As most of you know, last week was the Jr World Track Cycling Championships, held in Invercargill NZ.
NZ was a team of 16 athletes, one of the biggest teams in the competition. (Equal with Mexico, but smaller than Russia.) There were 24 countries competing in total. All the fun began on Wednesday 22nd August 2012.
Day 1 (22nd August 2012):
The first day was the Team Pursuit qualifying and I was lucky enough to be a part of the NZ U19 Women’s Team Pursuit, along with my fellow Team mates Alysha Keith and Cassie Cameron. Alysha was the starter, I was second wheel, and Cassie was third wheel. We rode a PB and new National record of 3:30.719 which qualified us in 2nd position. In the final, we rode slightly slower (3:30.795), but we weren’t strong enough to beat Australia for the Gold. The Aussie girls rode a new World Record of 3:24.372 - they definitely deserved to win. We were proud to be taking home a Silver Medal for our country.
Day 2 (23rd August 2012):
After day one was over, I had a day of recovery before I started the gruelling event called the Omnium. For those of you who don’t know, the omnium is 6 events and for your placing in each event the you collects points (i.e. 1st=1 point, 2nd=2points etc etc). At the end of the 6 events, the rider with the least amount of points wins.
Day 3 (24th August 2012):
Flying lap was the first event, and I was understandably nervous. I was a bunch of nerves once I got onto the track and I didn’t do as well as I could have. I managed a 6th place giving me 6 points already. Next up was the points race. It was the most frustrating race of my life, though I had gotten rid of the nerves and was all focus. I pulled out a 2nd position in that, which sat me on 8 points and in 5th position. Finally for the day was the Elimination, one of my all time favourites. Unfortunately, I lacked concentration for only a second and that was enough to screw up the race and end up 5th. All in all, I wasn’t too happy with myself after the days happenings so I changed my mindset completely. I was sitting 4th Overall with a points tally of 13.
Day 4 (25th August 2012):
I woke up and I told myself it would be a good day. I had my 2km Individual Pursuit first up and the Russian girl who was sitting 3rd was my opponent on the other side of the track. I went out there and shaved 1.8 seconds off my PB, producing a time of 2:28.579. I was ecstatic at what I had achieved, even though I only got 3rd. Still 4th overall, with 16 points. The scratch was the next event, and I knew I had to be top 2 if I were to have a chance at winning a medal. It was another frustrating race, most of it spent above the blue. But I pulled off a 2nd place in that and got myself into 3rd place. Last but definitely not least, I had the 500m TT. Not my strongest event, though my goal was to achieve another PB, and I did! My time of 37.580 was good enough to secure me the Bronze Medal in the U19 Women’s Omnium.
When I stood on that 3rd step of that podium, I felt so successful. I know I didn’t win, but I was happy. I know I gave it everything and at the end of the day, the girls who beat me were just better riders.
I can assure you though, this is certainly not the last you will see of me, and I have new goals and new girls to try and beat. I am no longer a Jr on the track, as I have officially moved up to the senior ranks and with the step up, my goals and aspirations have stepped up. Ultimately, 2016 Olympics - Rio de Janeiro. That’s my dream.
After one of the most exciting weeks of my life, I am forced back into the reality and routine of normal life. I will miss everyone from my team, you were all so amazing. I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys, so Thank You! And everyone, please be sure to congratulate all my fellow team mates. They all rode their hearts out and I am so proud of every one of them.
Importantly, I would like to send out a HUGE thanks to Avanti Bikes, who sponsored me with the latest Avanti Pista EvoII. It is absolutely amazing and I love it to bits, it’s my new baby. Also, another HUGE thanks to Partners Life, who were generous enough to sponsor my entire campaign, I couldn’t have done it without them!
And a massive THANK YOU to anyone who has ever supported me in chasing my dreams, it means so much. There are so many people I could thank individually, but I think you all know who you are.
Sorry for the novel of a blog, I had a lot to say. :P I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and remember you can leave me questions/comments in my ask box. :)
Thank you for reading! I hope I was able to make you all proud!
