The last few weeks have been full on as the track racing season got underway. Beginning in Invercargill with the Oceania Games and then on to Cali, Columbia for the World Cup
The team was still on a high after coming off a great week of racing to kick off the season in Invercargill. In the Teams Pursuit we set a new national record of 3min 19.7seconds, the fastest ever sea level time in the world and only 0.2sec off breaking the World Record. It certainly was a great way to start the track season in front of friends, family and kiwi supporters. It was a great feeling to come together as a team and ride that fast.
I then backed up the next day with a huge personal best in the Individual Pursuit to take the gold – but more importantly for me I went sub 3min 30sec. I had only broken 3min 30sec one other time and that was when I won the World Championships in Poland in 2009. During the past two seasons I have had several rides in the 3min 30seconds ‘point something’ and I definitely started asking myself where I could find those extra few seconds, or even milliseconds to break back into those elusive 20’s. So to see 3min 28.4second up on the scoreboard was deeply satisfying.
To then travel to Cali, Columbia and reproduce more great performances was an indication of the early season form we have. We had a solid ride in the teams pursuit to qualify fastest and ride the Great Britain team in the final. We were on a fast time schedule in the first half of the ride, but unfortunately couldn’t quite finish altogether as a team, and with the finishing time taken from the third rider across the line we were beaten by the Brits and had to settle for Silver. I think we have learnt a lot from this finals ride though, and come the Worlds and Olympics it will be a ride that we can call on which will ultimately make us a stronger unit. The Womens teams pursuit has interesting dynamics in the fact that you have to push the boundaries and ride to your limits to go fast and chase gold medals, but in doing that there is a fine line between going perfectly fast and blowing to bits. Learning and understanding our limitations are a huge aspect of Teams Pursuiting.
The next day I backed up again in the Individual Pursuit and set up a finals ride against my arch rival Wendy Hovenhagel from Great Britain. I had a great ride in the final to produce another sub-30, 3min 28sec ride and smash Wendy by 5sec. As I mentioned earlier that 3min 30sec has been a barrier for a couple of years now, so to crack it twice in two weeks reinforces that the ‘off-season’ base training I have put down paying off and as we kick on into the serious business of Olympic year the body is operating better than it ever has before.
For now its great to be back home and get back out on the road for a few weeks in the summer sunshine. The next competition is the National Time Trial Champs in Christchurch on the 6th January where I hope to be rocking out on the new Avanti Evo Time Trial machine – it is one hot looking bike!
2011 has been a great building year and I’m very excited to leap on into 2012 with passion and enthusiasm as we head towards London! Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy getting out on your bike this summer – pedal hard and be safe.