Team Cyclingnews.com - Down Under - 2004

May 18, 2004: In the right move


By Robbie Williams


Photo: © Team CN
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Here goes my first entry for the team diary. Yesterday eight of the team were trying out the new, fast carbon wheels from Ridley in Germany's 16th Rund um den Flughafen Köln-Bonn (UCI 1.3).

Meanwhile I ventured off to my first Beloften (under 23) race at Herenthout. Leigh came with me on the ride out and we suddenly found there was a smash'em and crash'em type derby on and we were winding between the cars as they were about to enter the race track. Well that was a surprise!

A perfect day for racing or just a ride. This was evident from all the grandma and grandpa bunches in the morning, just cruising around. It sure is different to back home in Nowra. [A country town in southern New South Wales - Ed]

There were around 80 starters for 18 laps of 6.6km, so 120km all up. The course was tight at times, winding through small farm roads and two towns with a fast finishing straight of 1.5km on a nice big road. A few small groups got away early on, but they were quickly brought back swapping off at 55km/hr down the straight. The race was a bit up and down in pace with quite a few crashes. I certainly wasn't keen to come off again after doing that last weekend in England.

With just over 30km to go I followed a move and three of us soon joined three other guys 80m up the road. We kept the pressure on and soon we had 14 away. Swapping off I was feeling good and some guys sat on, pulling the tired face. I didn't want to be caught and there was a bit of hesitation amongst the group. Coming into the finale I decided to follow wheels, but that didn't work. I got caught next to the barriers and couldn't do anything. The pace wasn't high enough to do that. Next time I think I'll play a different card. I finished with 11th, but coming close to the win has certainly lifted my confidence.

Morale in the house is good at the moment, seeing all the Aussie boys giving it some in the Giro on TV each afternoon.

For me, everything so far has been a positive experience. The support from back home and from the boys in the team has been nice.

I was planning on starting uni this year, but seeing the European countryside on the bike makes me realise there's plenty of time to do that.

Until next time,

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