Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So I guess this post has been a long time coming.. To be honest I have thought about it everyday for the last month but just haven't known where to start, this is still the case so I guess i'll try and give you all an update without blabbing on too much.

Since I last posted I have been in an amazing head space and consistently had good legs, week in and week out, which is one thing I have always struggled with.

After the success of Weekend Bernais I headed down to the Castellon region of Spain for the 4 day Vuelta Castellon. The first stage was run off at a hot pace, never mind it being hilly, it was just full gas to try and get a move away. We finally got a move away with 2 of our team in it, after that I just hung out and looked after myself until the break started to split and I went solo with 30km to go catching the 2nd part of the break then winning the sprint for 7th.

The next day finished with a 20km climb. I backed myself as it wasn't real steep but steep enough to make the time gaps minutes. I got dropped early in the climb by around 40sec but slowly rode myself back across after all the accelerations had settled down. I finished 12th on the stage in the group sprinting for 3rd.

The 3rd day was nuts, starting at 1400m in altitude, the sky was clear and crisp until about 20min before the start, when it got cold, started snowing and we all froze. The race was neutralized 50km and we would race the last 100km. It got warmer as we got to the coast until it started raining and we all froze again. I made one mistake when the successful break went right in front of me with 10km to go and I didn't follow. I could have, easily, but I was expecting it to be brought back for a mass sprint. I stayed with the main group until the finish.

Day 4, probably the hardest day, climb from km zero until 90km and reaching 800m in altitude before dropping down a bit to start the last 30km climb to the finish at 1400m altitude. I had good legs but for whatever reason I couldn't pedal a small gear and got dropped from the chase group with 5km to go, the yellow jersey was already up the road solo showing us why he won 3 out of 4 stages..

So overall I was happy with how it turned out although it was disappointing to drop a few places in the last stage.

The next weekend I think was the Coupe de France or in english, the french cup. It consisted of 180km on day 1, with a 40km team time trial and a 100km road stage on the 2nd day.. We started out on the first road stage and the first thing I noticed was how much closer the racing was compared to the elite national races I had been doing. No one would give you an inch.. We had points marked out where we needed to be in the front as there was a lot of wind and the bunch was sure to split.. I knew 15km ahead was a 90 degree left hand turn, so I went back and got a bottle and ate some food. As I was making my way up the bunch I noticed the lead cars had just turned left and straight away I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough it split and I ended up in the 4th group, we slowly got back to the 2nd group but wouldn't see the leaders again.. I got away with a small group with 20km to go and we were nearly across to a group of 12 who had been dropped from the front bunch but the other guys I was with were running out of legs, so I had to leave them and cross the last 15sec alone. I made it there, went straight past taking 2 guys with me, we didn't catch the front but we were close.

The team time trial wasn't real flash, I was bought to the french cup purely to help the team time trial.. In the french cups, you can only have 2 riders out of 6 over 26 yrs old, but because I'm under 26 and foreign means I take one of the 2 spots reserved for over 26 yr old riders.. I wasn't feeling flash but I ended up riding a lot more in the front than I would have liked! We ended up 8th out of 24 teams and even picked off some of the bigger budget Division 1 teams.

Arriving at the finish of the Team Time Trial

The afternoon stage wasn't much fun either.. 50km of hills then 50km flat to the finish.. I thought once I got through 50km I would be safe.. Wrong. We lost 3 team mates in the first 50km and then the wind was blowing.. I crashed coming into an important section and although we got back on 15km later my legs were toast and 2km into the next cross wind section I was down with 20km to go. I got through to the finish to see about 1/3rd of the field had pulled out. It was a hard race and I was shattered for days after.. The race was run at an average speed of 47km/h for a total of 320km.

The next Sunday was Classic Sauvaterre. The local team had stacked the race with riders. I think they lined up with 15 guys, which made it hard.. They put 3 up the road with a few other guys.. We came to the finish with 20km to go and I went as hard as I could to try and go across. I joined up with 5 (2 from the local team, who off coarse wouldn't help pull) guys and we steadily caught some of the guys who had been dropped from the break, with 5km to go the gap was around 1 min to 3 guys in front, we pulled them back but narrowly missed catching them, I was still really good in the final 500m uphill push to the line. I ran 4th but feel like its the one that got away.

The finish of Classic Sauvaterre.

The following Thursday I headed off to Tour of Gironde, which was a UCI2.2 ranked 3 day race. The first stage went well for me, I was attentive, made the break and once we were pulled back I stayed near the front to contest the sprint but after some argy bargy and very close calls I backed off to just behind the fast men. As it turned out, the bunch split a lot in the last 5km into 4 or 5 groups.

