Wednesday, October 04, 2006 11:36 PM
Home after England, Germany and Worlds in Austria.
Well the season is starting to wind down now with the Herald Sun Tour being my concluding race for the road season. After having some very tough racing in the Tour of Britain and Hessen Tour followed up by Worlds, its very nice to have a couple of week of easy travelling before having to pin the numbers back on…
The Tour of Britain was the beginning of my final block of European racing before returning to Australia. With so many Pro Tour teams on the start list it was always going to prove to be very tough tour. The first couple of days went well with Matt Goss getting a 3rd place. But the Tour suddenly got a lot harder after the 2nd stage when Matt took the overall leaders jersey. Stage 3 proved to be a very tough day with CSC attacking our little U23 team with full force. Despite the attempt of CSC to completely destroy our team we managed to have Matt in the front group with about 50km to go with me there to help him. But then it all went wrong (as most people in Aus, saw on tv) when Matt’s niggling knee pain got all to much and he was forced to pull out of the race. After this stage, because we put all our eggs in the one basket to support Matt, we didn’t end up with a very good team result but there was some very valuable lessons learnt from copping the full force of the Pro Tour teams. Overall the Tour proved to be a great experience at the next level of racing.
After the Tour of Britain we went home for a little rest in Italy, with a little on day race, before heading to Germany for Hessen Tour. Here we again met the similar Pro Tour teams we had race in England but we were now on their home turf! We didn’t end up having as much influence on this Tour as we did in England and as a result we were dictated the racing by the bigger teams. This didn’t prove such a bad thing. With worlds just around the corner it was just good to get through the tour unscathed and in good condition for the following weekend.
The World Championships were held in Salzburg, Austria. It is a very nice part of the world and although the course didn’t really suit me personally, it was a very good course for Matt Goss. So my role in the team was to go with the early breakaway attempts and then help Matt towards the finish. I did what I was told by going with the early moves and then with 3 laps I did my turn for the team and tried deliver Matt to the climb at the font of the bunch. Which I did successfully. After that big effort I was completely exhausted and decided to call it a day considering I couldn’t do anything else to help the team. It was then up to Matt and the others to help him, but coming into the final lap over the climb the pace was really fast and Matt was just unable to hold onto the bunch over the climb. Unfortunately after Matt was dropped our medal chances were gone and it was up to James Meadley to try and secure us maximum starters for next year, which he did successfully placing 29th.
For now I’m back in Australia. I have the Herlad Sun Tour beginning on Sunday and after the tour completes on the following Saturday I fly back to Europe for some 6day track racing before returning home to a well earn break and off season.
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Hope all is well where ever you are reading this from.