DIARY

6 Nov 2008

Time off so far: Nearly 3 weeks off the bike, the longest time ever for me and I still canít believe I have another 2 weeks to go. I think its great though and thereís still loads to do before I get serious. I have taken a liking to golf and while I was on holiday I played a few holes and it was quite cool taking the cart off road too, I think this is the main reason why I had some much fun. Other than golf, I went to the Kruger Park and saw the big 5, actually thought I was only going to see monkeyís and buck but in the final 3 hours, the big 5 showed themselves so I thought Iíd share some pics with you. Good luck to all of you preparing in the final weeks leading up to the 94.7, donít try train hard these last two weeks, its too late nowÖÖ look after yourselves and take care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 Oct 2008

Off season: Sorry about the lack of news so far but I donít really have much to tell you. I havenít touched a bike since the Sun tour and I am already beginning to miss it which is a good sign. I actually need to force myself to stay off my bike and luckily Iíll be heading on holiday soon and then there wonít be a chance of me getting onto it as I will be leaving it at home, first time in my whole career. The one advantage of heading out to Europe for the year is that you get 2 summers so after having a super hot July/August in Europe, here in SA , ďSPIKEĒ is starting to shine and shed some heat on us Africans. Itís good for the moral and also good weather to make a massive braaiÖ.

Anyway to all of you preparing for the 94.7  Cycle Challenge good luck and if anyone is interested in sponsoring the Dream riders from Nedbank with a small donation to raise funds for the Reach for a dream foundation please mail me on [email protected] and I can give you all the details or  contact Eric on [email protected]. They will riding the 94.7 and trying to raise as much funds as possible before the event, all proceeds will go to charity.

22 Oct 2008

Jayco Herald Sun Tour: My first victory for the season

Firstly thanks for all your smsís and e-mails that I received after winning Saturdays stage,it is greatly appreciated. It looks like all the hard work that I have put into the season has finally paid off and to win the last race of the season, well that couldnít have come at a better time. I could at least enjoy the celebrations afterwards and also to finish on a high will only motivate me more for the next season coming up. I had forgotten the feeling of throwing my hands up in the air and I probably got carried away but after such a dry patch I was really pleased with myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crit was really twitchy and with two 180 degree bends I knew it was important to be in the front and even better if I got away in the move. I saw 2 guys attack and I immediately jumped across and with CSC and Toyota United controlling it for a sprint I knew we had to box clever. We went early on lap 3 of 33 and got a 15 sec gap on the group. I played it clever in the break and I knew that because they were controlling it behind and watching the time gap, we should also control it in the front. All I did was make life easier for myself and allow myself to have the extra punch for the final 10 laps. CSC and Toyota didnít want us to come back early either because they would have more attacks to follow, instead they would keep us in striking distance and try bring us back in the end. What they didnít know is that we were taking it easy in the front too and on the final 10 laps when they decided to try bring us back I stepped on the gas a bit more and dropped on the Aussieís in the process. I had great legs and I could see that I was in with a fighting chance, my tactics played out perfectly and I hung on until the end, taking the sprint easily and feeling great. Afterwards I enjoyed the celebrations on the podium and cracked open the ďbubblyĒ.

The whole tour was good for our team as we won the team competition overall, Baden won the 2nd stage and got 2nd on stage 1, Chris came 2nd on MT Buller and 4th overall, Marco was the 2nd best young rider and I won the last day so for our team had a great race and plenty to celebrate. I was also happy with my top 10 in the TT and going into next year I want to be good in March/Apr, so I will be taking my rest now and start training near the end of November. Once again thanks for the encouragement I have received from you guys this year, it is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Oct 2008

Well good news as my visa has been approved for Australia and Iím off later this afternoon to do my last race for the season. I have been doing some good training here in SA and I can honestly say that Iím not that mentally tired from the season which is quite surprising. I feel good and positive and it will be my first time in Australia too, so Iíll be enjoying the whole experience and definitely the party afterwards to celebrate the end of the season and it will be great to end off with some good results too, that will really make the trip worthwile. Since I have been back to SA all I have been asked is what is happening with Barloworld next year so let me inform you that the team will be carrying on, Barloworld will be on the jersey still and everything will be run as normal. As far as 2010 goes, nobody is sure yet but it very important to have a good season next year to get the results I need to keep my place in Europe. There have been a lot of teams folding this year but also new ones emerging which is something to be positive about.

After Australia I will not be riding or racing in SA till the 1st Dec, I am looking forward to enjoying my holiday for a change and Iíll even get to leave my bike at home, haha!

My girlfriend Ali has been giving me some massages too and I can feel that it has been helping me a lot. If anyone is looking for a massage therapist in the South of JHB donít be scared to call her on 074 128 0777.

2 Oct 2008

World Road race championships (Italy) - Firstly my apologies for the late entries but I have been having problems with my PC again. Iím sure many of you out there are wondering what happened and why I didnít finish. The race was 260km long and was very technical with lots of turns after both climbs, you started on a nasty 1km climb, decended quickly and after about 7km of fast cornering you hit the next 3km climb which wasnít too hard but doing it 15 times and the speed you race at,it becomes quite demanding. For myself personally I was happy with my ride, I wouldíve like to have made the split in the race and to be totally honest I gave my best and there was nothing more I could do. We spoke the night before and we had all agreed that if we wanted to get anything out of this race weíd have to be sitting in the front 40 riders all day and not lose useful energy. I stayed up in the front all day until about the 200km mark and when the Italians were smashing it up the climbs at this point I didnít have the legs to go with as so did many other good riders,a group of 30 riders stopped and so did I. At this level of cycling, the proís donít ride to the finish to get a time,they stop cos they donít have anything left.I I canít be ashamed of how I rode and I can really see an improvement from last year,at least I was in the race and I wasnít sitting at the back all day waiting to get dropped. The worlds is a funny race and as most of you saw there were only about 50 guys in with a chance but Iíll take the experience I got from this into next year and make something good of it. Anyway,on a better note, I flew back to SA on Monday night and I had to go straight to the Australian Embassy to get my visa sorted out and all looks good. I will be leaving on the 9th of Oct and the race is from the 12-18 Oct and then Iíll take the whole of November off and start training for next years season.

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