This time last year I was probably 'politely' telling one of my students to 'please not talk over the top of me' while I was trying to explain on the board how to structure an essay. Looking back now, I would have been that kid that was giving the teacher the shits. The students at my school didn't really know that I liked racing bikes (teenagers tend to be only interested in themselves or their mates), and they definitely aren't interested in their boring teachers life. But after 'La Course', I managed to get their attention....on TV! One of my fellow colleagues, Kristy told me that my year 7 english class were disappointed that I didn't mention them in my interview after the race.....There you go, thats proof about my previous statement...lol!
I was happy to hear that the kids knew what I was doing, and that is following my dreams. Lets hope I'm an inspiration to the kids at Fairhills, and I encourage them to follow their hopes and dreams, no matter what circumstances or curve balls life throws at them. I was known as the 'sporty one' in the english staffroom. Well known for my ridiculously healthy lunches, mainly consisting of salads, rice cakes and tuna. My colleagues were always so flabbergasted with my weekends adventures (racing or riding stupid amounts of km's), and at morning tea they all persisted for me to indulge in a homemade cake or dip and chips. Most of the time I gave into their haggling. I miss your salsa dip Leanne! I guess my colleagues saw first hand my 'transformation' from teacher to cyclist, and once I got the hunger back their was no stopping me!
have also realised these blogs are becoming somewhat ‘therapeutic’ for me, allowing me to process this crazy journey I’m on.Since leaving Melbourne on May 26th I have raced 37 days out of the nearly 4 months of being away, in the US, Canada and Europe. In Europe alone, I have managed to survive 4 big stage races with my 'limited' base, Thurigen (7 day Tour of Germany), Route De France (7 day Tour of France), Trophee D'or (6 day Tour in France) and Ardeche (5 day tour in France). By Ardeche, my body was telling me to STOP but my mind pushed me along to finish (Marv pretty much scraped me off the pavement on that final day). I definitely can say I experienced new pain thresholds during that week in the stunning backdrop of the Ardeche region. So much so that I rode off into a side street after crossing the line after the epic 140km mountainous stage to quietly cry to myself..... and that speaks for itself, as I ain't the crying type!
Overall, my debut to European racing has been a success. I managed to finish 11th at Thurigen, 12th at 'La Course', 8th at Route De France, 4th at Trophee D'or and 15th at Ardeche. But that's enough wind blowing up my own arse, let me share with you some interesting facts. Tears were shed at 4 out of the 5 races, I hit the pavement 4 times, I've had only one puncture in the 2 months I have been here, ( I give praise to the team mechanic Patty for his meticulous work on our bikes), I've traveled more than 7,000km's by car across the Italian/French border, all whilst enduring Marv's painfully long stories. I have managed to eat my weight in baguettes and cheese while racing in France and in Italy I had Tomatoes in every meal.
It's been a steep learning curve for me here in Europe (an excuse for all my whinging). And as Marv said to me at my first tour in Germany, 'you're having to learn everything that goes with professional bike racing in a few weeks, what most riders learn over years'. The most important lessons I learned over the past few months is firstly, don’t make the same mistake twice, secondly, do your job for the team and be honest and open with your teammates and coaching staff. Lucky for me, I have had the most supportive and understanding team around me, who has shown me patience and guided me forward. Thank you Marv, Donna, Pat, Goretti, Bruce, Gracie, Sarah, Rachel, Flick, Katrin, Jenelle, Jess M, Louisa, Jess A, Loren, Tiffany and Carlee for being an ace unit!
So I didn't have the best race in the World Champs in Spain 2014. Got caught up in one of the biggest crashes ever seen in women's racing. Lucky I have 9 lives and I'm back doing what I love.