Saturday 17 August 2013

Friday 16 August 2013

Just a wee update

Really must update this blog a little more often or I have a massive mission catching up with all that is going on.


Going through a literature review for my Masters Degree in Sport Science. Also teaching myself Statistics especially mixed linear modelling.

But it has been the riders I work with who are doing amazing things on the bike and certainly deserve some recognition...

Sam Horgan.

Dude is on fire. The return from his horror crash at the Tour of Tasmania last year has been slow and we have made a few changes to the programme to reflect that. His racing calender is chocker with challenging stage races that are part of the National Race Series in Aus riding for his Budget Forklifts team. At the Tour of Gippsland he was 5th and his team-mates won Overall and Sprint classification, and Budget Forklifts won the Teams Classification. Then he scored an impressive victory in the Hokitika Round of the Benchmark Hoomes Elite Cycling Series. As I type he is leading the Tour of the Great South Coast Tour holding a 1:02min lead after 6 of 9 stages.

Sam takes the win in Hokitika (photo, the awesome Bruce Wilson)

Jamie Nicoll.

Jamie competes in the new division of off road racing called Enduro that has been around for a few years but now has it's own World Series. The World Series events are a series of timed runs on mostly downhill tracks but can include some uphill sections and riders have to ride to each timed section. Other events are mass start races like the Megavalache that starts right at the top of Alpe d'Huez and goes through the town where the TdF finishes and on to the bottom. 

Jamie is known as a Privateer for he is one of the few un-sponsored riders in the Pro grades and he rides in the top grade even though he is eligible to ride in the Master's category. This hasn't deterred him from making a big impact on the sport. 

At Megavalanche he qualified 3rd and after a crash in the final ended up 7th. At Mountain of Hell he qualified 1st and backed up in the final taking an awesome victory. He was 15th at round 4 of the Enduro World Series in Colorado when a bug hit him but recovered well to take an awesome 3rd place in round 5 at Crankworx in Whistler. Jamie heads back to Europe soon for the final two rounds of the World Series. 

Mountain of Hell

A tumultuous year for Maddi. Realising she needed to show she really had her heart set on contending for the World Road Championships she worked hard after Nationals raising money to send herself to the US to get some International racing. Mid June she headed to Colorado and spent a couple of weeks with the AWESOME Joanne Kiesanowski, training with her and learning from her and Multiple World Champion Sarah Hammer what it means to be a World Class Women's cyclist. 

She raced in the open Category at BC Superweek which is a collection of Criteriums and Open races. This years fields were big with 60-80 top Elite women starting in each race and Maddi was on the pointy end of the learning curve having very few crits under her belt let alone with such big numbers. We had a few testy Facebook conversations after the first few but slowly she got the hang of it and was able to make her way to the front and contend for placings.

Maddi then headed to Bend, Oregon to compete in the Cascade Classic. This was a 5 day Elite Stage Race featuring top competition including the recent Women's Giro de Italia winner. She had secured a start for the Colavita Womens Professional Cycling Team which was a huge honour. She found the going tough with some serious climbing on 2 massive stages over 100km with over 30km of climbing on both days in 30degree plus temperatures.  Unfortunately mid way through the Tour a tooth abscess caused her to withdraw on the final stage.

She then headed back to Canada to compete in the U19 racing in Rimouski, Quebec. This was the French speaking part of Canada so like being in a whole new world. She placed 6th in the UCI (1.1) Grand Prix cycliste de Rimouski race and later that night lined up with 2 Canadian and 1 US teammate on the Pinarello Giordana team in the Team TT for the Le Tour de la relève internationale de Rimouski. Canadian Coach Andrew Iler made an excellent offer to get Maddi up for the racing.

Before the Tour started she received the awesome news that she had been selected to represent NZ in the U19 Road Race and Time Trial at the Junior World Road Championships in Italy in September. At the Tour Maddi and her teammate Kelly Catlin (2nd at US U19 Nationals RR) were a 2 women demolition squad after taking 1-2 on stages and finishing that way on GC after 5 days of tough racing.

Maddi spent a few more weeks in Colorado Springs, including a ride up the famous Pikes Peak and had an unfortunate encounter with a Racoon and is now back in town where Coach Ferg is going to do some special work on climbing seeing the course for Worlds in Verona features 5km of uphill on each of the 5 laps!

