So, as am now back in the USA have been under a bit of pressure to start up one of these blogs so fam and friends back home can keep up to date with any news! Not overly organised so may not be very regular updates but will give it a wee go
I've just arrived back to the big old US of A. I flew into San Fran yesterday morning after spending only a few days home after NZ Tour last week.
I was there, lucky enough to get the opportunity to race for the New Zealand team which was a fantastic experience. The team was managed by Cath Cheatley and Andy Reid. I really enjoyed working with them and was especially cool to learn from Cath; being such a top rider and hearing what she had to say.
It was super fun racing with top riders Rosara Joseph, Kaytee Boyd, Sequoia Cooper, Kate Chilcott and Reta Trotman - congrats to the girls on some great riding. Reta managed to come in a super impressive 5th - such a top ride for someone I'd consider a 'newby' to the sport. She's awesome. and big ups to miss Kaytee Boyd - is she a trackie?? Nah, she's a queen of the mountains! So cool for her to pull off the KOM jersey, no sweat ;-)
I had an a average start to the tour which was really disappointing as 2011's NZ tour has been one of my best results to date, where I scored the U23 jersey and was 5th GC so came into the tour hoping to perform well!! Immune system has been pretty shocker lately and had the joy of waking up with a lovely chest cold on Sunday morn pre tuesday's tour. It was no fun and for the first few days was not much of a help at all. Once the chest had settled down a bit came better on the bike and was able to play more of a role in team so felt better and actually of use! Managed to play a more aggressive role thoughout which was good. Was still pretty frustrating not being a hundred - you always want to be performing at your best but was especially keen to be riding my best when racing for NZ.
Day 3 had a wee crash and managed to come out lucky with only some bruised ribs, thanks to the team car and co and mechanic Adams words of wisdom/cheering for dragging me back up to the chase cars to get back into the race. phew!
Did it again day 4 with a bliman puncture - lucky top teammie Sequoia headed on back to get me back in the action.
All up, was a good result for the team. we were really hoping to get Reta up on the last day and take the win. She was only 27 seconds down from leading lady of the tour Evelyn Stevens (USA) after a really impressive ride on day 4 where she made the winning break of the day where all top teams were represented. This gave us the opportunity to sit up and allow Reta to gain as much time on the field as possible. She ended up getting 7minutes with other breakaway companions so was perfect putting her up from 12th to 5th on GC. Go girl!
So final day - we had a pretty crafty plan Cath came up with but unfortunately it didn't pan out as we'd hoped. The US and Greenedge teams did a top job of nailing any rider anywhere up there on GC and Reta was heavily marked. I was super impressed with the USA team who held yellow from day 1; some really smart/strong riding from them. I definitely learnt a lot throughout the week and even though I could not be at my best it was still a good experience. I really enjoyed the team environment and had some good fun and a few laughs with the girls and crew along the way. Now for getting well - have been o'd-ing on the old Vitamin C - will hopefully do the trick!
To say am buggered now or at least was is an understatement! After 15 sweet hours of sweet sleep though am now feeling slightly less smashed..getting my very cool new Focus bike this afternoon and going for a nice cruisy spin with old teammie Jaz Hurikino and new team mates Ruth Winder and Kathleen Billington has also made me a much happier camper.
I am currently staying with the Vanacht family (in the Bay Area, just South of SF city) temporarily pre and post team camp which begins tomorrow. They're awesome, really lovely and have been very welcoming and helpful with getting me set in. They have two wee kids Noe and Charlie who are super cute and entertaining ! Who would've thought that Pokemon was still so cool.
Tomorrow am off to the Bicycle Outfitter (shop) in the a.m to get my new ride fitted and then we'll ride over the hill to Scotts Valley to begin team camp. For those who don't know this area a hill is not an average Auckland, NZ hill. Most hills - woops, climbs are 30-40minutes long. Guh! Looking forward to getting amongst them again...but maybe not for long! Hope to be feeling a hundy soon.
Pretty excited to see all the VK girls and catch up on all the goss! - also, can't wait to check out the new VK kits. Know Dave Verrechia (Vanderkitten owner) will have russled up something very BADASS.
Will try and update next week how all goes plus some pics of the new kits! (Not sure just yet how to upload photos - hence the very plain but bright blog page - but will get on it)! Our team website is www.vanderkittenracing.com and it's best to follow the team's facebook or twitter for regular updates; https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Vanderkitten-Racing/181361851888768