Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thueringen Rundfahrt

I've just gotten home after racing a tough 6 days through the eastern part of Thueringen. We did lots of climbing, suffering in the cross-winds and racing through torrential rain...I tried my luck on the first few days with some break-away attempts that were unfortunately not fruitful. I wore the white sprinters jersey for a day (very funny for everyone who is aware of my sprinting prowess) and altogether the team had a very successful tour. I am home for most of the week and will try and get some R&R before heading to Sweden for a World Cup on the weekend. The little sister is staying here for the week in Arnstadt, it will be good to have her company and I might even be able to convince her to update her blog!
The photos are courtesy of CJ Farquarhson from

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A quiet week

I have enjoyed a week of sunshine and being at home. The second semester of uni has begun and I have been trying to get on top of it early before the travel and lack of internet access begins. I also took the time to go and get a hair cut that was much overdue. This in itself is not a newsworthy piece but while sitting at the hairdresser I had some time to reflect on the various interesting experiences I have had over the last 5 years at hairdresser's all over Europe. Explaining exactly what you want done is hard in English at the best of times and so trying to describe in German, Italian, Dutch and Flemish at various times what I wanted has been quite is amazing that I have always left looking vaguely presentable. One particular experience in Ghent in Belgium with Kate was quite amusing. We saw a place that looked quite good and so made an appointment for the following day. The next day we went back and there was a bald, middle-aged guy with full white overall's on ready to do our we sat there while Bob-the-Builder did a bit of colour on mine, bit of colour on Kate's hair, back and forth...
I start racing this afternoon in Thueringen Rundfahrt, a tough 6 day tour and hopefully I have something more interesting to report than a hair cut!
I would like to send out a big Congraulations to my ma and pa who managed to make it to the top of Kilimanjaro last week after some tough preparation over the last months. I just hope that I am as sprightly and adventurous at the same age....

Monday, July 16, 2007

More stamps in the passport....

Its good having people to chase in a TT
Not looking happy at the prospect of the next stage :)

I am back home after being away for a week and the temperature is 24 degrees warmer than when I left....crazy! The Germans have taken this spurt of summer with good humour and in the Sunday paper there was 48 tips for a 48 hour summer....its likely that that is how long this good weather will last....So no complaining that I am sweating like a maniac.

I have been in the hilly Krasna Lipa in Czech Republic for the last 5 days to get some racing back into the legs after just pedalling around for some weeks. The racing was pretty tough but it was a good tour to kick start the rest of the season with. My team-mate Gela had super form and I tried to do what I could to help. On the second stage I managed it quite nicely...there was a really tight right hand corner with 1km to go, the roads were wet and I locked up the back wheel and found myself sliding across the road...I was right at the front of the bunch and Gela was the only one to get through unhindered and won the race a few seconds ahead of the chasing bunch. Now that's team work (sorry to the other girls I took down....).

I now have a week of recovery before Thuringen Tour, a tough and important race for this part of the season. This is the area that I live, although I am slightly more in the west, but the terrain is familiar and hopefully that works in my favour. I will get some R&R, but still need to do some decent training days to ensure good form for the rest of the season. Hopefully the weather stays a bit warmer and I can enjoy some bbq's and swimming in the local lake (its not Freshwater beach but its better than nothing).

Monday, July 09, 2007

Back in the groove

After some weeks in not so summery German weather, dodging rain clouds and getting blown around from the crazy winds, I was ready to race again and escape training by myself. We had two days of racing in Braunschweig, 200km north of where I live in Germany and we were graced with good weather and some blue skies. Saturday was a 40km crit in the evening and after several weeks with no racing the acceleration was a shock to the legs but surprisingly I felt quite good. Team Getraenke-Hoffmann had the numbers to be the dominant force in the race and everyone rode well together, countering attacks and we filled the podium.
Yesterday we had a 95km road race, which was quite challenging considering the course...a tough little climb and cross-winds to contend with on much of the course. Similarly to the day before, we had the numbers to be a big force in the race and again filled the top 5 places. I was really happy to get some speed in the legs and a bit of power back.
I am now staying with Angela, a team-mate who spend some a few weeks in Australia in February before a four day tour in Czech Republic starting on Thursday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I've been tagged..

Indy has tagged me and I'm normally not into these things but I have been very impressed with how her and Ken are going in the "Guamazing Race" that I figure I should be a sport about it. So....
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Random things about me:
1. Mum and Dad chose the name 'Natalie' for me after going sailing and seeing a sail boat with a beautiful blue sail and the boat's name was Natalie
2. My middle name is Robyn, after Christopher Robyn from Winnie-the-Pooh....lucky that I'm a girl and not a boy, or Christopher Robyn it would have been.
3. I am quite literally blind as a bat, when I go for an eye-test, I can't even see the very big letter at the top of the board
4. I'm currently doing a Master of Arts degree with a major in Linguistics (something completely non-related to my first degree but interesting)
5. My favourite ice-cream/gelati in the whole world is from a gelati shop in a town called Novellara in the middle of Italy. Kinder and Panna die for... :)
6. Since I have doing this cycling business which allows me to spend our Australian winter's in European summer's I am currently on my 10th summer in a winters, just summertime for me
7. I am a pretty fast typist, thanks to high school days and trying to be half as fast as Indy who was a speed machine
8. I am really uncoordinated (anyone who has seen me to try to learn a new skill can back me up on this one)...

So...I don't have 8 people who can post a blog for this but I will pass the baton on to
Kate and Richy.