Harri Rajaniemi.

Harri is a Masters Track Sprinter from Finland. He has been working hard over his winter where the outside temperatures were getting down to -30 and rehabbing after a crash late last year cause damage to his shoulder. The Helsinki track is covered in snow for a lot of the year so not a lot of racing opportunities so a lot of work has been done on the erg, chasing power targets, in the gym, a trip to Lithuania and spending some time on Barcelona Olympic Velodrome while there on business. The results so far have been excellent. 

He took a Bronze medal in the Open Finnish Keirin Championship. He won the Finnish M40 Championships Kilo in a 1:10.92 on a outdoor concrete 400m track much the same as our Denton Park. He then backed up winning the M40 Sprint Title qualifying in a rapid 11.3. He heads on to the European Masters Championships in Wales in September before making a serious bid at the Masters World Champs in Manchester. 

Alice Bennett.

Alice has put in a ton of work in the racing with excellent performances at last years Yunca Tour, TeA Tour, winning the Canterbury U19 Road Title and 5th place in the TT at Road Nationals. This earned her National selection to compete in a NZ team at the Australian U19 Road Nationals. She finished an excellent 11th in the TT and 18th in the Road Race and is now determined to chase victory at the Yunca Tour.

Alice (3rd Kiwi from L) repping the Silver Fern
Greg Potter.

Greg is an U19 Sprinter from Auckland who is making rapid progress. He has invested in a SRM for his track bike and we are building up a store of data as his power tracks upwards. He has been racing well and placed 4th in the Keirin at the Perth GP and rode well in the Sprint Derby at my Track Camp.

South Island Schools Championships.

These are always a major event on the Junior Racing Calender. What was amazing this year was the weather these poor kids raced in. It was cold and wet on the Saturday for the Individual Times Trials but Sunday was so bad that Winter Worlds was cancelled but the kids fronted up and I didn't see one rider shy away from starting even when faced with rain, hail or sleet!

Wee Hannah braves the hail!
I did a comprehensive report of the racing for the Road Cycling website that covers all the racing. The performances of the riders I work with are easily summed up in photos by the awesome Rickoshay!

Christine demolished the U15 grade in the TT and RR
A Coach Ferg 1-2 in U16 Girls with Sarah an awesome Gold from Phoebe
Josh wins the U16 TT and Silver in RR and TTT 
Olivia obliterated the U17 girls TT and RR
Holly was on a mission winning both U19 TT and RR

Max was unrelenting in pursuit of the U19 RR Gold
Track Camp.

This is the third time I have run this mid winter and we ended up with a large group of riders I work with an a few guests to add some spice to the racing. I ran a series of races for the 15s and 17s, a sprint derby and Keirin for the Elites and a couple of U19 women's 4000m Teams Pursuits. It was an awesome time as always and a big highlight for me as a coach as I get to see all the action unfold first hand. 

Thanks to all the parents that helped especially Lisa Ward, Pegasus Cycling Club for the loan of the club van, Southland Girls High Boarding House and Cycling Southland for their awesome facility. 

While we were down in Invercargill Josh Smith and Phoebe McCaughan were both invited to a week of riding, testing, educational sessions and racing up in the Manawatu at an event organised by Stephen Stannard with assistance from John Rippon and Wayne Girdlestone.

Sophie was one of the top U19 riders on the World Scene in Downhill last year and has moved into the Pro Elite grade. It has been hard going with such a competitive field but she is making progress towards qualifying for World Cup finals and getting excellent racing in the IXS Downhill events in Europe. She was selected for the NZ to go to World Champs in South Africa but will stay in Europe to focus on the final two World Cup events. 

Jeannie has had many ups and downs racing on the Pro Women's circuit in the US after surgery early in the year. This hasn't stopped her from making the top step of the podium several times including winning the US American Bicycle Racing Criterium Championship for Pro Women. 

May we live in interesting times indeed! These riders and Mitchell Podmore, Kate Boyd, Hannah Clarke, Rhys Jones, Sam Buckner, Lucy Timmings, Sophie Gray, Pip Keenan and Kate Smith are all racing hard and looking to better themselves as riders. It is a privilege to work with you all. The challenges make me work harder and enjoy my coaching even more.