Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

Belgium, July 20, 2004

Back in the swing of things

By Cameron Jennings

Hi all,

Just a little update to let you all know how things are progressing as I try to get back into the racing season after my enforced layoff due to a nasty little crash in Spain during Circuito Montanes (see picture). Thankfully, all has been progressing well, despite the very average weather which had decided to roll into this part of the world over the last two weeks. Counted at least eight days where my shoes were filled with newspaper trying to get them to dry after another wet training ride. Some days it was a brief shower for 10 minutes where you got soaked all the way through and sometimes the showers were a little longer - like 3hrs 50min longer...

Getting back into training went well, however, and I was motivated to get back into some reasonable form. On one of the days, I headed down to the tour with Ricey and Cody which started in Waterloo, approx. 60km from Booischot. It was a surprisingly dry, warm day and time cruised along nicely. Caught up briefly with Allan Davis, very briefly. Here is an extract from our conversation:

Me: Allan!
Allan: Yooo (head turning and then realising who called out)... hey Cameron, how are you?

Me: Good mate. And you?
Allan: Yeah good, mate, I have to go and sign on.

Me: Yeah, no worries, don't let me stop you.
Allan: Will you wait here?

Me: Yeah
Allan: Alright

Waited around but he did not come back. Never mind, I am sure his mind was somewhere else, but it was good to get a little bit of talk in. The ride back cruised along nicely again as we talked about this and that, and who looked lean, big, small blah, blah, blah...

To racing now. Things have progressed nicely and I dare say a little better than last year. First race back was last Tuesday, the professional kermis at Hooutem-Vilvoorde. And surprise surprise, it was raining.

Team meeting at the start and the guys were given their orders. My orders were quite simple really: "Cameron, I just want you to finish," I was told. First time for everything I suppose. To say I felt slightly sluggish would be an understatement, but the 14 laps passed along nicely, separated by a number of heart-starting efforts to bridge gaps etc., but 170km later, I finished wet, cold and filthy. All the other guys rode well and were in the thick of the action from the word go. After the race, a quick wipe down, change of clothes, grab a drink and proceed to ride home. A good day under the belt.

Trained through the next four days and arrived at my next appointment still feeling fresh and raring to go. The race was another professional kermis at Oosteeklo, in the heart of Belgium champ, Tom Steels, country. It was going to be another fast hard day, however the weather was kind to us today, or so we thought, as we headed off into the race in warm conditions.

The race was another, "Cameron, I want you to finish" affair, so I begrudgingly accepted the orders and stepped into the race. As expected, the race was being run at a fair gallop and once again the boys were racing well. I was also racing well, collecting a few tickets along the way in between dodging crashes and watching the insidious dark clouds roll on in. A break went with all the usual suspects, and along with Rabobank team, the guys rode well and bit by bit pulled it back.

Three laps to go the rain rolled in, along with wind. It split a little; I was in the wrong part of the split and chased for a good lap but could not regain the bunch. With a lap to go, I was just about to call it a day when Matt Hayman came past and gave me a gee up, so I continued on and rode the last lap having a chat about this and that.

So now it is a few days easy, then another race Wednesday, Thursday and then to Hungary for a six-day tour. Should be a bit of an eye-opener. Check it out at www.tdh.hu. Anyone up for another road trip?



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