Category Archives: Helen Kelly 2006

2006 Women’s Road World Cup – Open de Suède Vargarda

2006 Women’s Road World Cup – Open de Suède Vargarda
IRM Rang BIB Code UCI NOM / Prénom Code équipe Temps/Ecart
IRM Rank BIB UCI Code LASTNAME / First Name Team Code Time/Gap
1 51 SWE19760316 LJUNGSKOG Susanne BFL 3:11:56
2 1 GBR19830413 COOKE Nicole UPT
3 34 SWE19840515 HOLLER Monica BCT +0:00:25
4 76 GER19810928 WORRACK Trixi NUR +0:00:28
5 53 SUI19760629 BEUTLER Annette BFL +0:00:35
6 21 GER19810115 BRODTKA Angela AAD +0:00:59
7 185 FRA19750817 LE FLOCH Magali TMP
8 3 SUI19720704 THÜRIG Karin UPT
9 25 NED19821015 WILD Kirsten AAD +0:03:14
10 24 NED19840416 DE GOEDE Suzanne AAD
11 75 AUS19800924 WOOD Oenone NUR
12 85 ITA19731203 LONGHIN Katia TOG
13 103 NED19721221 MANSVELD Debby VLL
14 26 NED19831019 VISSER Adrie AAD
15 81 ITA19780131 BELVEDERESI Tania TOG
16 92 CHN19840306 MENG Lang GPC
17 123 JPN19740308 OKI Miho NMC
18 106 BEL19800329 VAN DAMME Evy VLL
19 63 AUS19770421 MACPHERSON Jenny EHN
20 52 NED19801127 GUNNEWIJK Loes BFL
21 32 SUI19860203 HOHL Jennifer BCT
22 6 NZL19790524 KIESANOWSKI Joanne UPT
23 126 FRA19801217 TOUFFET Elodie NMC
24 194 AUS19820419 EGYED Nikki FUT
25 192 FRA19820520 JAUNATRE Marina FUT
26 31 SUI19820807 KUHN Bettina BCT
27 111 NOR19770422 TORP Linn NOR
28 56 DEN19850409 VILLUMSEN Linda BFL
29 104 BEL19831002 VAN DROMME Sharon VLL
30 36 KAZ19731219 ZABIROVA Zulfiya BCT
31 105 BEL19810222 WERNER Laure VLL
32 42 SWE19830923 JOHANSSON Emma BPD
33 96 CHN19800628 LIU Yong Li GPC
34 133 SWE19870814 LINDBERG Marie SWE
35 146 DEN19710316 RASMUSSEN Dorte Lohse ALI
36 131 SWE19810306 ANDRÉASSON Veronica SWE
37 143 DEN19750511 HANSEN Trine ALI
38 62 SUI19831206 SCHWAGER Patricia EHN
39 152 GBR19820313 HARE Catherine FBU
40 124 ITA19811006 AZZINI Emanuela NMC
41 54 USA19750218 NEBEN Amber BFL
42 65 AUS19710807 KELLY Helen EHN
43 13 NED19660830 COOLS – VAN DONGEN Jolanda HCT
44 95 CHN19780820 LI Mei Fang GPC
45 184 USA19700619 BALDWIN Kimberly TMP
46 116 NOR19791114 EIE VATLAND Hege Linn NOR
47 101 BEL19770214 GOOR Sofie VLL
48 82 ITA19860408 BERNARDI Sabina TOG
49 121 LTU19751127 PUCINSKAITE Edita NMC
50 14 NED19800823 VAN DE BERG Debby HCT
51 2 SUI19710510 DOPPMANN Priska UPT
52 142 DEN19720615 CHRISTENSEN Lise Horslund ALI
53 55 NED19760929 ROMBOUTS Sandra BFL
54 35 ITA19820505 ARCANGELI Lidia BCT
55 153 GBR19810304 WYMAN Helen FBU
56 4 AUT19750115 SOEDER Christiane UPT
