Haven't posted anything for a while. Haven't quite found the time between racing, training, work and general life. I have just finished a block of racing over four weekends so I will give you a quick update on each...
National round Auckland-This was probably going to be my race of the season. I felt the best I ever have and was riding really strong but unfortunately I didn't get a result to suit. I didn't have the best of starts and some how managed to land on my seat so that it moved on the seat clamp and was on a crazy downward angle. This wasn't too much of a problem though as I moved up the field quickly and by the 3rd lap I was riding in 3rd/4th spot with Carl Jones. Anton and Dirk were out the front as usual. I was feeling strong and confident, riding within my limits but I had a nasty crash. I'm not totally sure how it happened because it all went so quick. I just lost my front wheel on a loose corner and that was that. I tried to carry on but when I fell I heard something "pop" in my shoulder and I was finding it hard to hold onto the handlebars. I got back to the tech zone and got my gears working again. Then headed off for my next lap but my shoulder and grip was getting worse. I tried to stop and stretch it out but it didn't help. So I finished that lap and waited to get 80%. It was disappointing not to get the result I was capable of but I was very happy with my form.
Nationals Rotorua - So this is the race which the whole season revolves around. I was very confident going into this race after the way I was riding the weekend before in Auckland. I was near the front up the start climb and feeling comfortable. Near the top of the climb just before it heads into the single track. The guys in front sat up a bit so I took my opportunity and nipped into the single track in first place. I don't know what happened from here. I just had no energy and my legs felt really stiff and heavy. Everyone was sprinting around me, I tried to react and go with them but nothing was happening. I came through at the end of the first lap in 15th place. Still not feeling great. But I wasn't about to give up seeing it was nationals, I had focused my training on this day and my parents had travelled around the country to support me. I just settled into a rhythm and started to pick off riders. I never really felt great and was only riding at the pace I was practising laps in. But in the end I crossed the line 5th U23 and 8th elite. The result wasn't too bad but I know it could have been better.
Kiwara Classic-This was the first year I did the new course. And it was brutal! We started with a fairly easy pace down the road but when we hit the first climb Brad put the hurt on. It all split up pretty quick. Myself, Ben and Brad were still together at the top. We had a short decent and breather before we started the next climb. And again Brad went balls out. Ben and I both lost his wheel and Brad was off. He kept pulling away and finished 2mins in front in the end. Good ride Brad. Ben and I rode together until we got back down to the valley road to find Craig had caught us back up. We rode together well and kept pushing the pace right up to the top of the final climb. I put in an attack on the last small pinch climb which left Ben and myself to battle it out to the finish line. I started the sprint a fair way out from the line but managed to hold Ben off to claim 2nd overall. It was good to feel my form again after my disappointing nationals a week earlier.
Pass to pub-I had never really had a good result at this race before so I wanted to make this year my race. I had some tough competition in Brad Hudson and David Coventry. We took off fast and Brad went straight to the front and had me on my limit for the first 10mins just trying to hold his wheel and not get dropped. It was soon just us two and we started to work together well and had a good rhythm going. We both pushed each other hard on different sections of the course but neither got away. The course followed a ruff river track for the last 5mins. We were still neck and neck at this stage. I almost messed up my finished as I miss a marker and Brad got a gap on me. I pulled it back just before we popped out of the river and could see the finish. I got the jump on Brad on the final corner and came away with the win! I was very happy and was pushed right to the finish. I was a great way to finish off my season.
So the last few weeks have had their good and bad moments. But all in all it has been my best season to date and I feel like I have more in me. The day after race day I have been feeling little if no fatigue so my training has been doing it's job. I have myself and Andrew Barlow to thank for that. I wrote my own training programmes this season but I had great advice form Andrew to follow. I was hoping to go to Oceanias but getting the time off work wasn't looking great and it was going to cost a fair bit. So I flagged it away for this year. I will give it a good nudge next year when it's in NZ. There is still a few more races this season but I think it's best if I have a bit of a rest and then I can train up for the Cyclocross season which I have missed so much this summer. I can't wait to get back into it. Hopefully get myself the Elite national tittle!