Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kim Anderson Quotes

Sometimes things just need to be recorded... Keep checking back for more Kim Anderson quotes.

Post 6km Uphill Time-Trial:
“Would you like something to drink?” Simone, our soigneur.
“ Ah, a Margarita,” Kim.


“You looked like a Speedy Gonzales,” Evelyn to Kim.
“Yeah, and then the Speedy left the Gonzales,” Kim.

The UCI killed the radio star.

Wow. That was exciting and extremely nerve racking! It was totally planned, don’t worry, we had it under control. Okay, I’m lying. Today was one of those days where nothing went to plan but everything went right. “That’s actually possible?” I hear you ask. Well apparently, if today is anything to go by.

I’m talking about the third stage of the San Dimas Stage Race, a one hour criterium held around downtown San Dimas.

We went into this, the final, stage of the tour 16 seconds down on the race leader and had planned to try and gain Evelyn as many bonus seconds as possible over yellow jersey wearer Mara Abbott. If we achieved this we would take the overall tour win. If that failed, we wanted to win the stage, we were determined not to go home (or to Bob’s wife’s brother’s house) empty handed.

We did both. We won the stage and the overall tour. But not exactly as we had envisaged.

Basically it boils down to this: Ina-Yoko Teutenburg . One of the most respected and established women riding in the peloton who will never cease to amaze me. Twenty minutes into the criterium, after the pace had been at a leg shattering level since the beginning, Ina attacked and took five girls with her.

For me, it seemed like she had a death wish. The circuit was incredibly fast and it seemed as though any break that went up the road had only miniscule chances of actually staying away. Despite this Ina’s break seemed to consistently gain time on the peloton. The time checks we received each lap just continued to grow. Fifteen seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds until it reached in excess of 50 seconds and it became possible that just maybe the break could gain enough time.

And so our tactics rapidly switched from attempting to gain Evelyn bonus seconds through intermediate sprints to trying to allow Ina’s break to gain enough time. While this may seem simple, once again the radio ban seemed to complicate the situation as we strained to hear the instructions being yelled/mimed to us by our Director Sportif, Rene Wenzel from the side of the road. What should we do? Chase and continue to try and gain Evelyn seconds, attempt to send Evelyn across to the break, or just leave Ina out there to her own devices?

When we finally heard and understood Rene’s simple change of tactics we knew the plan had been completely altered, “BLOCK!”. And so we did.

It was an ambitious undertaking. Gaining a minute and a half in a road race is difficult. Gaining a minute and a half in a final stage criterium is almost unheard of.

With two laps to go, despite the frantic efforts of Mara’s Peanut Butter & Co team to chase back the break, the time gap hovered around 1minute and 10seconds. As we crossed the line we were all oblivious to what had unfolded in front of us.

As it turned out, Ina had attacked her breakaway compatriots with four laps to go and rode to the line solo, 1minute and 11seconds ahead of the chasing peloton. The time bonuses gave her an additional 30 seconds, meaning she gained 1minute and 41seconds, enough to put her into the overall lead.

It was an awesome, almost unbelievable end to a weekend of racing that just didn’t seem to want to go our way. Now we head to Redlands, another town in the suburban sprawl that is Los Angeles, and attempt to recover and recuperate before the Redlands Cycling Classic which begins on Thursday.

Reality Flash

So the holiday is over. The two weeks between my first and second American races seemed to whiz by quicker than expected and faster than anyone would have liked. Just as I was sinking into a relaxing routine involving quality tanning time (California finally lived up to the hype) and copious amounts of study, primarily at the local coffee house where I attempted to pass as a university student from the local college (Cal Poly), I was rudely shocked back to reality: with a 6km uphill time-trial, the first of the three stage San Dimas Stage Race.

