Monday, July 16, 2012

Pit to the Peak.

Hi everyone,

I'm currently on route back to New Zealand, i said my goodbyes to my teammates and Stu Mac in berlin as they were also making their way to Bordeaux to start their final preparations for the Olympics. This trip for me was such a good opportunity to gain valuable experience both on the bike and off the bike and i was was also able to get to know my teammates better! I am lucky enough to have been a part of the first big trip/campaign for the NZ Women's Sprint squad if this trip was awesome I'm hoping it's only going to get better and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to what we are going to bring!! :)

So, as much as I didn't want to end this trip I got the feeling that the Germans didn't want me to leave either since it was a bit of a mission to get my bag and boxes checked in, as im use to travelling with a team with lots of oversized pieces it just seems like it all works out when your in a big group but today I was traveling alone....After not having Internet available to us for the week I felt so lost and forgot to transfer money into my account to pay for excesses luggage.... at the time it was a little overwhelming and tested my airport patience, but I was lucky enough to have met some young New Zealanders which thankfully helped me out and I was all under control...

Until we started to board, the lady checked my passport and noticed that I didn't have any stamps for leaving Spain and entering Germany.... It's because we didn't get any so i have no idea what was going through her head, but in the end she gave me a stamp and off I went.....And it didn't exactly help she spoke no English!

Waiting to race!
So the reason we were in Germany was for some racing and for myself to gain experience... First weekend of racing was hard, you learn the hard way and have to make the mistakes to actually learn, which I did so I was really keen to have a good race the next weekend. I started the next weekend average and made another mistake during the first round of the keirins, which I learn't from but it gave me something to work at for the next round. The senior women were also racing some local junior men which made the racing a bit more exciting and hard!

I went into the next round angry and annoyed at myself for making the previous mistake. I didn't want to be the last rider whilst behind the derny so I was able to position myself second to last but was then challenged by one of the guys... I had never been in a situation like this so I just stood my ground and didn't let the sneaky German in, the race was then stopped and he was disqualified for crowding me.... the race was then re-started with one less sneaky German! Later that day I made it through the rounds safely and made it to the final which then didn't go so well and finished up 6th behind my teammate Natasha :) Katie won the 9-12 so we all ended up in the top 10... Boom.

Oh SNAP! Casually looking at the photographer, ready to race
The second day of racing consisted of sprints which started earlier in the day and we were also combined with the junior men again. My sprint qualifying time (11.68s) was faster than the previous week which gave lifted my spirits and gave me more confidence....I also bet my sneaky German friend! But lucky for us we were up against each other along with another German junior, to be fair I got bullied by the too riders and i was sent to the repercharge along with my german friend.

I successfully made it through the sprint rounds, again they varied from 2-4 ups which keeps the sprinting exciting.... Although both Natasha and I ended up racing together for 3rd, we were both relieved that the race was only 1 sprint as we were pretty tacked by the end of them! I finished up 4th but it was a great sprint and was happy to finish off on a good note. Thanks Eddie for the weekend and just being there and being he Dawk...Keep up the good work and train hard yaaaya!

Lining up for my final Keirin of this Germany trip 
So my pit of my trip was probably the whole bike situation and not being able to start and finish the first day of sprints 110% but everything ended up being all under control and things like that do happen! And the peak of my trip... Well there are a few, so here they are; the beach in Valencia, Spain; traveling as a team for the first time; the oversized ice-cream sundae and last but not lest the last night, all thanks to Dawk and stu for their persistency and getting us to Al-Toronto! Best dinner ever whilst being away and must admit I'm going back. I'm sure I've missed maybe peaks of my trip, but this trip has gone super fast but Wales seems like it was ages ago!

I just want to say good luck to all the Olympians heading to london! GOOD LUCK :D

Thanks for taking the time to read through :)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Guten Tag,

Greetings from Cottbus, Germany! Just thought I would let you know that we are still alive as we haven't had much luck with connecting to any Internet so we came up with an idea to head to a cafe just in the square and hook into their wifi and connect with the outside world and have a coffee whilst doing so.... we all thought it was a genius idea!

So here I am having a coffee at a cafe called the Mosquito, we have also had dinner here a few times which was pretty amazing, but it seems like the Europeans don't have much consistency with the size of their meals or maybe the chief gets bored with making that same meal because one of us would order a meal one day and the next day we would order it again and boom it's completely different, but hey we didn't have to cook so that was a bonus. I'm not going to lie but one of my favourite dishes was the massive desserts we got after racing! Both stu and I got the fresh strawberries and chocolate ice cream, we all looked at the prices and they were nearly the same price as our main dish!!...... But once we got our dessert we knew why, check it out! And it was amazing, just to let you know :D

I have to say that Germany could be one of my new favourite places! The square is only a few k's away from where we are staying, it has all sorts of shops and a really good variety of restaurants and cafe's it's just so convenient... Just sounds like Invercargill...

Sooo we arrived last week a couple of days before our first weekend of racing in Cottbus we were lucky to have landed in Berlin because just as we arrived they closed the airport because there was a massive thunder and lightening storm that greeted us. The track here is semi covered which leaves the middle of the track open it's also 333m just like Moscow's track buuuuut here you don't feel like our falling out of the sky when doing your 200m! Even though it's summer here and the weather is now bearable compared to Spain they still have to deal with all sorts of weather conditions, if it's raining or even hailing you just have to get over it and still ride our bike which I think is awesome! Some crazy Germans will still ride on the track when it's covered with snow up to the red line they just ride high!

Racing last weekend didn't go so well for me I qualified just over half way in the field with a 11.76, plenty of numbers and an awesome quality field! The sprint rounds here are a little different but a great opportunity to learn they tend to make them 3 or 4 ups match sprints unfortunately, between my qualifying and match sprint we had a little disaster with my bike, it was misplaced in our pen and fell onto the forks causing the bottom of the fork to snap it looked like I wasn't going to be riding for the rest of the weekend which was a bit of a shame! But thankfully I was lucky enough to be given a spare bike, I was expecting to be given an old steel frame but was so thankful to have been given one of the German FES bikes! Lucky they had one there that was rideable and my size and just so happens to be Miriam Welte's old bike. So after all that sager I was able to make it to the repercharge and race the rest of the weekend :)

On our rest day we had a wee ride in the morning and just followed our noses around the outskirts of town then later in the day we caught the train and headed to Berlin for the day, what an amazing experience we were lucky enough to have gone on a sunny day and see such an historical city!

Now I am looking forward to rest of the week here in Germany and also the last weekend of racing this Friday and Saturday and then it will be my time to say adios to the team and head back to New Zealand.
Lifting some tin before racing..Whilst Stu tries to do some core with Katie
Cottbus Track...Track is covered, the middle is open. Can still race and train whilst its raining
Berlin adventure day
Radsprint Grand Prix, Cottbus
Strawberries and chocolate ice-cream sundae. It was Delicious 

Centre square in Cottbus
FES bike that I was fortunate enough to borrow for the week
The Brandenburg Gates
6 person bike!