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Moving on up: The Trent Wilson Journal 2004
After being one of six iTeamNova riders who made the cut last year when his Aussie Div III team merged with RDM-Flanders to form Flanders-iTeamNova, "Willo's" earned a place in Division II with Colombia Selle Italia in 2004. Follow his progress and get a taste of Aussie humour as he lights up the road in Europe. Trent also his own web site at www.trentwilson78.com where you can find out even more about this Sydney rider.
August 31, 2004
The crit-fest continues
Carrying on from my last diary entry when I was in Belg and Holland racing the post Tour crits, the last two weeks have been full gas like the two weeks previous to that.
After our first stint in Belg, Russ and I had to return to Italy for two days to do one race, GP Città' di Camaiore, UCI 1.3. Not exactly what we had in mind, in the middle of our crit-fest, but that was one of the conditions from the team. If we went to do the crits in Holland, we had to return to Italy for team commitments.
55th GP Città' di Camaiore - 1.2, Italy, August 4, 2004
So I pinned a number on for Camaiore and lined up with crit legs. I got into the early break straight from the drop of the flag. We had a good group till another group came across and big Sean Sullivan launched down the other side of the road and the group split into two. Ten riders stayed away and ten came back to the main bunch, I was in the latter of the two. The break stayed away for the majority of the race and they must have been goin' up the front cause the bunch was motoring. I was traveling ok on the flat but on the climbs had nothing. It was a pretty shabby performance but it was expected after the previous weeks' events. Bettini won on this very hard circuit to show he's the man for the Olympics.
A night at home in Cossato and it was back to Belg the very next day. The scam of the year came when Russ and I got our bikes on for free when we were suppose to pay. This is probably not what I should put on the Internet, but the majority of readers are bike riders and have probably all paid for excess baggage. What's the chances of the same two people flying to the same destination, at the same time, on the same airline, with the same flight number, exactly a week later? Not likely, so when Russ and I showed the girls and the counter the same receipt for the bikes from the week before they thought the date was a misprint. Two free bikes on board, 50 Euro in the pocket and another story for diary.
Profronde van Oostvoorne - NE, Netherlands, August 5, 2004
Our mate Vince was there to pick us up again from Amsterdam and drive us to the first crit in Oostvoorne. Yet another story! On the way to the crit, it was a simple hour drive. Well, so the 2004 road map on Russ's computer showed. The road we were on vanished into thin air and we were stuck wondering where the road has gone, it just stopped. After trying to cut across back roads, we were pulled over by the police for having the wrong colour number plate on the bike rack, whatever! It eventually turned out for the best. Vince was struggling and he pulled out the last resort comment, "C'mon mate, I got two pro bike riders on the way to a post-Tour crit." Then there was a complete change of attitude and before we knew it, we were getting a police escort to the race, through red lights, up break-down lanes and way above the speed limits. Unbelievable, but lucky 'cause we got to the race with 30mins to spare. The race itself was pretty uneventful, but was run on a nice circuit with only one corner which you had to jump out of every lap. McEwen won again.
After the race, we went back with Robbie to his house to stay the night before getting the standard intro to the local, that is traditional to all people that stay at the McEwen residence.
The next day we moved on to Franky Van Haesenbrouke's house. He and Cindy are always there to welcome you in, and they even lent us their car for the weekend. After a few brews and an hour or two catching up, it was off to the next and final crit at Maareeze. It was a late start to the crit and it was on a nice circuit, with a big crowd. I wasn't too motivated for the last crit and was counting the last few laps down. Boonen won and Russ got up for a top ten.
Sparkassen Giro Bochum - 1.3, Germany, August 8, 2004
The next day was a bit of a mess up. We were off to a race in Germany at the Sparkassen Giro, UCI 1.3 in Bochum. We realized the day before that the crit was near the German border but it was too late to organize everything. So we drove back to Franky's Friday night after the crit, and then back again Saturday lunchtime. So it was a waste of time and money in that venture. We got to Bochum, booked into our hotel and did a lap of the town. It's a very nice town and there were a lot of people around to watch the derny race around the main streets where all the restaurants were. Russ and I sat back with a glass of red and a pasta feed to watch the boys suffer.
We got to the race start on Sunday and you'd be mistaken for thinking it was the start of a Bay Crit or Aussie National Champ's, with about 22 Aussie starters, the most I have ever seen. In the first hour there was a fair bit of Aussie slang getting spoken around the bunch. It was just funny to be talking to one Aussie, and you hear, "fair dinkum mate, your kiddin'" about two wheels back. There was one Aussie missing from the group, Corey Sweet, who'd already gone in the early break, which stayed away all day and he finished fourth. He's in great form. As I said, the early break stayed away and won while the rest raced for tenth.
I felt my first bit of form coming back since the Giro. My legs were sore and tired from the crits from the first lap, but they never got any worse. I was hurting the first lap but still hurting the same amount on the last lap. I could feel the speed and strength coming from the crits, though. With a few laps to go, I made the break that went away. A few more riders jumped across a lap later and the group of 25 or so riders raced for tenth position. I was fairly happy to just get a decent 200km in the legs.
After a long drive home and another late night, all you need is a six o'clock wake-up call to catch a flight back to Italy. Then once getting to Italy, a six-hour drive to Marche, on the east coast, for Due Giorni Marchigiana.
Giorni Marchigiana / GP Fred Mengoni 1.3, Castelfidardo, Italy, August 10, 2004
The first day of these two one day races, was described to me by my director as one of, if not the hardest, one-dayer in Italy. Fantastic, I thought. Even after what I had done the previous few days, I went reasonable. Yeah, I didn't finish, but either did the other 160 riders. The legs felt better, but still sore and tired. A few days' rest and I reckon they'll come up a treat. Today's race was around a circuit with a brutal climb every lap, and was just a race of attrition, with only 30-odd finishes. Cunego is back to his winning ways by taking another win.
2 Giorni Marchigiana / 24th Trofeo Citta' di Castelfidardo - 1.3, Castelfidardo, Italy, August 11, 2004
The second day was easier but it had a harder start. After about 20km, the bunch split on a climb and I thought the day was over. I think a lot of others also thought that, but a few chased hard. It did eventually come back together. Well, almost. As the bunch caught the group, about seven riders rolled of the front of the group and got a gap and were never seen again. Once again there was only 30 or so finishers. For me, today came down to a lack of motivation. I wasn't motivated to stay at the front and when it split in the gutter (yeah, it actually went in the gutter in Italy), I got caught out. The first time it split I had enough gas to jump across, but the second I missed the split and didn't quite get across. Sella took the win. The little mountain goat attacked on the flat with 4km to go and stayed away.
I now have a few easy days to recover from the flogging my body has copped over the last two weeks before racing my last races in Europe for the season. They're all big ones, and I'm hoping to hit these races with form. Its not too far around the corner.
As for the photo's, you can get seriously bored sometimes and with Wato on the case, he doesn't mind the odd pictorial or graphical photo from time to time. Alas, the new nickname given to Russ by Harro. Wato, as in Graham Watson, cyclist photographer.