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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

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Photo: © Anthony Tan

Moving on up: The Trent Wilson Journal 2003

Welcome to the Trent Wilson Journal for 2003. The young iTeamNova rider was one of the six who made the cut when the Australian Div III team merged with RDM-Flanders to form Flanders-iTeamNova, and move into Division II.

Getting the year rolling

Trent's team leader Dave McKenzie in the Bay Series
Photo: © James Victor
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Welcome to the first of my diary enties for 2003. Throughout the year I will inform you on how the year is going for me as a young pro, and the team as we join forces with Flanders to go Division 2.

It is always good to finish the year on a high note, so that when you start your pre-season training you are motivated to train hard. The team and I had a fantastic finish to 2002. Last year was a hard one for me. The first six months was a big learning curve, stepping up to the pro ranks and going from Italy's bergs to Belgium's cobbles and wind. Although, the last two months were great. Before I left Europe I was starting to get some form, finishing fifth in Wettern and 10th in Izegem (which Dave Macca won). When I arrived back to Oz I finished 3rd in the Grafton to Inverell and a few weeks later finally won the Hornsby to Swansea/NSW road championships, after four years on the podium and never winning it.

I went to the Herald-Sun Tour with form and was happy with the end result, winning the KOM jersey and 5th overall. The team won the overall team classification, Dave Macca winning two stages and 4th on GC, Alby Iacoune winning the Mt Baw Baw stage and 3rd on GC and Jamie Drew getting many minor placings. Scotty Guyton, riding for the NZ national team also won the sprint jersey.

After a successful Sun Tour as a team, Scotty Guyton came second in the Tour of Southland in New Zealand and the team boosted itself to finish third in Division 3.

Off-season merger

It was a busy off-season for Susan Stewart who organised everything with the team and the eventual merger with Flanders. We bring six riders to the merger: McKenzie, Iacoune, Drew, Guyton, myself and Dom Perras. This off-season I had four weeks off. A week was spent relaxing up in Noosa, and another week spent lying in bed after getting my wisdom teeth out.

Once the pre-season started, I had a totally different approach to previous years. Going back to Belgium I had to work on my weakness: strength and power. This year I did a lot fewer miles and a lot more time in the gym. I feel much stronger for this and noticed the extra strength while jumping out of corners in the Jayco Bay Series. While I feel stronger, one of my goals this year for me and the team, is the National championships. This meant I sacrificed the Bay Series to get form for the Nationals.

Bay Series

The team arrived in Geelong a week early, before the Bay Series to do a training camp. The members were allowed to attend and it was a really fun and relaxing week. We were doing big rides in the morning, and kicking back relaxing in the afternoon while the members attended seminars.

The week of the Bay Series I did 1000km, doing a big ride in the morning and racing tired in the afternoon. This meant a few ordinary performances at a few of the crits.

In the first round at Rye, I was feeling strong and had no troubles sitting in the group. Dave Macca got round the last corner at some crazy speed with the leaders and finished fifth.

Next was Port Arlington, this was one of the criteriums the team felt that suited us, we wanted to give it a big nudge and with Dave Macca winning it twice before we were confident. I was feeling very ordinary and didn't last long, but Macca once again gave it a big nudge. He was off the front of the group racing for second but blew with half a lap to go and finished in the group.

Geelong was round 3, on the foreshore. After a five hour ride in the morning and drawing last on the grid it didn't look good for the team. I actually felt good towards the end, getting up the front and throwing a few attacks in; in the end I was just out of the money.

Geelong was again the host of round 4 and this time it was a hilly one. After another five hour ride in the morning I was pretty shabby and didn't do anything special. Alby and Macca gave it a nudge but looked to be marked a bit. In the end it was 17yr old William Walker who took the win.

The last and final Bay crit was at the Crown Casino. Dave Macca scored another 5th, but there were only 15-odd finishers. I felt okay, but with 1000km in the legs and a new bike my Achilles was hurting; I stopped midway.

The next week was spent in Melbourne, with the weather playing silly buggers. One day it was nudging 40 degrees, and the next was below 20 degrees. I spent my time over dressing and under dressing for training. After a few easy days the team and I headed out for a six hour ride somewhere, but it was a good hit-out and tester for the weekend. A few more easy days and we were geeed for the nationals.

Australian Nationals

The big day had come: the National Champs. We wanted that jersey! The plan was to look after Alby and Macca. Jurgen and I slipped into a dangerous early break with names like Pat Jonker, Matt Hayman, Ben Day, Russell Van Hout and Robbie Tighello. The bunch panicked and after six laps it was all back together and the 170 rider field was down to about 50. About lap 8 another break went and we had nobody in it. Jurgen and I sacrificed for the team and chased but couldn't quite get to them. The break stayed away and in the end Macca and Alby blew along with about 20 other riders. We were all disappointed after a big build for the day.

After that I went back to Sydney for a week. And here I am, that was a week ago and it was one of the busiest weeks of my life. In four hours I fly to Malaysia and this is the last thing left on my big list of things to do. I got a few big rides in mid week before going down the south coast for two days with my brother and his wife. A bit of beach action and it was back to Sydney to do the finishing touches, pack, pay bills, spend time with the family and of course catch up with my mates.

So I'm off to Malaysia, then Belgium for eight months, it all starts here. I hope it's a good one!

Cheers Willo