Category Archives: Helen Kelly 2002

World Cup No 1 – Cooma to Thredbo – 3rd March 2002

World Cup No 1 – Cooma to Thredbo – 3rd March 2002

Conditions: moderate winds, 23°C, 11am

Well, this is the first world cup race for 2002 and the pace started sedately as we headed out of Cooma into a gentle headwind.  The peloton was very nervous with the first crash happening only a few km’s of Cooma.  The course was undulating for the first 70km (until Jindabyne) and then climbed steadily and in parts steeply for the remaining 34km, finishing in the ski town, Thredbo.

The first solo attack was made by AIS rider, Oliva Gollan at the 16km mark.  I moved to the front, along with a few others from the Australian National team and AIS team, to slow the pace and give Olivia a better chance at staying away.  We slowed the pace to 30km/hr and my legs were starting to feel cold we were going to slowly.  A few Dutch riders moved to the front and decided to lift the tempo a little, steadying Gollan’s time gap to 2min.  I moved to the front as often as I could and eased the speed off.

A few of riders dropped their chains as we climbed up over the dam wall into Jindabyne causing a crash of about 10 riders.  Fortunately no-one from the National team was caught in the crash.  I stayed towards the front of the peloton as we negotiated a roundabout in Jindabyne and then turned hard left, up the steep 2km climb of Ivo’s farm.  Doppmann (International) put in a hard attack just as the peloton absorbed Gollan, fatigued from nearly 60km of headwind.  The peloton splintered up the climb, with only 55 or so riders managing to stay in contact over the climb.  A few kilometres later, I covered for Amy Safe (National Team) who leapt off the front with a Dutch rider in hot pursuit.  The Dutch rider lost contact with Safe who continued to hold a 20sec gap on the peloton for another 5km.  I moved to the front and tried to steady the pace, however several attacks followed, and as we hit another tough climb, the peloton splintered and never regrouped.  Twenty five riders were in the front group, including 3 of my team mates, Safe, Shirley and Hemsley.  The 2nd group slowed to a steady tempo as all the major teams were represented in the lead group.

Hemsley, Rutherford and Shirley continuously attacked in the final few kilometres, however Saturn worked furiously to keep the peloton together and lead Rossner (Saturn) out in a sprint finish.  Rossner succeeded in winning round 1, followed closely Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) and Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands).

Our team did well with Shirley finishing 11th, Hemsley 15th, Safe 25th while Rickards and I were in the 2nd group, finishing 30th and 35th respectively, 4mins50 down.

Now its off to get some rest and start preparing for the Tour de Snowy that starts in Khancoben tomorrow.

Victorian Championships 2002 Sunday, 25 August, 2002 Victorian Road Race Championship – 108km – 4th

Sunday, 25 August, 2002        Victorian Road Race Championship – 108km – 4th

Conditions: 16ºC sunny, mild southerly winds

The Victorian Road Race Championships were held in Dookie, North Eastern Victorian on a 36km loop that we raced 3 times.  For winter, the weather was perfect, without a single cloud in the sky.

My legs felt great today, with yesterday’s time trial opening up everything well.  The course was a square loop and was almost completely flat.  There were two minor rises in the terrain but I was in the big ring all day so it was definitely a flat course.  For those that know my riding style, I prefer to spin rather than grind up a hill, so for me to be in the big ring – they certainly weren’t steep climbs.

The race started sedately and after 20km I wanted things to liven up a bit.  I attacked at the base of the 2nd climb, with Claire Baxter going with me, and Liz Tadich, following alone soon after.  The 3 of us rode at 50km/hr, working really hard.  However, the peloton caught us within 10km and we had regrouped as we rode through Dookie to get 2 laps to go.

The pace steadied again, and peloton became passive.  When we got to the first of the hills again, I attacked and went alone.  Baxter worked hard and caught me within 2km, with the rest of the peloton enjoying the ride.  Liz Tadich attacked on the 2nd hill, with Baxter and I, again going with her, however, we were caught within a few kilometres.  The race was a little frustrating, because without a strong wind and any notable hills, it was hard on a flat course to shell the weaker riders still hanging in the bunch.

On the final lap, again Baxter, Tadich and I were aggressive and got a gap on the peloton, but the remains of the peloton were prepared for the attack and fought hard to get back on our wheel.  Unfortunately, it was going to come down to a bunch sprint.  We turned into the main street of Dookie, with the finish line about 700m away along a wide street.

