Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004
Belgium, September 19, 2004
Change in the air
By Phil Thuaux
I thought I'd send home an update and keep up the PR before everything gets too hectic with packing and getting on a plane on Thursday, the final destination being... Australia!
The last few weeks have been made up of just one day races throughout Belgium, most of them being UCI 1.3 pro events. The weather's started to cool down a bit, but has managed to stay relatively clear, so helping in the department of training and racing and keeping the motivation at a reasonable level.
As some of the team has headed back home in the last week or so, the remaining riders here have gotten to some Kermesse racing, both pro and amateur events. The good news is that Cam 'Wormy' Jennings has notched up a late season win in yesterdays Kessel-Lo Kermesse, just outside of Leuven (the home of Stella Artois). The race was held over a nice course, which consisted of a 7km lap, with two nice little climbs in the first half, and some fast flowing roads completing the lap. At the end of the 15th lap, Worm showed himself as the day's winner, jumping clear of his four man break inside the final kilometre, crossing the line with his jersey done up and hands in the air. Good stuff, Wormy!
I was also able to finally take my hot air balloon ride last Thursday, which I won in a race here last year. After a few postponements due to weather, we finally got a nice evening and cruised across the Belgian skyline for just over an hour before sunset. It was great, and although I was already certain of Belgian's flat terrain, this certainly proved it with the view avilable from 1200 feet.
Until my next flight on Thursday (to Australia), I'll be training in between packing suitcases and bike equipment, getting back to Oz on Saturday. There'll be a quick overnight visit home, before heading to Perth on Sunday to compete in the Australian University Games, for my Uni, the University of Technology, Sydney. With a good team going I think that we can do well in all of the week's events (road race, individual time trial, team time trial, and criterium). Then it'll be back on another plane to head home for 12 days before departing for the 11-day Victorian Herald Sun Tour, the final race of the season for me.
It'll be great to see some familar faces once again, and be able to thank everyone in person who have sent me messages of support during the season, which all help to keep up the encouragement and motivation. It's all been great, and much appreciated.
There's still a few days left here, so keep up the emails. I'll see most of you sometime soon, in one state or another, so until then,