Time-trialling is not my strong point to put it mildly. Nor is hill climbing. Combine the two and it is a recipe for disaster. Needless to say, I didn’t impress and should probably count my lucky stars that I am still employed. Fortunately, my team mate Evelyn Stevens, a celebrity in the Dartmouth community (there is a running joke in the team after a random male rode up to us and asked/proclaimed proudly “Are you Evelyn? You went to Dartmouth right? I’m a ’92”) rode an impressive time of 14:47. Up a 6km climb that’s fast! It was enough to put her in second overall behind Mara Abbott, a former hTC rider but now a member of the Peanut Butter & Co team.

With only 16 seconds separating Mara and Evelyn we went into the second stage, a 90 odd kilometre road race, with the plan to be overly aggressive throughout the entire race hoping to try and put Mara under pressure and possibly gain Evelyn some bonus seconds at the very least.

I managed to make the first break of the day with fellow Aussie, Alex Rhodes and two others girls from the American professional teams Tibco and Colavita. Unfortunately, my climbing ability didn’t miraculously improve overnight and I was soon back in the peloton. While we managed to put Mara and her Peanut Butter team under some pressure with three laps to go when Ina, Kim and Evelyn broke away on the climb after Emilia and I had driven the pace on the front in the kilometres leading up to the King Of the Mountain we weren’t able to make any notable gain on the yellow jersey.

Photo Credit: Annette McCusker,

The team was put in a confusing position when Kim made a break that stayed away for the remainder of the race. Sans radios we were left unsure whether or not to let the break ride and hope that Kim gained enough seconds to bring her within striking distance of the yellow jersey or to chase, hoping to try and gain Evelyn some bonus seconds.

The controversial radio ban sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale at the beginning of this year, where radios are banned from all national level, .2 (so smaller European races) and World Championship races, had an impact today as we couldn’t communicate with our directors or team mates in breaks.

The race, although small in comparison to other events the team competes in really acted as a taster for what’s in store for the remainder of the season, both in the men and women’s peloton. The radio ban really changes the dynamic of the race and can put teams off their best game, as it did us today.

Tomorrow’s final criterium stage offers the team another opportunity to turn our luck around and claim that seemingly elusive stage win after Kim finished third today. So far we’ve got the bronze and the silver, here’s hoping we can make it a boxed set!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"There's a party in the USA"-Miley Cyrus.

Welcome to the country where everything is bigger and cycling teams are sponsored by Peanut Butter companies. The beginning of March saw me madly running around attempting to organise myself before boarding a plane not due to return until September. For future reference, packing the evening before a six month journey overseas is not ideal, I think Mum’s blood pressure rose a few more points as she watched me stumble around in a disorganised mess. Unlike last year where I headed straight to Europe my 2010 overseas adventure instead begins with a month long stint in supposedly sunny California, USA.

The month long trip organised every year by the hTC team is a great way to ease you back into racing after four months where your legs have been gathering dust. It’s also a fantastic way to avoid the still freezing temperatures of Europe.

The race calendar has three scheduled races; the Merco Tour which we have just completed, the San Dimas stage race to be held from the 19th-21st and the Redlands Cycling Classic to be held from the 25th-28th. Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Ina Teutenberg (Germany), Evelyn Stevens (USA), Kim Anderson (USA) and myself make up the hTC team for these races.

The past weekend saw all the girls, our two sports directors, and mechanic travel to Merced, California, a small town with the highest unemployment rate in the United States, to participate in the Merced Cycling Classic. The Classic is a series of three separate races (a Team Time Trial, a criterium and a 115km road race).
The weekend of racing kicked off with the TTT which the team won, but I don’t talk about.

The criterium the next day was a much better start to my American racing experience. Ina, Kim, Evelyn and I all lined up along with some of the biggest American professional teams such as Tibco, Peanut Butter & Co and Colivita for the 50km criterium in downtown Merced.

