Saturday, October 8, 2011


With the season just about all done and dusted, i have been fortunate to return back to Tassie after 7months in Europe to commute to my final races of the season from little old Hobart. Following the tour of padania i had a couple of days to pack my things and jump straight on the plane back to aus to finally see my beautiful girlfriend, dog, family and friends for the 1st time in 7months. Being away from Australia is just something you have to accept if you want to ride in the professional peleton and you are an Australian. Although we are all pretty well settled in our respective corners of Europe and traveling to and frow becomes the norm, It is always jolly great to be back in the home land. With cycling becoming more global or as our international governing body the UCI put it, Globalising Cycling, being able to commute to the odd race from Australia is now more of a possibility than it had been previously. I had intended to return home after paris Roubaix as my next event was to tour of California but a programme change meant that I remained in Europe and race the tour of turkey instead therefore making 2011 the longest period I had spent away from all my loved ones. With my programme upended again with my untimely busted rib, failing to make the national team and consequently not having and races between finishing padania tour of Beijing to be followed by the Herald Suntour in melbourne, it meant that my team could give me an early make to head back to Tassie and train and commute from there for the final month or so of the season which I greatly appreciated.

As I have still done a majority of my time on the bike on my home roads I feel very comfortable that I can get the most out of myself. It is certainly a unique place to train Tasmania and particularly after spending longer than ever before on foreign roads this season I was certainly a little desensitised from how hard training on the roads of southern Tasmania can be. The first thing that gets you is the surface of the rd being rocky and loosing that easy speed you get used to from the hard packed lightning fast smooth roads we rock around on in Europe. With the exception to Belgium and turkey of course and was perhaps the main reason why I enjoyed turkey so much, Tassie has me well prepared for it. Next its never flat, you are always up down, left right, just always seem to changing rhythm. But perhaps the thing that gets me most is the wind. I just cant remember ever having wind like we get in Tassie. It can pretty much bring you to a stand still and quite often have you riding along on a constant lean for km's on end. Combine this with the rd surface, undulating relenting terrain and it came as no shock to me that without even trying to the Watts on the SRM were creeping up more than usual in training. It was strange as I would find myself getting frustrated in the first couple of days out on the road with wind, temperature and climate changes by the second which are all apart of a day in Tassie but quickly came to the realisation that is indeed normal and I just need to harden up again.
Fortunately I have travelled so many times now that I have a pretty good routine with trying to minimise Jetlag and therefore on this occasion I timed my travel home to be immediately after tour of padania where I must confess I was a little fatigued by the end due to the rather long stints I had riding on the front every stage of the 5 day event. In the end I had averaged 270watts and 145 heart rate for the event so was in need of a few days downtime which meant I had a very good long deep sound sleep all the way back to Melbourne and was back to training like usual 4-5 days after a hard weeks racing like in padania so all worked out quite well. With 2 races still on my calendar before I wrap up the 2011 season I slipped straight back into training and with exception of taking jess too and from work my routine between Europe and Tassie was very much the same. Infact perhaps I even added a little structure as being a bachelor in Europe I tend to waste a little time playing playstation, watching movies and off course the curse of surfing the net. With jess working 830-5 and with wanting off course to spend as much time with her as I possibly could, I would get my core, training, recovery, massage and other cycling related things done during these 8 or so hrs each day and worked very well, this inturn I think meant I could even work a little harder than usual but also recover a little better so thumbs up for routine!!!!
When training in Europe I never take any form of entertainment with me. Fortunately our Team Trainer paolo slongo gives me plenty of intervals so I am never board. Also the sights of northern Italy are pretty specky so I never ever consider addind the ipod to my cycling attire. In Tassie however it is another story and I don't know why. The landscape although very different is also very beautiful and I do all the same intervals but there is no way I will ever exit my home at Mt Rumney without my AM/FM pocket radio. This was a present from jess and perhaps has turned into the single most used thing I own so a jolly good present. During the week I have it locked onto Sea FM which is our local commercial radio stations and plays all the latest hits which I like. Find the radio better for training than an ipod as it is more of a background noise I listen to when I want to pay attention and don't even notice it when I don't pay attention to it. Also on the long days just having another voice like when the news comes on can help minimise the monotony of what you are doing. On weekends however at this tiem of the year I switch over to AM radio for ABC radio's grandstand programme which is all about sport and starts at midday on both Saturday and Sunday and takes you all the way through to 6pm. Most importantly the footy season has just wrapped up so along with updates on all the sports around the globe, the commentary of the AFL is just brilliant and certainly makes me forget about the fatigue of training and motivated by the commentary team led by drew Morphett and the boys, its just sensational and especially the past couple of weeks as I have been able to listen to my beloved geelong cats march toward another Premiership which they wrapped up on Saturday. Asside from the footy it is great to listen to peter newlends grandstand Tasmania as he focuses on all the sport and sportsman in Tassie and does a great job of recognising many achievements by Tasmanians that might otherwise go un noticed and these are always great story to here and the way he interviews can often make them very inspiring stories as well so great stuff pete and all the AFL grandstand team, you have made my weekends on the bike extremely enjoyable over the years and certainly hugely enjoyable these past 2 weeks.

So with a couple of good weeks of hardening myself up again down in deep south, I am commuting to the tour of Beijing which starts on Wednesday and although only bing 3 weeks since my last race looking forward to catching back up the all the staff and riders. Being so far away in aus I missed them a little bit so be good to get back amongst the Italian's. We have had a really good year together and it is nice to see how close we have become and starting to work really well together, padania really highlighted that for me and I am really excited about the team we have for the tour of Beijing and I hope continuing that success. Gyd'y up Liquigas Cannondale!!!!


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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