The next day was hard, 13 categorized climbs along with a hand full of others. I was rubbish, I felt good before the start but as soon as I had to ride hard I had nothing, I didn't get any worse though. Just stayed the same all day, we hit the finish climb with 3km to and I reckon I could have just got over it but there was a crash myself and a couple of team mates were caught behind which we never came back from so I lost a little time there.

The final day was the total opposite to the 2nd.. I was woken at 6am for doping control and felt like rubbish, I didn't even want to start but once we got going, I was on and had amazing legs. The stage was flat with a couple of climbs. I tried to go in a couple of breaks and some would go for 5 or 6km then come back and in the end we set up our fast man for the finish. I ended up in the bunch but happy to have the tour done.

So there you are. All updated, I don't think i've missed anything out but you never know ;)

I had a weekend off following Gironde as all the regional champs were run. I go to Pons this weekend for another 2 day, 3 stage tour including another team time trial. The team are using this race to prepare for the french champs next weekend which means another weekend off for me but I have a few mid week criteriums lined up.

Mum and Dad get here in just over 3 weeks. Dad will be ready to ride his stage of the Tour de France between Pau and Lourdes, the only thing standing between him and Lourdes is the Col d´Aubisque. He will love every minute of it I'm sure! So it will be wicked to have them around for a week before the head onto some other exotic places.

I will give you another update as soon as I can along with some pictures in the next few days. I am now looking forward to this weekend and trying to get another result in the books.

I hope you are all well.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First, I should apologize for the long wait on an update..
It has been a very busy period of late. Everything seems to be full gas at the moment.
Which is good except I find myself looking for more hours in the day!

So since I last wrote, a lot has been going on. I have done a few races, training has been smooth and thankfully I have returned to the pointy end of the peloton!

After arriving home from Spain I had 8 days before I had to race which allowed me to continue the good training I had been doing down there. I arrived at the start of Boucles du Causse Corrézien unsure of how my form was, but soon enough my legs were in full flight. After numerous attempts to get up the road everything was neutralized and I ended up 20th which after using so much energy trying to get away, I was happy with the end result as I know had I rode conservatively I could have done a lot better but it gave good reassurance.

Next up was the Tour du Lot-et-Garonne, It was a one day race of 140km. I tried to go in the break but it was soon evident that things wern't going very far. After an hour and a half of racing a group of 3 finally got clear with one of my team mates in it which set us up well for the rest of the race. They were caught 30km from the finish and with a very hilly last 20km it was time to goto work. I tried to stick another break and finally did in the last 10km, we went through the last km banner with 8 seconds but it would soon be all together for the tough 200m climb to the finish. I proceeded to get caught, avoid a crash and finish 23rd which again I was happy with although disappointed to be caught so close to the finish.

I raced again the next day and spent a lot of time in the break before finally finishing in the bunch.

I then had 4 days to recover before my first tour of the year. Week-end Bearnais which was 2 days. Saturday was 125km with Sunday consisting of a 15km time trial and 110km road stage. I went into the tour knowing I could win. My self confidence had returned and I backed myself in any situation again. The first day was hard to judge. I wanted to take time without using too much energy with the all important time trial the next morning. It would soon be clear that the race was going to be decided by the course and not so much the riders with a long steep 6km climb coming midway through the stage followed by another 4km climb with 35km to go. I made it over the last climb in the front group of 20, with a group escaping on the decent, which included team mate Fabian. I stayed in the front and followed anything that was trying to go across and eventually got on 2 of the stronger guys in the race. Obviously having Fabian ahead meant I got a free ride to the finish. We caught 2 of the initial break but Fabian was still ahead solo with 15km to go. We never saw him, he won by 25sec and I got an easy ride to the finish where I arrived 4th.

Unfortunately with only 30sec on the peloton which was now quite big as they caught the group I was with in the run in to the finish.

Sunday was good for me. I woke up motivated to do well in the time trial. I wanted to prove something to the team as up until now I hadn't shown any potential and the time trial never lies. I warmed up well and left the start house.. I would arrive at the finish 2nd only to be beaten by Fabian who was last rider on the road. I was stoked to finish 3rd and even more happy that the team took the top 4 positions on the stage.

This left me in 2nd on the general classification with 110km to go. The boys lined it up on the front and rode a good tempo the whole stage. A break away first threatened Fabians lead and then also my 2nd place but we were able to bring it back in the last 15km and in the midst of a chaotic rain storm in the last 5km 3 guys got away to win by 5sec which wouldn't change the overall result at all.

Soren got well stocked with podium flowers!

In the end we were 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th along with the young rider jersey, mountains jersey and 2 stage wins plus the teams classification to boot.

It was a good result for me personally too and I hope to continue building to my next goal, the tour de gironde which is UCI 2.2 ranking at the end of next month.

So with form on the up and some good racing coming up, I will have a lot more things to write about in the near future!

You can also follow my results here.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just a quick post to let you all know what I have been up to.