With only 11 more days until Jr Worlds rolls around, everyone here in the New Zealand team are working their butts off (almost literally) to ensure we will properly prepared to take on the best that the world has to offer in Jr track cycling.
We are all set up base at the Admiral in Invercargill, which has been giving us a load of beautiful days accompanied by chilly temperatures. The girls and I are lucky enough to have an entire house to ourselves, mostly.. And the track has been a lot warmer due to the heaters been turned on at 2am and also gas heaters being brought in and strategically placed.
I’m happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the Summer sun of Kutztown, but it is so good to be home.. Well, close enough!
We’ve been training pretty darn hard down here in little cold Invercargill, and tomorrow evening we get to have a race simulation at the Velodrome for the Team Pursuit, Individual Pursuit and also the Scratch race. Pretty excited!
Now, I must be off to get some sleep before tomorrow! I hope everyone is enjoying my posts and I’m not boring anyone too much. I also hope you are all healthy and enjoying this kiwi winter. :)
p.s. I get a brand new AVANTI PISTA EVO II track bike this weekend! I AM SO EXCITED! Thank you AVANTI bikes for this awesome opportunity!
It’s been super busy here in Kutztown since my last post. The first week felt really slow but the past week flew by without me even realising! So I’ll give you a quick recall of my week.
Last Tuesday night, we had track racing. It was so much fun and the racing was pretty quick too! Wednesday we had a day at the track, for us girls, it was purely TP stuff. That day reached a high of 40 degrees. I felt like I was cooking. Thursday was a pretty boring day, including rain. Friday was cold (20 degrees) and also rained. All. Day. So unfortunately, track racing was cancelled. Instead, we were treated to a lovely VO2 erg session. Ouch. Saturday, we had our first (and only) crit race in Lancaster. The course was pretty tricky, a mile lap with 6 corners in total and we did 25 laps.. Us kiwi girls took the bull by the horns and controlled most of the race. In the end, top 3 places were dominated by the girls in black. (We got some pretty cute prizes as our primes.. Including orange polka dot matching arm warmers and head warmer). On Sunday we took it pretty easy, trying to recover from the tough few days we had.
Finally, today, we were again treated with another erg session, and the weather went back to normal - temp mid 30’s. We also headed back to the Philly Outlets for another round this afternoon. I think we all came back with our wallets a little emptier..
Now, on to the reason of why I am here.. Junior Worlds is now less than a month away!!!!!! It’s really getting down the nitty gritty, and we’ll all starting to think about coming home to the winter cold. My main goal is to stay healthy once I get home.
I’ll leave my post there for now. I hope every one back home has managed to stay warm and healthy so far. I can’t wait to come home. I must confess, I am greatly missing my kitties.. :P See you all very soon!!!!!
p.s. This time next week, I will have already slept in my own bed. Oh, the bliss.
On Friday night, the team and I headed out to the Preferred Valley Cycling Centre (i.e. The track) for a night of racing. After a wee rain delay, we got straight into racing, without even time to ride the track before hand. First race up was a 10 lap scratch, and I’d say it took me about 7 of the 10 to get used to the track. It’s concrete and 333m long, with a reasonable banking. Coming in for a lap to go, I decided that was my chance and I took it. I managed a win in that race with teamy, Alysha grabbing the 2nd. Next up (after a very short break), was the elimination. I found myself getting a few close calls at the back, but snuck my way to front. I hung on for a 3rd in that race, Soph taking the win and Liz grabbing 2nd. I had been feeling rather ill all day and after those two races, I lost my dinner (and anything else I had eaten prior). Due to me being sick, I was unable to finish the night of racing, but because the night was organised like an omnium, I still finished 3rd overall and scored some dosh! Woohoo!
Yesterday, I was ordered to have an easy day, so I could recover from the night before.
Today, we clocked up around 3hrs riding, including a bit of a bunch ride/race (not sure what to call it), which was pretty intense and really fast. I was spinning my U19 restricted gears pretty fast! We also headed out to do our 3rd supermarket shop at a place called Wegmans. It was huge and pretty up-market.