57 141 DEN19830413 FISCHER ANDERSEN Mette ALI
58 181 USA19680128 ANDERSON Kimberly TMP
59 74 GER19750828 WICHMANN Anke NUR
60 5 GER19820710 DÜSTER Sarah UPT
61 86 ITA19740114 LUPERINI Fabiana TOG +0:03:31
62 73 GER19740321 SCHLEICHER Regina NUR +0:03:35
63 22 GER19820202 SENFF Theresa AAD
64 72 GER19790528 LUTZ Eva NUR
65 83 ITA19840822 GUDERZO Tatiana TOG
66 183 GER19741028 TEUTENBERG Ina-Yoko TMP
67 182 GER19760723 ARNDT Judith TMP
68 11 NED19851214 MARKERINK Loes HCT +0:04:36
69 15 NED19820930 WALLAARD Jaccolien HCT
70 44 ESP19840418 TELLETXEA LOPEZ Naiara BPD
71 16 NED19830421 HELMINK Judith HCT +0:05:58
72 132 SWE19750429 AUNE Karin SWE +0:09:40
73 195 FRA19870413 BRAVARD Mélanie FUT +0:11:20
74 173 SWE19810208 MUSTONEN Sara +0:19:15
75 171 SWE19750606 STENERHAG Jennie
76 196 FRA19770821 BAZIRE Sonia FUT
77 112 NOR19870615 MEEN WARSTED Froydis NOR +0:21:50
AB 12 NED19860706 BAKKER Liesbeth HCT
AB 23 AUS19800329 BATES Natalie AAD
AB 33 AUT19791113 GRAUS Andrea BCT
AB 41 ESP19810901 AZPIROZ AZPIROZ Arantzazu BPD
AB 43 ESP19820112 TELLETXEA LOPEZ Maitane BPD
AB 45 ESP19790112 PASCUAL TORRECILLA Gema BPD
AB 46 ESP19820311 LASA AGIRRE Nekane BPD
AB 61 AUT19830927 PRISCHL Chrisabel EHN
AB 66 GER19841024 BLUM Katharina EHN
AB 71 AUS19820518 BATES Katherine NUR
AB 84 ITA19860718 DAL FERRO Anna TOG
AB 91 CHN19740922 JIANG Yan Xia GPC
AB 93 CHN19831006 RUAN Xiong Ying GPC
AB 94 CHN19850203 WU Yun Mei GPC
AB 102 GBR19781004 JONES-DAVIES Emma VLL
AB 113 NOR19840206 WALSKAAR Tone E NOR
AB 114 NOR19870831 SAASTAD Kristine NOR
AB 115 NOR19870826 FRIESTAD BERGSETH Johanne T. NOR
AB 122 AUS19730827 GOLLAN Olivia NMC
AB 125 ITA19710427 CORNEO Sigrid NMC
AB 134 SWE19860218 JOSEFSSON Catrine SWE
AB 135 SWE19821114 OLSSON Madeleine SWE
AB 136 SWE19750131 LARSSON Camilla SWE
AB 144 DEN19780907 ADAMSEN Maja ALI
AB 151 NOR19780810 RAMSRUD Line-Rene FBU
AB 154 GBR19781002 SILVERSIDES Emma FBU
AB 155 GBR19841201 DAY Gabriella FBU
AB 156 RSA19850603 DU TOIT Yolandi FBU
AB 172 SWE19760819 EHRIN Mirella
AB 174 SWE19770627 ERIKSSON Caroline
AB 175 SWE19790309 EHRIN Marie
AB 176 SWE19741218 BROMS Charlotte
AB 186 CAN19731217 MOORE Amy TMP
AB 191 FRA19840725 GAUTARD Karine FUT
AB 193 FRA19851209 JEULAND Nathalie FUT
Number of starters: 112
Riders finishing out of time limit: 0
Riders abandoning the race: 35
AB   = did not finish 35
DNS = did not start 0
DQ  = disqualified 0
OTL = outside time limit 0

