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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.

A taste of Italy


Last time I wrote I had just come off a break after returning from the US. July was always going to be a month with not much racing and just some good quality training to prepare for the end of season onslaught which doesn't finish till mid-November.

At the start of the month I headed to Pescara on the east coast of Italy for three races. The form wasn't good cause I had just come off a week's break, but all in all, I still wasn't travelling too bad. I now realise why riders like Di Luca and Di Biase choose to live here. The weather was great, beaches are beautiful and training fantastic with big mountains only an hour away.

The first race was the Criterium d'Abruzzo, and luckily it started at a leisurely pace. The riders were quite happy to ease into the race and enjoy the good weather. The pace did eventually heat up and Heiko Szonn was riding strong, making the winning break and finishing in the top 10.

I was rooming with Heiko and he told me he was geed for a few good results this week, and they continued to come. Dom Perras arrived for the second race with his fresh Canadian champ's jersey. The 20+ hours jet lag knocked him around though.

Trofeo Matteotti was the second race and it was raced around a brutal circuit that didn't have one kilometre of flat road. I decided to go in the early break but when I jumped with Graeme Brown on the wheel, twenty other riders had the same idea. We got a good gap but within a lap the bunch was back together, and within a few more laps the race was down to 40 riders. This is the way it stayed, the race breaking up into groups in the last few laps and staying that way for the finish. Heiko was once again in amongst the action, finishing just outside the top 10.

The last and final race was a lower category race, the Casalincontrada-Block Haus, though it finished with a 30km hilltop finish. The race also started at a cruisy pace, but it wasn't long till they raced and the bunch split to bits quite early on. There were a lot of sore legs in the bunch and the hard local laps took their toll. I got 'the in form' Heiko to the front and tried to find a good group, my job done. He once again finished in the top 10 along with Staf Schielinx who finished 7th. Only about 20 riders made it to the finish. The trip was made that much better when they held the final of 'Miss Adriatico' at our hotel on the Sunday night.

The next day I headed up towards Venice on a train to stay at my old team house, where I lived for two years while racing there as an amateur. I hadn't been to the small village called Bibano for two years and it was a good feeling to be back and see what had and hadn't changed there. It was also great to catch up with my old director, friends and old team-mates like Diego and Ivano who I have kept in touch with over the last few years. Nearly every night I had a dinner invitation and was eating like a king.

The real reason to be there was to get a good week's training in the bergs [bergs=mountains - Ed]. Most days I headed out with Scotty Davis [Panaria-Fiordo] to train between 4-5hrs; it was good to train in the bergs for a change, instead of the flat, windy lands of Belgium. Training went really quickly thanks to the great sense of humour of Scott. A lot of story telling, jokes and general piss-taking went on between training hard over the climbs.

The week went quick and before I knew it, I was back in Belgium. Since being back I have raced a few pro kermesses in between some good training. The ergo has had a bit of a start and I have been upping some big km's with the boys on the team, along with Scotty Sunderland.

We had a five hour ride the other day that was pretty funny. We stopped for Scotty Guyton when he punctured, but as we got going again the call came out from Dave Macca, "last one to Ronse pays for coffee". We were 5km from Ronse and as we clicked the foot into the pedals it was a cold start, and full gas. Pretty stupid but a lot of fun. Attacks were coming full on and it turned out to be the man himself who made the call that ended up paying for coffee. Just desserts!

I have also had a few visitors to make the time go really quickly. Firstly my mum and her husband, followed by my dad the very next day. I'm back on my own and still haven't seen my room mate Kate Bates since May, as our programs always overlap.

We are off to France tomorrow for a one-dayer, then a few days later off to China for a tour there. Should be an interesting experience to say the least.

Keep you updated,
Cheers Willo