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Commonwealth Youth Games- Bendigo
15 Dec, 2004

Commonwealth Youth Games- Bendigo Dec 04

We arrived on the Monday and soon realized that this trip was going to
be nothing like any other trip we had been on b4, we skipped the flag
raising ceremony so we could put our bikes together and then were sent off to a
very long presentation and then a team photo, we got in a ride we had been
waiting for all day, after dinner. We went to bed thinking that we were
fully prepared and organized for the time trial the next day!

We all got a sleep-in except Paddy who was up early because she thought
she had a 9.30am start. We were all very relaxed and the guys thought their
start was going to be about 11am. Well Sam's cell rings at 9.20am and
next thing the guys are rushing around trying to get to the start which is
now at 9.30am before the girls event!! Sam arrived with about 30secs to go,
and Clinton with just under 2mins, but luckily Andrew Pollock got about
10mins. As we found out later some vital information had not been given to Graham at the airport. Andrew did very well, considering the preparation and got
a 5th place, beating Matt Goss by over a minute!! Sam and Clinton decided
they wouldn't take it too hard as they were focusing on the mtb race the
next day. After all the confusion and Paddy having to do another warm up,
she came an awesome 2nd to the World Champion Amanda Spratt, only 10sec
behind her.

The opening ceremony that night was amazing and some of the NZ athletes
performed the haka as we walked in.

Wednesday- MTB Race
Again we had another day of bad luck, this was not the best start to
the week. Carissa got a puncture on her first lap after starting the race
hard with the other kiwi Michelle, and then experiencing mechanical problems
with fixing it (sorry don't remember what), but Michelle still ended up 4th.
Clinton and Sam were 1st and 2nd after 1 lap, but Sam punctured on his
2nd lap, Clinton built up his lead to 2mins going in to 2 laps to go, but
then punctured, after a quick change in about 3mins he got back on,
determined to catch the Aussie, unfortunately he came extremely close, 12 secs at the
end, but a very exciting race for us to watch and a great effort, Stephen
Butler also came 5th.

Track that night was much better, Paddy qualified 3rd in pursuit, and
myself coming 6th but only missing out on qualifying by less than a second!
Bridgette came 2nd in the 500m, and Kathryn came 6th. Our points race
was fast and scary we made quite a few attacks, and tried to help Paddy as
much as we could, and she ended up 5th, and Kathryn came 8th and myself
somewhere further back! One of the Aussie's got a warning during the race for
deliberately pulling off her line, and helping out a team mate.
The men's racing tonight was exciting, while Sam's pursuit qualifying was
really an amusing race to watch as he soon learnt he had to steer his
bars otherwise he went up the track, he still managed to qualify 3rd and
missed out on the gold ride by .04! Andrew Robertson also gained an 8th
placing. Adam had a good kilo ride getting a 9th place. The scratch race was
extremely exciting for us to watch Andrew Robertson got in a 4 man
break away with about 10 laps to go and at one stage had half a lap on the
field, which on a 250m track would have meant they almost caught the bunch!
Andrew got on a good wheel for the sprint and gained a silver medal!! Sam also almost caught the break away and got a 5th placing!

Thursday- Track racing
Paddy gained the bronze medal in her pursuit final, but actually got
the fastest time of the night I think, and if she didn't she was extremely
close to it! The scratch race was fast and really scary again the Aussie's
dominated, taking out the gold and silver with Bridgette also getting the bronze,
with myself the next best Kiwi in 10th.
The girls did really well in their sprint qualifying, Bridgette
qualified 2nd and Kathryn 3rd, who did a PB on a track that has practically no
banking!! They both got through to the semis and ended up having to
ride each other, the first one came down to a photo finish but Bridgette got
it and then also the 2nd , so Bridgette will ride for gold and Kathryn for
bronze.Sam had a really good pursuit again,  but unfortunately missed out on
the bronze by .2 of a second! Their points race was exciting and Andrew
Robertson did a great job of trying to help out Adam, and Adam ended up
getting 4th a great effort! Adam and Andrew's keirans did not go as
well, they missed out on getting through to the final.

Friday- Road race and Track racing
Our road race was great, the course was fast but not too hilly, Carissa
got away with Amanda Spratt with 1 lap to go, and they won the race by over
1min, Carissa ended up getting the silver medal which was a great
effort for someone who specializes in MTBing! Paddy came 8th, I was 9th and
Kathryn 13th. The boys race was also exciting, an early break away determined the end
result and luckily Sam was in this break from the start, Clinton
managed to work hard and get up to it, but unfortunately Andrew Pollock and Adam
Coker got stuck back in the bunch which left them with nothing else to do
than to ride for the minor placing's, as there were already about 9 up the
road. Clinton and Sam showed some awesome sprinting skills and Clinton got a
silver with Sam getting in for 5th, but if the finish line had come 30m
earlier Sam would have won, he just didn't get his timing right! Andrew
ended up getting 12th and Adam pulled out, as he still had track that
night! Then it was back home for a well earned swim, and myself and Paddy to
get even more sun burnt!!

The track racing that night was great, all of us were extremely tired
but luckily we only had 3 people racing that night. Bridgette had a great
sprint ride and took the gold medal away from the Aussie's, the first and only
event on the track which was not won by Australia!! Kathryn's final was
extremely close but unfortunately Jess Tanner got the better of her and
won 2-1. Adam was really tired and didn't really want to do sprints he
qualified though and ended up having to ride the guy that qualified 2nd so he
took Sam's advice and attacked from the start!! Good idea but he got caught
after a lap. The girls keiran also involved more drama with Bridgette
crashing, Kathryn got through to the final and gained another 4th placing!!

Then half of our team left to go to Oceania's, and a very tired manger
as well. Thanks Graham for all your help you were great, but you
definitely need more help next time!

More drama that night meant that the girls woke everyone up when they
ran down the hallway to the guys' rooms shouting and screaming, as there
were some people that had been hanging round outside trying to break in, but
as the security guy assured us, they didn't get in!

A great trip and a really good experience we all made heaps of great
mates from all over the world. Thanks heaps to our managers Sadie and Graham
they were awesome, even though they were probably more tired than us they
were always there to help!

Click to enlarge...

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