2014 – All Wrapped Up – Cascade, Monkey Suits and Yellow Jerseys

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 21 states, six provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

 

After a week of hanging out in Vancouver, riding my bike and being “mechanic” at BC Superweek, it was time to take the team car and head south of the border for the Cascade Cycling Classic.

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2014 – All Wrapped Up – 5,000 km across Canada

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, five provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

 

June saw Team SmartStop travelling north across the border to Quebec, Canada where we would relocate ourselves for the next four weeks. We arrived in Quebec, three days before the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and were greeted by something we hadn’t experience in a long time. Cold weather. It was a shock to the system, and it was the first time I realized I didn’t really own any appropriate clothing for colder temperatures.

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2014 – All Wrapped Up – Part one of who knows how many..

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, four provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

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The first of many selfies for 2014 (Team Camp, January)

What a year it has been, I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe with the disbelief I still feel about what Team SmartStop achieved this year, with the sense of pride I have for the team who defied all odds against them and proved what they are capable of, with the sadness that I now feel that the season is over.

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Six Weeks in Canada…Part One

May came and went, we won the USA National Championships, we went to the Philidelphia Cycling Classic, a race with a rich history in American cycling, where Jure Kocjan finished second to UHC’s Keil Reijnen and we bordered a plane to head north to Canada much to the despair of the Americans.

 

The Canadian/American rivalry reminds me much of the Aussie/Kiwi rivalry, although we enjoy busting each others balls every now and then deep down we are family. Or at least that’s how I see it. I love Canada, it is where my journey as a Soigneur in North America began and it is where my desire and passion for this sport and this job was cemented within me.

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Welcome to the National Championships

“Welcome to the National Championships.”

“Many of you haven’t been here before but you all deserve to be here.”

Two sentences we heard over and over again during the two weeks we spent in the south preparing for and racing the USA Pro Road and TT National Championships. This was my first Road and TT National Championships also, having only previously been to the NZ Criterium National Champs.

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Becoming Nurse Astrid – Tour of the Gila Part Two

Waking up on the morning of stage two, I was anxious, what would the day bring? Will Julian and Joshua be okay to start? What will the mood of today’s racing be after yesterday’s carnage?

We headed over to the rider house not knowing what to expect, soon to find out that both of the guys would not be starting stage two. We were officially down to six men. It was heartbreaking, but the day must go on and there is still a job to get on with.

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Becoming Nurse Astrid

When Creed and I left Silver City on Tuesday I knew the team had left a part of us behind, not only had the Tour of the Gila been yet another incredible experience for myself, we left so much of our bodies on those roads…literally.

 

Having come off the Joe Martin Stage Race where we had a few crashes, I was sure our bad luck was over. We were in a really good position to have a decent crack at some stage wins and the GC for the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Gila and I was looking forward to what the week would bring.

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Redlands Bicycle Classic – A roller coaster

A roller coaster – that is how I would describe my week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. What a ride it was! An incredible ride that bring out excitement, nerves, fear and happiness but at the end of it all you just want to ride it all over again.

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Vuelta Mexico – A Soigneurs Experience

Vuelta Mexico. What can I say? What an interesting experience. What a way to start 2014 with Team SmartStop and my first full time year as a Soigneur. A UCI 2.2 six day stage race with eight riders in a country that does not speak English – trust me it was not easy.

I am almost certain that almost every disaster that could have happened in Mexico did happen – cars breaking down, getting lost, stress levels hitting the roof.

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