So, after a long week and 3 grocery shops, I am now ready for a rest day of shopping at The King of Prussia Mall (2nd biggest in USA)!
p.s. It was Church day today, so we saw lots of horse and carts around, filled with Amish people! :D Was pretty exciting. And the squirrels here are SO cute! I want to bring one home! We also had a short thunder storm and since the heat has shot up to around 35 degrees Celsius.
I’m really enjoying my time here in Kutztown, and the unfamiliar surroundings are becoming more and more familiar daily. I would take photos to show everyone what it’s like here in the town, but I forgot my camera cord, so I can’t upload anything!! However, Georgina has some photos that I have stolen so you don’t miss out!
Our street again
Signs warning motorists about horse and carts!
I have decided to start a wee tally of all the exciting things I have seen so far!
Squirrels = 3
Amish = 3 woman, 1 man
Fox = 1
Horse and carts = 1
Car tipped on its roof, then rolled back over by people = 1
That’s all the exciting things so far, but be sure to keep an eye out for a tally update!
p.s. I am loving the time zone - tour de France is on in the morning and usually we are back in time from our rides to see the end of the stage! (Pierre Rolland, you beast!!!!!!!)
So, I wrote an entire blog post earlier this fine evening, BUT it didn’t actually post. So here goes again.
After 2 long haul flights (including a 2hr delay), and a brisk drive across country, I have settled in to Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Lucky (or unlucky; not sure which yet) for me, I scored my own little quaint room in an apartment shared with the rest of the girls. We happen to be on the main drag, and short walk to Pop’s ice-cream shop (soooo good = DANGEROUS)!
We bravely ventured out on our freshly built bikes into the 33 degree heat for our ride in the US of A. Easy to say it was a shock to the system. The ride was quite scenic, lots of cornfields and farm houses, even saw 2 Amish women dressed in their traditional attire! (No horse and carts yet, though!) Oh, and the boys tell me the 33 degree day is actually a cool one.. Eeekk..
We haven’t made it to the track yet, but we will in the next couple of days. I think even a shopping trip is in the progamme, also! :D
It’s been awesome reuniting the enduro team.
Will keep everyone posted on the happs of this exciting life in Kutztown! Keep an eye out for updates!
I have recently arrived home to Auckland after spending my week in a Jr Worlds training camp in Invercargill!
It was chilly to say the least, with 5 days out of 6 being frosty! To my surprise, the frost down there lasts all day! And Georgie and I have decided we may need to invest in some mini chains for our bike tyres so we don’t so slipping and sliding. Ha ha.
The camp and training itself was awesome. Spending a lot of time at the track, with the newly installed heaters blasting in an effort to warm us up a little. Turns out, when you have the roller door open, the track DOES NOT warm up. -_- Cheers, boys! Hahahaha.
I am so lucky to have such an amazing team and support crew for this venture! the girls in this team are so much fun to be around. Cassie is now nicknamed Moo (why? for me to know and for you to find out!) Though, it was a shame when Georgie had to go home early! We missed her! And we thoroughly missed Sophie and the rest of the squad!
BUT! Tomorrow evening, the rest of the girls and I are jet setting our way to AMERICA!!!! WOOOHOOO! (It would be easy to assume we are practically jumping out of our skins with excitement)! Bring on SUMMER! We’ll be flying to San Fran tomorrow night; then flying to Newark, New York! Alysha and I spend the night in Newark before meeting up with everyone else in Ttown, Pennsylvania the next day. Rumour has it, the temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius. My guess is, it will be a shock to the system after spending the week in near negatives!
Anyway, that’s me for now. I will be regularly updating throughout the trip, so keep an eye out!
p.s. I appreciate all those who take time out to read my mindless ramblings!
I spent the day in Cambridge (future home away from home) yesterday for the North Island Secondary Schools Champs. Happy to say I came home with a silver medal after the past months happenings.
After the usual double flights to little old Invercargill, we set up base at (our amazing Manager) John Green’s house, and were quickly shunted out on our bikes for a ride in the beautiful (though freezing) Invercargill weather. We even had the company of Mark along for our ride!
