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Anna Wilson tunes up

September 18 - Toowoomba, Qld

On September 17, I raced my final race before the Olympic Road Race - a 140km race in Toowoomba, Queensland. My Olympic teammates Tracey Gaudry and Juanita Feldhahn also raced. The field consisted mainly of Queensland men, but the British and Norwegian women's Olympic teams also took part along with the Norwegian men's Olympic team.

I guess it's not surprising that the Norwegian men totally demolished the field. It would have been something of a disgrace for them if they couldn't win a local race in Australia!

At the start of the race we tried to get amongst the moves and be part of the action. I got into a group of 6 at one point and was giving it all I had when my back tyre exploded. I had to wait for the rest of the pack to catch me before I could get a new wheel from my car and then I had a pretty daunting chase in front of me. It was in a tailwind section of the course and the bunch was doing 60 km an hour, trying to catch the group I had been in. I chased for a while but wasn't making much headway so my team car decided that my brakes needed a close looking at. They drove up beside me and had a quick fiddle with the brakes while incidentally pushing me along at about 80 km an hour. That got me back in touch with the convoy and from there I was able to work my way through the cars following the race and get back on to the bunch.

By the time I got there my original group had been caught and another group had gone clear. Over the course of the next 20kms, the Norwegian men one by one launched themselves out of our group and across to the front group. It was impossible for us to follow their moves - they were just too good!

Eventually the front group swelled to about 15 riders and they continued to improve their lead. Our group was left pretty well out of the race. The Norwegian men were able to shatter the front group in the closing kilometres and finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd. A pretty impressive performance!

Meanwhile, I decided to pull out of the race and into the car at about the 110 km mark. I felt that I had had enough of a workout for the day. Tracey and Juanita continued to the finish and Tracey was the first of our bunch across the line, after attacking with about 20 km to go.

All in all it was a good day of training and our last really hard day before the Olympic races. From here we will be resting lots with a few little hitouts during the week. I am feeling good with a few nerves starting to set in. I know a lot of people are coming up to watch me race in the Olympics and I hope it will be a great day for all of you. I'm sure the atmosphere will be incredible. I probably won't be very sociable at all until the race is over - please don't be offended!