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Copyright © 1997-2006 Union Cycliste Internationale. All rights reserved.

General Organisation
Management Committee
Professional Cycling Council
28/7 UCI World Cup Women
Start: 4:30 pm
11 laps x 11.6 km = 127.6 km

Preparing for the worlds, 2006

Preparing for the worlds, 2006

Training in Koflach, Austria in preparation for the World Champs 2006.

So now that I am back in good health, I have found time to tell you about my “2006 worlds experience”.

Preparation for making the Australian Team

With a sensational aussie team contribution to Oneone’s bronze medal in the 2005 World Champs, making the worlds team for a second year in a row was my main goal for 2006. My coach, John Beasley (Beasa) gave me a break from racing in July and I spent this time climbing mountains in Austria. This gave me a mental break from racing but more importantly, I had an uninterrupted month to do a strength endurance block of training.

In early August, I did a couple of races in Sweden and Holland and then joined Oenone in Spain for another 12 day training block. I was really happy with my form and felt so strong. I raced the Trophee d’or in France and stayed upright until the very last day, when 2 girls crashed their bikes in front of me on a descent. I fell heavily on my left side but rejoined the race and finished. It was this crash that was the beginning of troubled times as the doctors now think this crash and subsequent car travel caused me to develop a blood clot.

Photo @ CJ Farquharson, WomensCycling.net

Our team drove 10 hours across France and I raced the Plouay World Cup, located in Britany. I felt very sore and bruised from my crash and knew I wasn’t healed properly to successfully race a hilly world cup. I attacked early and got away alone, but with a lot of pain from my crash, I was forced to withdraw from the race. Then, it was back in the team car for another 12 hour drive – this time to the Netherlands.

I love racing in Holland and I used the 6 day Holland Ladies Tour as worlds preparation. Beasa told me to stay safe and ride near the front, so I sat top 10 and avoided the dozens of crashes due to the rain, wind and narrow roads. The day following the Holland tour was another world cup, Rotterdam. The winds were gusting at 70km/hr and the rain started as we lined up. Unfortunately, I crashed at the 25km mark, in a spectacular domino style crash, with 10 other cyclists, all of us sliding in the grass and mud on the edge the road in a big tangled mess. I finished the race looking more like I had just played a football game. My husband, Bob had arrived to spend a month with me in Europe so my crash was forgotton and we travelled to the Salzburg in anticipation of good news about the worlds team.

Training for the worlds

A few days later I received a call from the National coach, confirming that I had successfully made the worlds team. Yippee! The official team included Oenone Wood, Nat Bates, Liv Gollan, Em Rickards, Kate Bates and myself. I completed in another world cup, in Germany (the last race with my trade team, Elk Haus) and then headed to my base in the south of Austria, to recover and do my final preparation for worlds.

Bob trained with me in the mornings and then we relaxed on the couch in the afternoons and watched the Vuelta (Men’s Tour of Spain). We also made a short stroll to a local cafe every afternoon, and ordered coffees in our very good German!

About 12 days before the race, I commented to Bob that I my left calf felt sore. I thought I must have tweaked it during a high cadence interval. I stretched it well but it continued to feel tight and ached constantly. We knew of a good Osteopath so I saw him and he noticed I was quite twisted and misaligned from my recent crashes. After his treatment, I felt better but the following day, the ache returned. I decided a good massage when I arrived in Salzburg would fix things – it was probably a tight muscle.

Bob and I drove from the south of Austria up to Salzburg on Monday to join the aussie team at a large traditional style Austrian hotel, reserved exclusively for the Australian camp. It is always exciting to reunite with the aussies, catch up on everyone’s season and receive our aussie uniforms. This years kit looked great and fitted well.

I had a massage each day with treatment on the niggle in my left leg. It was a strange injury as it didn’t ache at all on the bike but felt uncomfortable during dinner when I was sitting still. This is why I thought it was a muscle strain that once warmed up, worked ok. And when I lay down, the pain seamed to lessen. So I spent the last 5 days either training or lying on my bed – watching TV or chatting to my room mate, Oenone.

Our team trained on the worlds course several times until we knew every twist and turn. In the final few days we discussed our race thoughts, our planned tactics and tried to predict the strategies of the dominant countries, namely Germany, Italy and Switzerland, as well as many other prominant riders that we needed to consider.

I recall how great my legs felt during my final pre race training session with Oenone. Wazza (National coach) motorpaced us behind a car for about 1.5 hours and I felt strong and my heart rate increased and recovered easily. I was looking forward to the race and was ready to turn myself inside out to get Oenone on the podium again.

So what happened in the race? Click here to find out. World Championships – Salzburg, Austria.

Recovering from Deep Vein Thrombosis

Recovering from Deep Vein Thrombosis

Well, I have been back in Australia for a month now but it hasn’t been the off-season I was hoping for. Sadly, there hasn’t been any red wine and late nights.

I felt really sick after I arrived home and my “self diagnosed” calf strain was getting sorer each day. I did a lot of self massage but this didn’t help at all. After 6 days, I fainted and knew something wasn’t right. I headed to the Alphington Sports Medical Centre and within 20 minutes of talking to the physio and doctor, I was heading straight for Epworth Emergency.

I spent a week in Epworth hopsital with DVT discovered in my left leg. The nurses used a wheelchair to take me to the bathroom. I could not put any weight on my leg. I had lung and chest scans but luckily the clot had only extended to mid thigh.

I usually pass out at the sight of needles so when the nurses told me they had to inject me in the stomach, I wanted to run a mile! This nasty injection (twice a day) made the clot stick to the wall of my vein and decreased the risk of any part of the clot going to my brain. It is usually fatal if a blood clot goes to the brain, so naturally I accepted these injections as they would help keep me alive. Each injection stung like a wasp sting for about 5 minutes afterwards. They told me it hurt so much because I was skinny. So this is the first time that as an athlete I wished for more fat around my stomach.

