Wow - its been a big few weeks, but exciting!
It started off in Invercargill with an intensive training camp, both in volume on the road and hard track work. It's always great to come together as a team though - that's when we feel we make real progress, when we're doing lap after lap after lap on the track.
We also all enjoyed the New Zealand Olympic Committee Athlete Workshop afternoon where we were given an overview of the Olympic park and what to expect from the games. Then the highlight - checking out all the team uniform and getting fitted for everything from t-shirts, shorts to formal shirts, skirts, pants and of course everyone's favourite, the Olympic blazer. Its such a special piece of the uniform and once you are presented with your Olympic blazer I feel it is something that then defines you as an Olympian. I really treasure my Beijing one being my first Olympic blazer and it will be very special to be presented my London one.
After viewing the slide show from Chef de Mission Dave Currie in Invercargill it seemed surreal to be driving through London Olympic Park in a bus on route to the Velodrome just six days later. From Invercargill to London! The Bike NZ team had travelled to the final World Cup of the season in London on the brand new Olympic Velodrome - an event that doubled as the cycling 'test event'. What an amazing opportunity it was to ride and race the track where it will all happen in August. It was a true 'test event' with all the officials following Olympic protocols, the buses having to go through full security screening every time we entered Olympic Park and even the fridges were freshly stocked with free Powerade for the athletes.
It's a good feeling to come away from London knowing what the track looks like and knowing over the next five months I will be able to visualise our ride over and over on that track during the gruelling training sessions that lie before us. Competing in a familiar environment is definitely calming especially for the mental preparation of racing. So having spent four days training on the Olympic track, and raced on it has certainly ticked a few significant boxes in terms of our ideal preparation for Olympic race day.
After recovering from the long haul home - ('No' unfortunately we don't travel business class, I get asked that all the time - I wish I could say 'yes'!) it's back into work mode with just over a month until the World Track Championships in Melbourne, 4th-8th April. This meet will be our last chance to race internationally before the Olympics. So full steam ahead!!