Unfortunately Emilia, after contracting a cold before heading to the US from Spain, was confined to the comfort of the hotel and wasn’t able to race; this upset many of the spectators who had come out to watch. I know this because a young guy called out, “Where’s Emilia!? She’s the only reason I came out!” (For those of you unaware, Emilia is a stunning blond, Swedish bombshell.)

Despite disappointing much of the Merced youth, we raced really well. With a team of only four riders racing against teams that had up to 12 it was surprising how well we were able to control the race. With three laps to go there was a nasty crash towards the back of the 60 strong peloton that sent one girl to hospital and blocked the road, causing the race to be neutralised and re-started 20 minutes later with six laps to go. I can only imagine the chaos that would have ensued had the race been restarted with three laps to go.

From the restart it was the hTC train. I am completely serious when I say that no-one from any other team touched the front of the peloton for the remained of race. Evelyn kept the pace high for four laps before Kim took over for the last lap. Under Ina’s orders I was positioned last on the train to sweep her wheel; which essentially means I had to glue myself to her wheel and not allow anyone else to have the benefit of following her through the pack or having the sit in the final metres of the race.

With 800metres to go Ina performed what I learnt afterwards is affectionately known as the ‘Saturn Sit-Up’. A term coined by our DS, Rene Wenzel, some 16 years ago. Essentially the manoeuvre involves the team in control of the lead-out train in the final kilometres letting one rider sneak off the front of the bike race unbeknown to the peloton spread out behind them. Allowing the rider who snuck off the front to take out the race.

Kim would have pulled it off had the race been a hundred metres shorter. Instead, 100metres from the final left hand corner Ina signalled for me to vacate her back wheel and to lead her out. I jumped around and flew through the final corner with Ina on my wheel. It was pretty awesome accelerating out of the corner knowing that one of the best sprinters in the world was glued to my wheel waiting for me to fade.

With 100 metres to go, while I started to slump lower and lower over the handlebars I saw Ina and Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co) power up the left hand side of the road. It was strangely satisfying knowing my race was over before I had crossed the finish line and that I was able to watch the race unfold.

Despite being almost a spectator I still held on for third. Ina took out the race making it a hugely successful day for the hTC team. It was great to get some positive feedback from Ronny, our team sports director, when he said “I’m good at telling you what you do wrong, but today you rode really well.”

The next day saw all four of us take to the line again for the 115km road race. It was disappointing to see the American teams race exactly as they had the day before; defensively and waiting for us to make the race. Conveniently, we have one of, if not the fastest sprinter in the world on our team and so when the race came down to a bunch sprint we pretty much had it covered. Ina took out the race again from Shelley Evans but not before she had gone on a 25kilometre solo break-away effort 30 kilometres into the race. Kim and Evelyn seemed to be in every attack that went away no matter how short lived it was and I even got myself into a few expeditions.

It was definitely a fantastic beginning to the hTC campaign in the USA. We won all three races we competed in and showed why we are considered one of the best teams in the world. It was funny to read reports from the weekend’s racing and see them constantly misquote the number of riders we had racing, it would seem like they thought we had eight riders rather than four.

The next week and half will see me continue to relax (or not) in San Luis Obispo, affectionately known as SLO, with the girls and continuing to train up a storm. Although I’m hoping my training rides are not quite as eventful as today’s where I was flagged down by a woman on her second story balcony in desperate need of rescuing. Ten minutes and half a power bar later I had successfully broken into the lady's house, convinced her two intimidating looking dogs not to attack me (mainly through bribery), and unlocked her second story balcony door.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"It's like the first day of school...only I flew twenty thousand kilometres to get here."- Eveyln Stevens

52, 4, 2, 0, 35-12. No, this is not some ground breaking numerical formula. I have not miraculously turned into a mathematical genius over night, much to my father’s disappointment. Rather these numbers refer to certain experiences I had had while travelling to my first ever professional training camp.

The annual hTC-Columbia training camp was held in Mallorca, Spain from the 12th-23rd of January. Sounds lovely right? Well it was, if you erase the travel to get there. And here I present to you the story of my truly epic journey to the Balearic Islands.