It was something new for me to see frost still covering parts of the roads at 5 o’clock in the evening!! We left with the temperature hovering around 3 degrees, and arrived home with it dangerously close the negatives!
Off to the track tomorrow morning for the first track session. Here’s hoping the velodrome won’t be acting as a giant freezer!
Cassie felt the cold in her fingers the most today, I’m sure. She’d tell you it was close to frostbite. ;) Jokes aside, it has been awesome catching up with the girls again! I had missed them! Now just the wait to reunite with the rest of this amazing team! :D Would just like to add Georgie makes the BEST hot chocolates. <3
Will keep those who are interested posted on what’s happening each week, right here!
p.s. Hope everyone is keeping warm and healthy during this chilly winter season!
Okay guys, it has been a while since I made a post, but I thought it was about time I updated all those who were interested!
I have a had a rough past month or so, but I am well on my way to health again! For those of you who didn’t know, I was diagnosed with appendicitis 3 weeks back and I was ordered to have it surgically removed! I was so distraught, I believed that would be the end of my Jr Worlds campaign. But thankfully, I recovered pretty quick and got straight back in to my training.
I have also been diagnosed with some breathing problems, which will require surgery later on, but for now I will be okay! (Thank god!)
So, enough of the bad news, time for some good stuff! Monday week, I will be in Invercargill, in the girl’s enduro training camp! I can’t wait to catch up with the girls (minus Soph :’( ) BUT, the following Monday I will be jetting around the world to AMERICA and meeting up with Sophie and the enduro boys! WOOOHOOO!!! We will be based in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania; training and racing for 3 weeks. It’s fair to say I am struggling to contain my excitement!
Also, I picked up another amazing sponsor for this campaign. So I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Partners Life. They have generously sponsored me for the entire campaign and I am hugely grateful! THANK YOU!
The next 7.5 weeks until Jr Worlds (ONLY 7.5 WEEKS!!!!) will be preeeeeetty full on, and most of that time will be spent away from home. School will be taking a wee bit of a back seat trip whilst this is happening! (Eekkk!)
Sorry for the novel! Hope you enjoyed reading and I will try my best to keep you all updated!
I have spent the last 3 weeks away from home! The first week I spent in Melbourne, the second in Rotorua, and the third in Invercargill!
I went to Melbourne to witness the Elite Track World Champs in person. It was AMAZING. The city was beautiful, just like the weather. We travelled around on the trams, which was a very new experience. I’m sure most of you watched the World Champs on the tele, but it was just incredible in person. The atmosphere. The passion. Everything was so inspiring. When Ali stood on that top step of the podium, proudly wearing her newly earnt Rainbow Jersey, and the NZ anthem played throughout the stadium, it was a very proud moment for me to be a kiwi. I was covered in goose bumps. It’s fair to say I left Melbourne more motivated and inspired than ever.
I arrived back into Auckland at 2am. I left Auckland that same day at 10am heading for my first camp with my female enduro team (Cassie Cameron, Alysha Keith and Georgina Wilson) in Rotorua. We had the pleasure of staying with Ken Bewley, who kindly looked after us. I think we were all a little inspired seeing all of Sam Bewley’s achievements on display around the house. Ken made sure we trained hard and raced even harder at the CRI tour. It was my first tour for the year and I was a little worried about my form, until after the first stage.. I finished 4th in stage one, then went on to finish 4th in the TT that followed. I went into the crit 15seconds down on 3rd GC and came out only 4seconds down. This meant I had to take action in the last stage. But, I am admittedly an amateur with Di2, so my battery died with a lap to go and with that all my hopes were lost. I finished up 4th on GC, though 2nd U19 women, so I was happy.
The day after CRI, I jet setted my way down country to little old Invercargill for our first FULL (minus Hayden) Team track camp! It was AMAZING! The team is amazing. The staff are amazing. I think I speak for everyone when I say it was incredibly fun. The training was hard, just like it’s supposed to be! We went to a high ropes course on our day off to develop our team unity even more. I have never been so scared in my life. But I enjoyed every minute I spent with the squad. They are all so supportive and fun people to be around. Cassie Cameron’s jokes were definitely a high light of my trip! I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I can’t wait for next time!!!