After what was one of the most crap races I have ever done, I was ready to drop the bike and go home. To put it simply, I had nothing. No answer. No excuse. No self belief.

I came home for a day then Soren and I headed down to Spain. We have a friend in Girona which is just a bit under 3 hours from our apartment. I had no race for 2 weeks so it was a good chance to get away for a bit and step into some training with Roly and friends which beats staying here and slogging it out against myself everyday.

It was a good week. I started to work on my short power which turns out to be the answer to my question above. I have none. My threshold is good but the accelerations are hurting me like nothing else. So hopefully in a couple of weeks I should be on the right track. To me it just didn't make sense. I have hit a new fitness high on training peaks (for those who don't know this is a programme which keeps all power files in order and shows graphs of different sorts. One of which is fitness) but something wasn't clicking and now I hope I am onto a winner.

Lately, I can't help but think back to a few years ago when I backed myself, when I could convince myself I was better than anyone else in the race. I am trying to bring that belief back. Europe is a hard place to be racing at the best of times but when your not performing, you have a lot of time sitting around looking for answers in ones head which in turn makes for a lot of stress and pressure.

I really believe I am not that far away from where I need to be to start getting results again. It has been far too long between drinks! I can't even remember the last time I performed to my own expectations in a road race and it was Club Nationals last year since I won a time trial.

So for me, it's getting back to basics. My fitness feels good. I am already starting to feel the benefits of these short power efforts which is even more encouraging and I hope things will continue to look up from here, because god knows it's getting closer and closer to crunch time.

I hope you are all well. I will try to get up quick post up after this weekends race.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Since I last posted I have done another race and got in some good training in amongst the very average weather we have been having lately.

The past week has been unbelievably windy. One example was today. When I was sitting on 350watts, doing 14km/h on a slight downhill into a head wind. I can tell you, the hour I was riding into that wind felt like an eternity. Not very ideal at all.

Start of the race.

So to the race. On Sunday I traveled to Sainte Livrade. I was supposed to be going to Bordeaux - Saintes, but a few days before my director decided it was better I go and take on another elite national race where I could keep building my condition for the coming months.
It was a lively race after the first 20km which we did in 38 minutes, but once the first person was brave enough to attack, it was all on. I made a couple of solid go's of it, getting a decent gap with a few other guys and the gap would shoot out to 25 seconds before it all came back together within a kilometer. Eventually a group of 5 got away on a decent about 45km into the race, they didn't really attack as such, it was more due to the fact everyone else behind was trying to get around a few guys sliding around a corner (it was raining after all). The gap held at 1 minute 20 before we hit the exposed section of the course and I got into a group of about 15 which would try to ride across the gap. I had 3 other team mates with me but just when a good result looked likely, I punctured on a decent with 17km to ride. With neutral support ahead with the escape and having no car behind our group meant no wheel and abandon course. It was slightly unfortunate because it was the first time in the past 15 months I had been at ease and was just biding my time before the finishing circuit. The only thing I can take out of the day was that I was good and I can feel some sort of fight coming back into my legs.

Soren and I on the Canal.

Between that and playing in the wind, we haven't really been up to much. Soren has been riding most days, there are a few bike paths around the town that Soren goes exploring. Included is this one when we road down the canal which runs through Toulouse.

Soren out and about.

So i'll sign off on that note.

Will update again soon when I can muster up another story for ya's ;)

Take care,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hi again,

Over the weekend I started in the race "Albi - Albi". It was 120km made up of 4 times around a 30km lap. It wasn't the flattest race I've ever done with some steep little climbs on small roads. To cut a long story short, I started to feel some good sensations and eventually finished in a group of 30 odd behind the 10 man break.

It was a good finish to a week which saw me do intervals out training everyday. I reckon it's the first time since I was a junior that I have taken intervals seriously.

I never really did them in Belgium because if I needed race intensity I would go and ride a couple of kermis races a week and form would come but without them I have found myself beating myself up day in, day out. It has been good though and I am starting to feel some kind of relief in the lactic acid department.

In other news, spring is most definitely on its way as the days get longer but more importantly, warmer! We have been here for 2 months now and the cold weather was really starting to take its toll!

I also just received my vo2 test results back from the Lab in Toulouse. I did the test as part of the process in obtaining a french racing license. I produced the highest number ever recorded at the lab with a vo2 reading of 91 ml/kg/min.

This Sunday will see me lining up in the race "Bordeaux - Saintes" which will be the first French Cup race I do for the year.

Just for a bit of fun I will give you a run down on GSC Blagnac and a bit about it's history and things. The Club is the 2nd oldest club in France founded in 1896 and has seen numerous Tour de France stars and World Champions come from within its ranks.