I lay in hospital trying to pinpoint when I got the clot. In September I crashed heavily in the Rotterdam world cup and did a long car trip across Holland and Germany the following day. The doctor predicted that sitting in a small car with internal bleeding, probably caused the clot to develop. Thinking back now, I should have been more suspicious about the strange ache I had in my calf and up through my adductor. I was elevating my leg every day in the lead up to world champs but thought I had referred pain from tight gluteal muscles, and an aggrevated calf.

After 4 days in hospital I started getting to the bathroom myself, using a walking frame borrowed from the 90 year old woman I shared a ward with. Each day when the doctor visited, I asked him when I could start training again. He told me just to take it easy for a few weeks.

It took me 4 weeks to walk without limping and now I am on the trainer, but only riding 30 minutes a day. I am unable to ride outside because if I crash I will bleed uncontrollably. I am on medication which stops my blood coagulating as it needs to be thin to get past the blood clot and to prevent further clotting. I have another 8 weeks of “good old ergo sessions” and then I am off all medication and I can train outdoors again.

I can’t wait to ride outside again and I feel envious of every cyclist I see at the moment. It is 8 weeks until I can feel the wind on my face and enjoy the countryside and believe me, I am counting down the days.

Until then – happy riding!
Helen.

Road World Championships – Salzburg, 2006

Road World Championships – Salzburg, 2006

From left to right, the Aussie team: Olivia Gollan, Nat Bates, Kate Bates, Emma Rickards, Helen Kelly and Oenone Wood.

Race Day

On race morning, I woke up feeling “a little off” but put it down to pre-race nerves. After breakfast, I spent an hour stretching and then headed downstairs to our final pre race meeting to discuss our team plan and get some final advise and support from Wazza.

Oenone was our best choice for a podium result, so each of us was given a job to do to support her. We needed to keep Oenone as rested as possible for the business end of the race. As I can warm up quickly, I volunteered to work in the first few laps of the 6 lap course (132km). My role was to put my entire energy into these early laps – follow any dangerous moves, ride near the front and be there to help Oenone in the event of mechanicals. Nat was to take over next, followed by Liv. Lastly, either Em and Kate would take over and help Oenone towards the finish, depending on who was feeling the strongest on the day. The final few km’s twisted through the streets of Salzburg and so we discussed the possibility of a lead out near the finish. We were not predicting a huge bunch sprint, given the hilliness of the course, but possibly about 20 riders, fighting it out for the rainbow jersey.

Two team cars took us to the race start area, which was located at the first of two feed zones about 1km after the start/finish line. The aussie team had a huge Vittoria team bus to use for pre/post race preparation. This bus had all the essentials – coffee machine, toilet, showers, fridge and satellite TV. It was nice to have somewhere away from cameras and fans to get ready and concentrate on the race.

I warmed up on some rollers and but didn’t have very good balance. I have ridden rollers for years and can ride them with my eyes shut so I thought it strange I felt wobbly but didn’t really think any more about it.

It was a fantastic and patriotic moment when our team was presented on stage for signing in before the race started. And to represent my country with 5 close friends and team mates, was a great feeling. We wished each other good luck and rolled to the start line. Each of us had tied a yellow, green and pink ribbon to our helmet as a tribute to our friend, Amy.

The crowd at the start area was amazing. The gun fired and we were away. Hundreds of cycling fans lined the 18km circuit, waving flags and screaming encouragement. My heart was racing with adrenalin. I was riding on the front, which is typical for me in the opening km’s. I like to turn my legs over quickly for a few km’s and then I am ready for any moves. Also, I think it is much safer at the front during the first few minutes to avoid any early race crashes normally caused by nervous riders.

I concentrated on relaxing my breathing and tried to find my rhythm as we weaved out of the city centre towards the first climb. My breathing became laboured as we started climbing. In fact, I was absolutely gasping and the pace wasn’t even high. I felt like I had already ridden 200km – I had no power at all. I started the climb at the very front of the peleton and gradually lost position until I was back with the stragglers. I later downloaded my heartrate data to discover that I had been climbing at 192 beats/minute. With a maximum of 200, this heartrate was well into my red zone.

Photo @ CJ Farquharson, WomensCycling.net

I made an extreme effort to move up in the bunch but could not improve my position. We started the steepest climb of the circuit and I stood up to power over it, as I had done in training all week but seemed to go no-where. Within a few minutes, the team cars started passing me and heard Wazza tell me in the radio to use the cars to chase back on. I had my head down and tried to put power on the pedals but I wasn’t going anywhere. I kept chasing for another lap but knew I couldn’t rejoin the peleton – my race was finished.

