Thursday, September 24, 2009
Exams were 'interesting' at best. I'm looking forward to the holiday with the Flex (Adam Stewart) being imported to Auckland for a G-Race training stint. This will be good to get a fresh face here to put some collective hurt into all of the teams legs.
In the second week of the holidays I'm heading down to Invercargill to have a training camp with the BikeNz squad. This will be a first and I also am eager to get into the racing that is on offer, with 2-3 nights of racing. Also the New Zealand Madison Nationals are on at the same time so it will be good to have a watch of that.
Let me know what you think of the blog!
This is Wiki signing out for another day
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I have just arrived in Tasmania, in the Launceston airport, for the S.C.A.T Christmas Carnivals.
The journey from Launceston to Ulverstone was a nice drive along the barren scenery of the island of Tasmania. We arrived at Ulverstone at 9pm, being Christmas day, no shops or stores were open to accommodate the appetites of the hungry cyclists. The Malaysian team, with Gary Neiwand as driver vs. New Zealand with Willie Rastrick at the wheel had a race to find the nearest place to get dinner. New Zealand came out on top, find a BP service station which the Malaysian team overshot.
The young man working at the BP was overwhelmed, almost 20 people were in the store at once. It was pandemonium, the noodles and cup of soup struggled as the shelves were assaulted by the men and women brawling to settle their ravishing starvation.
The New Zealanders carnival experience began with the Latrobe carnival. The team arrived at the burgundy coloured flat track at 8.45 and it ended at 6.45 after three rain out stops. The carnival consisted on cycling, wood chopping, running and some involuntary grass track riding by Eddie.
The first race up was the UCI sprint qualifying, possibly the hardest even to do on a flat track as there is no banking to get a run off. The tram went out and posted some good times Sam doing an 11.5 (6th) and Eddie posting an 11.8, both qualifying for the match sprints and gaining UCI points with Regan who was 15 at the time narrowly missed out on qualifying. In the match sprints Eddie and Sam were up against Shane Perkins (current world cup leader for sprints) and Jason Niblett (current member of world cup leading Team sprint team). The race was four-up on the 500m track, with seemingly nothing to do against riders of this calibre and with no banking to try a surprise attack. Sam attacked, Perkins sat on his shoulder and got steam rolled down the back straight by Perkins and Niblett leaving the two kiwis to fight for the minor placings.
Next up was the Clarkes wheel handicap heats, all the New Zealander males failed to make it through the heats. The two k’s was mayhem on wheels. With a few thousand dollars up for grabs every rider left their best on the track.
Then the event which is big in Japan with betting and a racehorse style of atmosphere was up, the keirin. The first running of the Eddie and Sam’s heat got rained off after being all lined up ready to start when it temporally pelted down. The re-run was held roughly 10-15minutes later when the track was ‘dry’ according to the officials. The heat was Shane Perkins, Joel Leonard (aka Chopper), Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster.
This ended up being the first annual grass track race for Eddie.
After the keirin there was the heats of the inaugural Latrobe Wheel. The race was now three kilometres long, the race was expected to scar the lungs more than the Clarkes wheel race heat, but amazingly the race was slower as everybody was well fatigued from the previous races.
The Team Sprint came up, it was the David vs. Goliath match of the century with the New Zealand team fielding two under 19s and one elite rider with all other teams being world champs and Olympics representatives. The kiwis kept their composure and ended up being granted the win at Latrobe and win and gather the $650 prize money. ( Whether the sides of the track were even are highly disputed but this makes for a good story)
The next day of racing was on the majestic indoor track of Launceston. Here was the second round of the UCI sprint events. The programme again started with a flying 200 for the seeding to go towards the three-up match sprints later in the programme. Eddie Dawkins was one of the early qualifiers post a 10.7 which topped the leader board for a considerable amount of time. After a puncture to the disc he was using, Sam posted a P.B of 10.68. Regan came and posted a respectable 11.5.
The match sprints were exciting with Eddie facing ‘Nibbo’ and Malaysian lad. Eddie managed to shut Nibblett out of contention but left his run too late and narrowly got piped by the Malaysian. Sam faced Shane Perkins and a rider from NSW, with an opportunity appearing at 1 and ½ to go Sam attempted a flyer…(emphasis on attempted), we was later rolled by the NSW rider and Shane Perkins went underneath leaving him stuck.
The boys lined up to retain the reputation they had earned at the Latrobe track in the team sprint. Without any disc wheels as they had all punctured the lads fought an uphill battle. The teams managed to get 5th which isn’t ideal but is reasonably consistent.
Sam went on to make the wheel race final, he made the wise choice of going in the ‘cut’ to increase his odds of winning. The riders he was working for got 2nd and 3rd and Sam pocketed a tidy $160.
The next carnival was the 2days of racing at the Devonport velodrome. The first day the boys had two wheel race heats, and a keirin qualifier. With Sam qualifying for the 1km lightening handicap final and Eddie qualifying for the two final. The keirin was rough event for the boys and failed to produce the goods on the day.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I had a break from the bike and relax the gooch from riding so I could clear my head and re-focus. I'm back on the bike now and all is going smoothly with the transition back into training. The next event I have is a Carnival in Invercargill, (which I'll be racing in the Stripes at :P) and then after that it will be the Oceania Games in November. Seems like it will be a long uphill battle from here on; and I look foward to it.
Unfortunately I haven't mastered the art of blogging so haven't got any photos yet. Watch this space!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
We arrived at Moscow's Southern Airport at roughly 9pm. All went smoothly with all the arriving on our flight and in seemingly good condition. When it came to clearing customs we had our passports checked then walked onto the streets of Moscow (Mockba).
We arrived at our temporary accommodation until we can put in our hotel for the rest of our trip. We are staying at the Russian Equivalent of the A.I.S. We were served by an emotionless presumably ex- soviet union discus champion whom was very amused by the dubbed over cartoons on the office television.
We disembarked for our quarters, I am rooming with the Ethan the terrible and Speed G-Racer. The T.V. was turned on to find that low and behold there was the All Blacks vs. Springboks on. It provided a link back to home which made this alien conceptual land a little bit more human. The language when written looks like eclectic mix of English, Chinese and Arabic. This makes reading the language a tad difficult but actually is easier to interperat when there is a reference e.g. Coca Cola slogans next to the logo.
Breakfast was better than I expected, a Bacon/Egg pie, a sausage, jam and quark which didn't look too good but actually tasted pretty good. After looking at all the photos of Athletes who have stayed here at the 'Russian Institute of Sport' there is a long list of past Olympics Champions, current World Champions and all time greats of the Sporting Arena.
Russian Road rules: Who dares wins essentially! No give way rules, cars overtaking in single lanes with lots of on-coming traffic. Heaps of broken down cars on the side of the roads here. Its quite strange as they are just left there and not towed away so there are heaps kicking around.
THE TRACK, is ridiculous. Unfortunately a Greek rider had a slide of the TP, Michael Vink hit the deck and has a suspected broken knee or ligament so unfortunately it may be the end of his campaign.
Am now at the Hotel Velotrek, where there is internet, YAY! Its smells and looks like Nana's house from the inside so must have the same air freshener. Second day on the track was good, no crash. (Michael only required stitches, but a sympathy ride may not happen but we will wait and see). All the Aussies were at the Track so was good to catch up with those guys.