52: Hours of travel. Flying straight out from Melbourne after the National Championships I had no idea that I would soon be travelling for more than two days. It was made worse when I misread my flight details and rocked up at the Melbourne airport seven hours before departure time.

4: Different planes to actually get to beautiful Mallorca. Melbourne-Kula Lumpa. Kula Lumpa-Frankfurt. Frankfurt-Barcelona. Barcelona-Mallorca.

2: Cancelled flights. I know little of the weather circumstances in Europe when I began my journey. I was enlightened only slightly at the check in desk in Melbourne when I approached the counter cheerfully announcing, “I’m travelling to Frankfurt” only to be greeted by laughter.


“Good-luck”. I then learnt that Frankfurt airport had been snowed in and in excess of 200 flights had been cancelled or delayed causing chaos across Europe. Luckily, it was not this flight that was cancelled. I made it to Frankfurt just fine, getting out of it was the problem.

What was meant to be the shortest leg of my journey quickly turned into the longest, and I can only thank my six espresso shots for getting me through it. My flight from Frankfurt was delayed, then cancelled, then my make-up flight was delayed, and then cancelled again. I made the executive decision to change my flight destination from Madrid to Barcelona and six hours later I was out of there and only moment away from Mallorca! ...Or so I thought.

On the same flight from Frankfurt to Barcelona as Ina Teutenberg, I began to relax, I was almost there and it felt good!

Ina had a flight to Mallorca only moments after we arrived in Barcelona so I waved her goodbye at the gate and foolishly said “I’ll see you in an hour” as my flight was scheduled to depart only an hour or so after.

Another delayed and cancelled flight later I arrived in Mallorca, five hours after having said good bye to Ina in Barcelona. She greeted me at the team sponsorship meeting that night with a massive smile; we couldn’t believe that I had managed to arrive almost a quarter of day later and so all there was to do was laugh.

0: The number of bags waiting for me upon my arrival in Mallorca. Not a surprise really, after all my flight hopping.

35-12: The drop in temperature from Australia to Spain. I was there shivering while the Euros, so the majority of my team, were embracing the ‘warm’ weather.

So apart from my nightmare journey to Mallorca how was the training camp? It was pretty fantastic, while at the same time incredibly daunting.

The camp was held on the Spanish Island of Mallorca which, as it turns out, is where the entire European cycling community migrates in the winter months. Well not quite, but I don’t think I’m too far off with that statement; in my time there I saw the entire Silence-Lotto, Skil-Shimano, and countless other smaller continental cycling teams. Known for its good weather/less than freezing temperatures and its fantastic riding it’s easy to understand why the island is so popular with cyclists.

The two week camp seemed to be some bizarre drawn out version of Christmas. I constantly found my arms full of things I didn’t really know I needed but was sure I could find a use for. I managed to accumulate more team clothing than I will ever find time to wear and that I am sure could easily clothe a small army. Aside from this, the camp was a mixture of getting to know team mates, my new coach, and sponsors, fitting bikes, shoes and helmets, eating, and of course, training.

While attending my first ever professional training camp was exciting and frightening enough it was only magnified by the fact that after six years of being coached by Sian Mulholland (Hi Sian!) I would be changing coaches to the hTC team coach, Rene Wenzel.

While changing coaches was to some degree an exciting prospect, I am a creature of habit and would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried.

Sian was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in 2002 when my father ambushed her and asked if she would be interested in coaching a naïve and somewhat terrible 12 year old female cyclist. Six and a bit years later, Sian has become more a mentor/auntie figure to me than a coach and is probably one of the major reasons I am still in the sport, so it has been a pretty huge change.

