Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here we go again....

It has been a long time since blogs (it seems this is the way that I begin most blogs these days). It has been an eventful summer that has nearly come to a close. The racing has begun for the season and we are now OS for the first week of racing. Luckily OS is only across the seas in New Zealand so we can warm ourselves into the season with the luxury of English tv and good weather. In contrast to what we would all expect the weather here is decidedly better than it has been for most of the Aussie summer with blue skies, sunshine and so far not much of the infamous Wellington winds.

So where to start….a brief summary of my summer….I was lucky enough to have Gunnar here with me in Sydney for nearly 2 months which was fantastic. He was a little disappointed at the lack of sunshine and good waves at the beach but it did make training a little easier than some of the harsh summer days we have had in the past. Gunnar had his bike out here and together we covered lots of km’s on Sydney and surrounding roads, we did some rides that I haven’t done in years and also a little club racing. Gunnar really enjoyed the club racing and being fit at this time of the year is something he hasn’t experienced for quite a while.

On the family front, little sister Katie got engaged and so a wedding for October 2009 is in the planning. My cousin Jane was proposed to just last Tuesday and so it seems another wedding on the books in which I will get to be a bridesmaid….bring on the peach taffeta J

In general life has been great and it is always with a mixture of emotions that I pack my bags for Europe. I am excited to be heading back to racing and the season that determines so many decisions that are made throughout the year. I can’t wait to see Gunnar and his lovely family again but of course it is sad to leave. I feel bad to pack my bags and say good-bye to friends and family that I love so dearly in order to chase my dreams but that is the life I have chosen for now at least.

So last week I packed a small bag, jumped on the plane to Melbourne and headed out to Point Lonsdale where we were staying for the week of the Geelong Tour and World Cup. I was joining my new team, Menikini-Selle Italia-Masters Color, an Italian based team with girls from my different countries to make things interesting. In Geelong there was Suzanne Llungskog (our Swedish addition), her partner/our mechanic/manager Klaus, Japanese Miho Oki, Italian Marian Romoli, the president of our team Italian Walter Ricci and then the three Aussies...Olivia Gollan, Rochelle Gilmore and I. I will summarise to say that it was a rather succesful first week of racing...Suzanne finished 3rd in the Geelong Tour before being brought down by a nasty cold which kept her out of the World Cup and off the bike for a few days and Rochelle finished 4th in a strangely played out first World Cup of the season. I feel like I had a decent start to the racing, being in an early break in the World Cup and having a few decent hit outs in the tour. On the day off between races we were able to escape for lunch in Barwon Heads overlooking the water....a magic spot that we got to share with Liv's aunty Jude, uncle Wayne, cousin Mel and her 2 year old daughter Lucinda.

We are now in New Zealand and racing has started. The weather has been very kind to us so far, although the hills not so much today. I had a good start to the tour being in the break in the first stage, a 1 hr +3 lap criterium yesterday...I sprinted poorly but it was good to have one of us up there. Today my legs deserted me on the main climb of the day and I was in the second bunch chasing the front but our little pocket rocket Miho was in the front and finished a very commendable 3rd. The big climbing day is tomorrow so after posting this I will head to bed and try to get as much recovery as possible. It is good to be back into the swing of racing, and I hope to find some good form to convert into results in the next few days :)