Suddenly, a truck pulling a trailer drove out of a side street in front of us, heading slowly towards the finish line.  Our peloton, now into a full sprint, were either going around the truck or were drafting on his wheel.  I had been on Tadich’s wheel down the right handside of the road and thought I saw the truck put its indicator on to turn right.  I veered left so I wouldn’t get side swiped, and was soon on Baxter’s wheel.  I headed left to go around her but she also headed left, closing out the gap.  With only a few metres to go, I looked up to see Liz sprinting down the right side to take out the win from Emma Rickards and Claire Baxter, while I came in 4th.

It was certainly an unexpected finish with a truck in our midst, but fortunately no-one was hurt, and who knows how the truck made it past the officials.

Next week, I fly to Queensland for the National Championships, where I’ll be competing in the time trial, road race and criterium.  Fingers crossed for nice weather and favourable results!

Victorian Championships 2002 Saturday 24 August, 2002 Victorian Individual Time Trial Championships – 25km – 1st

Victorian Championships 2002

Saturday 24 August, 2002      Victorian Individual Time Trial Championships – 25km – 1st

Conditions: 15ºC sunny, slight northerly breeze

The state individual time trial championships were held in Dookie, in North Eastern Victorian, on a mild sunny winters day.  The course was an out and back loop on a long flat country road.  There was a gentle rise over the first kilometre, followed by a one kilometre gradual descent, while the remainder of the course was almost completely flat.

The weather was perfect for time trialling, almost too perfect, and I was secretly hoping the wind would pick up to help sort out the “men out from the boys”.  The road, however, felt really dead due to the rough bitumen paving.  So this surface made the course feel a bit tougher.

I was seeded last as I had won the previous 2 consecutive titles.  We were started at 1 minute intervals with Emma Carney (two time world triathlon champion) starting second last.  Claire Baxter, the other rider to watch, started 1 minute ahead of Emma.

I was riding a new Giant time trial bike that I had only rolled around on for 20 minutes yesterday, so I was keen to see how it would feel in competition.  I started out relatively hard, getting my speed up to 46km/hr.  My eyes were watering from the speed and I couldn’t even see Carney in front of me.  I focused on finding my rhythm, thinking about maintaining a comfortable cadence and pushing a gear that a caused constant but bearable ache through my quads.

Within minutes, I knew the bike was perfectly set up for me.  For those wanting to know the technical aspects of the Giant, I was riding a large superlight aluminium alloy TCR aero, with dura-ace running ensemble, 175mm carbon cranks, a Zipp carbon front wheel and a 4 spoke carbon Corrima back wheel.  This bike weighed almost nothing at all and just flew along.

As I approached the turn around point, I could see that I had started to gain time on Carney and Baxter.  As I stopped pedalling through the U-turn, I accidentally back pedalled and my chain dropped onto the small ring.  In my haste, it took me 2 or 3 goes to get it back into the big ring, causing me to lose valuable time.  There was a slight headwind on the return and I struggled to hold it on 39km/hr.  Everything was starting to really hurt.

With only a few kilometres to go, I counted Carney at about 45 seconds in front.  In the gradual climb up towards the finish, I gave it everything.  I could see Carney climbing out of the seat, but I stayed on the aero bars, pushing as hard as I could.  I crossed the line 19 seconds after Carney, giving me the victory by 41 seconds.  Baxter held on to 3rd spot, finishing 1 minute down.

Tour de Delta: Vancouver, CANADA

Tour de Delta: Vancouver, CANADA

Stage 1:  Hill climb, North Delta – 12 July 2002

Course: 700m 9% gradient


1st Jessica Demars                   (Campione)
2nd Helen Kelly                        (Verizon Wireless-Cervelo)
3rd Kim Davidge                      (Saturn)

Southbury Housatonic Hills Race, CT, USA – Sunday 16th June 2002 –

Southbury Housatonic Hills Race, CT, USA  – Sunday 16th June 2002 –


Course overview: 2 laps of a 43km circuit (27miles) – 86km

Final results were:


Helen Kelly                             Verizon-Wireless Cervelo
Hiroko Shimado                      Verizon-Wireless Cervelo
Yvonne Itlon               Verizon-Wireless Cervelo
Ann Marie Miller                     Verizon-Wireless Cervelo
Julie Monagle              Verizon-Wireless Cervelo

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