Rene is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cycling so I know I am in good hands and I’m eager to learn as much as I can from him. Although I can’t help feeling a little sorry for him, as I’m not sure if he’s fully aware of what he’s getting himself into. For those of you that know me you’ll understand that I’m be no means a complacent person and when it comes to my cycling I like to know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, and why I’m doing it. I have warned him about my high maintenance demeanour, I'm sure he can handle it...

Hours on the bike (I spent more time on the bike than I ever have, with some training blocks seeing me spend up to 17 hours out on the road in three days) allowed me to get to know all the girls and it’s definitely a great mix. Hailing from seven different countries we’re a diverse and different group of people that seem to work really well together.

You’ve got the Germans (Ina, Judith, Luise, along with our Sports Director, Ronny) to set the schedule, the Dutchies (Ellen and Adrie) to break the schedule, and the neutral countries (Sweden, Emilia; New Zealand, Linda; Australia, Me) to do whatever we’re told. Then there are the Americans (Evelyn and Kim) to joke about the Germans setting the schedule, the Dutch breaking the schedule, and the neutrals following the schedule. Finally there’s the Italian (Noemi) who just wants to ride Randa (a climb in Mallorca).

So after returning home, and with my first professional training camp out of the way, I’m now looking forward to the season ahead. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m racing with some of the best athletes in the world and for the best team in world and I cannot wait.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How many camels for my hand in marriage?

The second ever Ladies Tour of Qatar kicked off today and I was more than pleased to be taking to the start line decked out in my hTC kit (Australian flag and all this time) and surrounded by five of my amazing team mates; Judith Arndt, Ellen van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Adrie Vissier and Noemi Cantele.

I watched last year’s edition eagerly from my couch, a fact that seemed to follow me for the entire 2009 season. If I wasn’t hearing about the amazing six star hotel that the riders got treated to or the leg shattering first stage where Flexpoint decimated the peloton there was definitely something wrong. That or people were eating, because if there’s one thing that can shut cyclists up, it’s food.

Qatar may seem like an odd place to hold a bike race, and quite frankly it is, but as I write this from my luxurious bed in my lavish, mansion sized hotel room I find it hard to complain. That and the race is known as a ‘sprinters’ race.

Essentially the Tour (which consists of three stages) is just Dutch racing transported 5000 kilometres to the south-east.

The windmills may have been replaced by oil mines and the lush green fields that line the roads of the Netherlands may have been substituted with endless sand and countless camels but it is still, essentially, Dutch racing.

If your thoughts went straight to dead flat roads that stretch to the horizon and gale force winds as soon as I mentioned Dutch racing you would be right on the money. For some it may sound boring, but for me for me this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s my ‘home environment’ and I couldn’t wait to get out into those cross winds that were waiting for me with a snarl.

The first race of the season for the majority of the peloton, tensions were high as we rolled away from the Museum of Islamic Art which was hosting the start of the 103 kilometre first stage.

These tensions boiled to the surface in a number of small crashes in the first few kilometres and eventually erupted at the 40km mark, only four kilometres from the first intermediate sprint, when there was crash that impeded almost half the peloton, either because they crashed or were caught behind it, causing the bunch to splinter into four or five groups.

...This split was helped along by gusting cross-winds and the Cervelo train.

Luckily I was able to avoid the crash and the bunch was ‘gruppo compacto’ with 30kms to go.

Fast forward to the last ten kilometres and this is where the race really started to heat up.

Having discussed tactics in the team meeting the night before we came to the conclusion that the Cervelo team, made of time trial riders and sprinter, Kirsten Wild would attempt to control the last kilometres of the race with a lead out train.

(The basic idea of this train, for those unsure, is that riders from the team keep the pace high in the final kilometres of the race their sprinter tucked into the slipstream. This makes it difficult for other teams to position their sprinter for the win and also dissuades individual riders from attacking in the final kilometres and taking a surprise win.)

We decided we weren’t going to let this fly, electing to send individual riders up the road one at time in the final five kilometres, with me following wheels and protecting myself for the final sprint. Our plan almost worked perfectly.

