Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

Belgium, August 18, 2004

Always in threes

G'day again,

It's been a little while, but I thought I'd let you know what's been going on...

The rest of my trip to London went nicely, finishing all the 'touristy' things there, and flying home without any problems. I got back to Belgium on the Friday night, got a nice first training ride in on Saturday, then headed off for a play in an amateur kermesse race 20km from here on Sunday. It was a hot day, and I probably had the thickest layers of salt on me than I've had all season here. For the first day of intensity back on the bike, it went well, with me taking 7 out of the 14 sprint primes available (My sprint hasn't come from nowhere; I was away solo for 6 laps on the 8km circuit). The prime wins provided me with some handy Euros, as well as four complimentary massages at the local sports medicine centre. After the 20km ride home, there was a nice 165km logged up for the first real day back on the bike.

69th GP Stad Zottegem-Dr. Tistaert Prijs - 1.3, Belgium, August 17, 2004

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After that, I was looking towards racing this coming Sunday in Chateuroux, France, but got a late call-up for a start in yesterdays UCI 1.3, Zottegem, in Belgium. After Sunday's play at the kermesse, the legs weren't as fresh as they could have been, but it was another nice one to start back with. Our team mate Hamish was putting in a good ride, until a crash ended his day, putting him in hospital for some treatment and X-rays, which all came back clear, getting him home later that evening.


So, that gets me to today, and a nice recovery ride was planned. The weather was great, we had a tailwind, but I soon found myself in the casualty ward of a hospital with a loss of skin on my arms and legs, a gash that went to the bone on my chin, cracked helmet, and three chipped molars. Anyway, after being examined, x-rays done, and four stitches, and I was on my way to the dentist. Nothing major though, all minor (not needing immediate treatment) and fortunately no cosmetic appearances (all molars). As for the bike? Looks like I'll be on to number three for the year! As for how it happened - just put a bike path changing to sand, back to asphalt, a 6-inch lip, etc - I'm not going to write a novel on it, but fortunately, the other three guys got away unscathed, thanks to some fancy acrobatics on their behalf!

Finally, to complete the team's list of three's... Harro's just wandered in, gashed knee and broken derailleur, courtesy of being a victim of one of Belgium's death ridges (the raised lip on many of the roads, which is typical in Belgium). For the Central Coast guys, just ask Carl about them!

Anyway, we'll see how the recovery process goes, as well as how quickly the bike gets back on the road, but I'm still aiming for a start in France on Sunday. Beyond Sunday, there's heaps of great races for us coming up, keeping us busy two to three times a week for the next five weeks, until we all head home.


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