Riders such as Sylvain Marcaillou who finished 5th in the Tour de France in 1937, Laurent Jalabert who won both the Green and Polka Dot Jersey's at the Tour de France and finished high in the classement gerneral, Frédéric Moncassin who was a classic start but never got to the top step of a monument classic but triumphed in Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne in 1995, David Moncoutié who has won Tour de France stages and the Polka Dot 3 times in the most recent Tour of Spain's.

The most recent generation of pro's to pass through the GSC Blagnac team are Nicolas Portal who most recently was part of Tea Sky, Mathieu Perget who is with Ag2r, Alexandre Geniez of Skil-Shimano and the most recent is 2009 under 23 world champion Romain Sicard who is riding for Euskaltel.

The club has riders from under 11 right through to the DN1 team which competes in the Coupe de France or French Cup.

This year the club is looking to grow and a whole lot of new sponsors came on board to help make this season a success for the club. We are riding LOOK bikes with Sram Red components which are finished up with Fizik Saddles and FSA handlebars, stems and brake calipers. The wheels are also supplied by FSA and their sister company Vision with tyres being supplied by Continental. We have Met helmets and Bont shoes. So as you can see we have some top equipment partners for the season.

I will leave it on that note for today as I have run out of things to say. Unfortunately my digital camera is still in our apartment is Christchurch which for the moment is red stickered after the earthquake so don't expect any pictures of my local training roads anytime soon :) I'll see what I can do to get some colour up though.

Thanks for reading and check back soon.


Ps You can thank Soren for all the great action shots! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Welcome back

Hey there

Well it has been a fair old while since the blog got a look in but I think it is as good a time as any to start getting some updates going again.

As most of you would know I had a pretty low key 2010 opting not to return to Belgium with Lotto - Bodysol and instead Signing with NZ continental team Subway - Avanti who had big plans. I won't go into detail but for whatever reason I ended up spending the whole year in NZ with not much bike riding.

We are into the beginning of a new year and a new season with new challenges and new goals. I will be riding with GSC Blagnac who are based in Toulouse, France. Soren has joined me in Europe this year so 13th of January, we were on the big bird to France.

We have been here for 6 weeks now, settled in well and I have the first set of racing under my belt. 6 races in 10 days in the Basque country. I got through surprisingly well after a roller coaster month of training after a small operation to remove 2 dodgy moles.

The team is great. It has a much more family feel than any of the other teams I have been apart of and the management is really well drilled. I am hoping with another couple of solid weeks on the bike I will be back at a good level.

One thing is for sure though, I am motivated!

So expect regular updates from me this year.

Thanks for reading,


Ps My thoughts are with everyone in Christchurch after the fatal earthquake which hit on Tuesday. I won't write a big spur about it because all of you will know about the details by now but just know my thoughts are with you Christchurch. To anyone who lost a loved one, I'm sorry but you will all come back better and stronger from this! Stay strong and keep your heads up. It will get easier!

Picture taken by Soren at the Essor Basque.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Hello everyone,

I hope this update reaches you well.

I have done a fair bit of racing over the last 2 weeks so I won't go into too much detail but just that the form has come good at just the right time with Franco Belge just around the corner!

I have done 5 or 6 races' I did G.P Wallonie last Wednesday, 205km through the ardennes which was a good race for me. Last year I made it 120km, this year I made it to the finish. It was a crazy race with a lot of crashes. One of which occured in the last 20km and blocked the road therefore splitting the peloton and it never came back together.. It was a bummer because I was back getting a bidon from the car and it was the first time I had been to the back of the bunch the whole race.

Then on Friday I had a criterium. 70km round a 2km course. I was in the early move where after a few laps we were joined by 10 riders to form a group of 13. We went away eventually taking a lap.. I lined it up for the sprint after some unsuccessful attacks towards the end of the race. I left my run late and ended up 4th which I was happy with.

Saturday I went to the ardennes with Tom and Clinton and we ended with almost 6 hours so that was a good day training.

Monday I was pinning on a number again, this time in a pro kermis. I was in the early moves again but nothing stuck and eventually it came down to a bunch kick. Just about went through unscathed but that wouldn't be Belgium would it! I took a flying bike to my arm when a rider crashed in the last km. Ever had a chainring go between your fingers.. I can tell you it isn't the most enjoyable thing along with my bruised forearm, but like all good things we must move on..

Tuesday was another pro kermis. A group of 40 went clear early and just kept going away. We had no car in the convoy and when my team mate punctured I was more than happy to give him my wheel so I could head back for an early shower as the racing and lack of recovery has began to take its toll on my legs.

For now, i'll be racing again on the weekend then linig up in Franco Belge on the 1st of October. The race goes through to the 4th and has some of the biggest names in cycling lining up, including 4 kiwis which will be cool.

I then just have paris - tours on the 11th October and flying out on 14th.

Until then,
Thanks for reading,