Not every team has the luxury of being able to send former world champions, current national champions and current world champion medallist up the road, but we did. (I am about to do some serious name dropping).

2004 World Champion, Judith Arndt was the first to launch and she exploded out of the peloton leaving panic behind her. The Cervelo train which had just began to form lost one of its riders as they sent her away in pursuit of Judith, and when the gap wasn’t closing even Kirsten Wild chased, not the ideal thing to do for a sprinter with just under five kilometres to the finish.

Silver medallist in the 2009 time trial world championships and bronze medallist in the road race, Noemi Cantele then jumped out of the bunch causing further confusion behind her. It was chaotic as Cervelo tried to chase down everything that moved their train began to rapidly deteriorate.

Emilia Fahlin’s (the current Swedish national time trial champion), attack with three kilometres to go finally pushed the Cervelo train over the edge when Kirsten Wild’s last lead out rider, Sarah Duster, launched after her getting stuck in no-man’s land and leaving Kirsten without the lead out train she’d come to rely so heavily on. While Emilia’s attack was impressive enough on its own it seemed even more so after learning that she had crashed during the raced...and had five punctures.

With 1.3kms to go Adrie, Ellen and I were at the front of the bike race with no one team controlling the bunch. With 300metres to go I panicked.

Deciding people were leaving the sprint much to late I launched off Adrie’s wheel and was narrowly beaten by Rasa Lelivyte (Pasta Safi) and Giorgia Bronzini (Italian National Team).

I was pretty stoked to take third in my fist race with the team but I know there is still a lot of improvement to come. My goal heading into the next two stages is to get rid of the terrible tan line I got today...and maybe a few more podium places.

For now, my bed is calling. Stay tuned for the next instalment from the country where money isn’t an object and camels can buy you love. (My blog from the HTC-Columbia training camp in Mallorca will be up shortly, don’t lose faith!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Q&As...of sorts.

Just for a bit of fun (and maybe a little serious)- me, my new hide out in Spain, and racing with hTC-Columbia.

You said you were with Greipel before the TDU talking tactics - what tips did you give him? Did he put them in action?

He wouldn’t stop picking my brains, it was a little irritating! I just reinforced to him he needs to have faith in his team mates and trust his instincts. You know, the basics...he was all ears. (I'm kidding...)

Do you tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself? Has that abated?

Generally, I’m the only one who has piled it on me. I have really high expectations of myself in everything I do and don’t like to do things half-heartedly. I think it’s something that has definitely helped in my cycling.

What got you into cycling? Once you were, how did you feel?

The father. I was always really sporty, doing every sport under the sun and then one day I just asked Dad, who is a keen cyclist, if he could set me up on a bike. He couldn’t get me on one quick enough and I just never stopped.

Initially I just really liked the freedom of it. I thought it was super cool that at the age of 12 I could wake up in the morning and meet the local junior bunch for the weekly ride and have done 30km before school even started. And then I started winning, so that was a bonus!

Describe how you feel when you're riding

I’ve never really thought about it. I love the rush of adrenalin you get when you’re racing. The challenge and how when it comes to a sprint and you’re moving at 60km/hr you have to make split second decisions that can make or ruin your race after 130km out on the road.

First bike?

Some metallic blue compact frame Giant, a hand me down from my Dad. It had illegal wheels which all the juniors complained about me riding. At the time I didn’t understand why they were illegal; I just thought they looked pretty.

How do you like your current bike?

The Scott is fantastic. Super light and just accelerates beneath you. I’m really looking forward to racing it in Qatar in a few days. Qatar’s well known as a race specially for sprinters so it will be good to test it out in my ‘home environment.’

Favourite Belgian beer

Leffe, for sure.

Where are you basing yourself in the European season?

I hooked up an amazing apartment in Girona, Spain with two other Australian girls Tiffany Cromwell (Australian National Team) and Josie Tomic (Lotto Belisol Ladies). The former tenant rode for Garmin-Transitions and our next door neighbour is someone from Astana!