Soooo, that is the wrap up of my last three weeks! :)
Have a good night, and enjoy your week!
p.s. I acquired a new nickname, thanks to Mark Lucas.. “Racquet”
Yesterday was the day I gave my Avanti Questa it’s first taste of racing! I am so pleased to say that it was amazing.
We set off from Rotorua at 9:30am in a bunch of 400 riders all aiming for a time less than 2hrs 30mins. The weather was lovely, perfect for a day out on the bike.
The first 15km was the hilliest and the hardest. The bunch quickly was becoming smaller and smaller. For the next 65km, it was reasonably quick, but also pretty cruisy, which suited me just fine!
20km to go the pace was on! We were averaging 41kph and I was starting to feel it and by the time we reached the last challenge of a two part hill, my legs had had enough. Unfortunately I slipped off the back of the bunch at the top of the first part. Luckily, I was not alone! I managed to jump on the back of a small bunch of men and get to the finish line in a reasonably quick time (even though I had to coast the last 2km downhill as my chain got stuck between my frame and cog). I ran the last 10m across the line and finish the race with a time of 2:27:14. My time allowed me to be the 2nd fastest Woman and the 1st in U19 Woman.
All in all, it was a successful day on the bike and I was stoked with my results. My bike preformed better than I could have imagined.
Big thanks to Avanti Bikes for being the major sponsor of the event, and Avanti Plus in Manakau for helping me out with my set up on Friday night!
p.s. On Tuesday I will be setting off to Melbourne for the Elite Track World Champs! I will be cheering on our men and women in black as loud as I can! So excited to see the big boys and girls race!
Will post an update again soon! Enjoy your Sunday afternoon!
A little over 2 weeks ago I was competing in Invercargill at the Track Nationals. Today, BikeNZ has announced their Jr Worlds Squad and I am so ecstatic to be in it! We are lucky enough to have the home advantage come Jr. Worlds in August, as they are being held INVERCARGILL! For more information and a wee bit of a yarn, read this:
I guess, it’s fair to say all my hard work is beginning to pay off! I can’t explain my excitement for this opportunity and I am thrilled I will representing my country along side 15 other amazing cyclists and an awesome team of staff!
Here’s the team:
Female endurance: Cassie Cameron (Wanganui), Alysha Keith (Dunedin), Racquel Sheath (Auckland), Sophie Williamson (Alexandra), Georgina Wilson (North Harbour).
Female sprint: Kate Dunlevey (Invercargill), Paige Patterson (Auckland), Victoria Steel (Christchurch).
Male endurance: Liam Aitcheson (Alexandra), Tom Beadle (Invercargill), Tayla Harrison (Christchurch), Dylan Kennett (Waimate), Hayden McCormick (Te Awamutu), Hamish Schreurs (Christchurch).
Men’s sprint: Jeremy Presbury (Invercargill), Zach Williams (Auckland).
Staff: Ross Machejefski (head coach), Mark Lucas (female endurance coach), John Rastrick (sprint coach), John Green (team manager), Lynnette Murphy (track manager).
After spending a week in good old chilly Invercargill, New Zealand, I came home chuffed with my medal haul.
I competed in the 7 events, as follows: 7.5km Scrath race, 15km Points race, Keirin, Individual Pursuit, 500m Time Trial, Team Pursuit, and Team Sprint.
Out of the 7 events, I gained 6 medals, only missing out in the 500m TT. But it’s fair to say all my hard work had finally paid off when I won my first individual gold medal for the scratch race after 6 years of competing at NZ track nationals.
In both the team events, we achieved gold medals. I rode the Team Pursuit with my fellow Auckland team mates Georgina Wilson and Devon Hiley. In the Team Sprint, I was partnered up with the National Keirin, Match Sprint and 500m TT champ, Paige Paterson.
I thoroughly enjoyed my week of racing, even though the body was a little exhausted at the end of the 4 days. Now it’s back to reality - SCHOOL!