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The Training Is Paying Off
14 Jul, 2004

Well itís been a while since I last wrote. Iíve been doing a lot of racing and also a lot of training and Iím happy to report that the training I have been doing is starting to pay off. Iím feeling the best ever on the bike, like I did as an amateur. Itís obvious that I have lacked this type of training this year. After a month of solid miles and erg work I can already feel it.


I raced the Tour de Doubs in France. Before the race I was told horror stories about the terrain. It was just lucky that today I was on! There were 5-6km climbs, but not really steep, more a S.E type climb. It was a weird race, I felt like it was a miss and out, like you get on the track. Guys were just getting dropped because the pace and the terrain was taking its toll. I stayed at the front always and just went from strength to strength.


After 185kms we caught the group who had been away most of the day and we were approaching the last most difficult climb of the day. I didn't have the confidence to sit and wait as I thought I would have struggled over the climb. BAD MOVE. I attacked on the flat before it but got caught at the bottom. One guy countered and sat 200m in front of me and one other the whole way up. It was so frustrating as I actually felt good on the climb but could not jump like the 65kg freak who hit me at the bottom. Thatís how it ended he won solo, I sprinted in the other 2 for 2nd place. I was disappointed and happy as it was a chance that went begging but it was a sign that I was on the way up. ABOUT TIME!


I then headed to Portugal for a 5day tour. Not really long stages, but hard racing with lots of climbing. Bar 1 climb the rest all suited me. Stage 1 I was so strong but they had to go and put a 3km hard climb at the end of the stage. I was still there at the top but a small group got away on the climb. We had only the descent to the finish and with 1km to go they still had 10s. I launched the sprint with 300m to go catching the group on the line but it just was a little too late. grrrrr The next stage it was same again but this time it was my teammate who caught the break on the line. The 3rd stage was the stage that had that dirty 15% climb to the finish..... Jeez how much do I love those!  I got up it ok, but 80kg vs 60kg doesnít add up when 15% shit is involved! Mind you I did attack them on the climb in the flatter bit half way up but a team started to ride tempo so that was the end of that stupid move!


The 4th stage I had my best chance of my first win this year. It was a very up and down day again but nice fast climbs. We had a climb close to the finish and only 50 got over it, I was one of the lucky ones and I really felt strong on it. In this group were 2 other team mates who decided that they were going to lead me out for the sprint. I was shitting! With 1k to go Vasseur hit out then followed by the big Belgy Staf but we just missed one other rider. I was on the front too early, and I hesitated a bit got swamped but then got going again only to come at them too late. I was stomping though and another 5m and I would have won. Iím disappointed again but Iím learning fast! The last stage was a hilly TT and not really a lot to report there apart from that it hurt!


Next up for me is Tour Region Wallone, the tour that Julz won last year. It would be good to be on top of my game here thatís for sure. I then have 4 days rest and start the Tour of Denmark. straight after Denmark I head to Bordeaux where ill be meeting up with the NZ team for some track work then its on to the Olympics! Bring it on!

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