Fave ride around Canberra? Anywhere else in the world?

Actually, if you had have asked me two week ago I would have said it was just a nice cruisy ride around Cotter in Canberra. But I just finished my first training camp in Mallorca, Spain with the team and found some amazing rides there. I loved the rides through the mountains around the bay there. Beautiful views and the climbs didn’t even hurt...that much!

Favourite cycling moment - of all time, your own and/or as a spectator

Hmm, a tough one. For me personally it probably would have been my win in the third stage of the Tour of Chongming Island last year because I really had to fight for it and then team had put everything on the line to get me to the finish, so it was great to be able to reward them.

As a spectator, the stage in the TdF last year when hTC-Columbia just got on the front into a cross-wind 30kms from the finish and drilled it causing chaos and panic in the peloton behind them was pretty awesome. It just showed how tactically switched on the team was and it’s something you don’t really see in the Grand Tours, especially so early on. (I’m not even being biased because I’ve signed with them, I swear!)

Biggest influence on your career

It may sound a little lame, but definitely my Dad. I’ve never really had those ‘Heroes’ that other people might have. I just always wanted to be the best I could be. So Dad has probably had the biggest influence on my cycling. He has always been so supportive and has taught me so much about racing.

Hopes for Tour of Qatar

I’m not really sure what to expect actually. Not only will it be my first time riding the race but it’s the first time racing with the new team so I want to go in with an open mind.

Favourite cyclist of all time?

Jens Voigt for sure. It’s always the man behind the guy that wins, but you see an interview with him and he’s just the funniest, most good humoured guy out there. Such a good attitude also- I once heard a story about him, it was terrible weather and everyone was like ‘we’ll this sucks’ but Jens was like ‘this is fantastic, half the field has already lost the race’. The glass is always half-full.

What are your thoughts about the Australian nationals being on the same course for six years (or can't you really say?)

It’s a bit disappointing to say the least. Every other country changes the course every year. It just means that Australia will have the same national Champion, or the same sort of rider at least as National Champion for the next six years and how is that exciting?

2010 presented Cycling Australia with the best opportunity to change this, the World Championships are being held in Geelong, why not give our riders the opportunity to race on the course before other nations and use it for the National Championships? It would have given us a huge advantage- and probably drawn a stella field also.

How did you feel signing that contract with HTC?

It’s something that I hadn’t really even ever dreamed of. I always said that I wanted to be a professional cyclist but I’m not sure I ever really fully believed that I was capable of it. It’s still a little surreal, I ride for the best team in the world and I’m 19...what!?

I see you've ticked one of your goals - to sign with a pro team, what are your career goals? And 2010?

I’m definitely looking towards the Olympics in London and then after that I’ll reassess. For 2010 I’m hoping to make both the Commonwealth Games and the World Championship Squads. While they’re definitely ambitious goals I don’t think they’re that far out of my reach.

Greatest rival? Friendly with them or is it like Contador/Lance?

Generally I’m really good friends with everyone I ride/race with. But I think at the moment it there definitely a lot of competition between fellow Australian sprinter Rochelle Gilmore and myself, but friendly of course!

How did the training camp go in Mallorca?

It was pretty fantastic, while it took me a few days to stop whinging about the weather I left behind in Australia the riding was actually amazing. It was really good to get to know all the girls a bit better also.

Hardest bits about being a pro cyclist? Best bits?

Constantly being away from home and loved ones, especially my puppy! People don’t realise but it can get quite lonely, there is definitely some quality Skype time going on. Best bit is you’re getting paid to do what you would do for free; I now have an excuse to be lazy if I’m not on the bike. ‘Mum, I can’t hang out the washing, I’m’s my job.’

Ever been to Mooseheads?

Of course! Thursday night is cheap night...see you next week right?

Check out the full interview here: