which is exactly what I’ll be trying out this week with a full on schedule!

The last time I raced this much on the track all in one week was 3 years ago so it will be a good test for the body!

I will be staying longer in NZ to build my leg back to full strength and find some form before I head out to the states to race for my USA team Vanderkitten.

Bumpy start as usual but now lets go!

Uphill finish at Bev May tour Day 1