I pulled out in the feedzone and sat down in a daze. Yesterday I had felt as strong as an oxe and today I had nothing. I shook my head in disbelief as I told the aussie doctor I had no power and was gasping for air out there. He told me I was probably just on the verge of getting sick and would wake up tomorrow feeling crappy.

I changed out of my aussie kit and sat in the feedzone and watched the race unfold from the satellite TV, (the organisers had put in each country’s team tent). A few laps later, with their jobs completed, Nat and Liv joined me in the tent, followed next by Kate. Em continued to help Oenone until an attack by Cooke on lap 5 that caused the peleton to split for good. A select group of 15 riders, including Oenone, got a gap and were up the road for the remainder of the race.

Nicole Cooke (Great Britain), Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and Priska Doppmann (Switzerland) were very aggressive but Oenone patiently followed wheels and conserved her energy. With 5 kms to go, Joel (Oenone’s husband) jumped on my bike and rode to the finish line. He wanted to be the first to kiss his wife if she won the jersey.

We must have looked a comic sight. About 15 of us were crowded around this little TV, screaming at Oenone (not that she could hear us) and telling her what wheel to follow. At 500m to go, it got really exciting. Judith Arndt (Germany) led out the sprint for Trixi Worrack (Germany) with Oenone starting her sprint down the right. With 250m to go, Marianne Vos (Netherland) found her after burners, moved left and surged ahead, claiming the rainbow jersey by a full bike length. She had enough time to look behind her before raising her arms and screaming with joy. The silver and bronze medals went to Germany and Great Britain, respectively. Oenone finished 6th and after experiencing cramping in the final few km’s, found it too hard to match Vos’s sprint, but a fantastic effort after a long season in Europe.

And now it is back to Australia to take a well deserved break and enjoy a little off-season relaxation! Ciao.

Results:

1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands) 3.20.26 (39.783 km/h)
2 Trixi Worrack (Germany)
3 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)

6 Oenone Wood (Australia)

Tour de Berne World Cup, Switzerland 23 April 2006 – 120km (6 laps x 20km)

Tour de Berne World Cup, Switzerland

23 April 2006 – 120km (6 laps x 20km)

The Tour de Berne world cup course consisted of a 20km circuit that we did 6 times. The only major climb was 5km from the start so I did a few fast intervals to make sure my legs were ready to go hard from the start. I felt tired all over as I warmed up which I tried to ignore. I still don’t think I was fully adjusted to the time zone change.

The entire race was fast and aggressive. Within 1 minute of the start, the field was racing at 50km/hr as everyone tried to get to the front by the base of the climb. The climb wound its way up through a little village for 1.5km and was approximately 8% in steepness. Points were awarded to the first 3 riders to reach the summit each lap so the pace was on as the climbers fought for points.

Tmobile’s objective was to protect Ina Teutenberg, the leader of the world cup series, however Swiss based team, Bigla were looking for their first win in the their own backyard, and launched countless attacks all day. The fast pace saw many riders struggling after 3 laps. Amber Neben (Buitenpoort Flexpoint) attacked after three and a half laps and held a significant gap which forced Tmobile and Univega teams to chase.

I was gapped from the main field on lap 4 and as I chased through the cars, the convoy of team cars came to an abrupt stop, completely blocking the road. I narrowly avoided rear ending a car and had to unclip and wait. I couldn’t get through anywhere. Once the cars moved, I resumed my chase for the next 5km but ahead of me, on a fast technical descent, there had been a crash so when I got there, the road was again blocked with team cars and I was forced to a stop.

I looked beyond the crash and saw the main field about 1km ahead stretched out into a single line. I knew my race was over. A group of 8 of us chased hard but we never made it back. We caught many other dropped riders and rode to the finish in a group of 40 riders. Unfortunately we were all time cut as we finished outside the 5% allowance of the winners time.

The Univega team caught Neben (Buitenpoort Flexpoint) on the fifth time up the climb. The strong climbers including my teammate Annette Beutler (Elk Haus) and Nicole Brandli (Bigla Cycling Team) continued to power up the climb splitting the field with only 20 girls making it over in the front group. Left behind was World Cup leader Ina Teutenberg (T-Mobile). The T-Mobile team chased after the climb and got Teutenberg back as they reached the finish line with one lap to go.

On the final climb, the climbers attacked hard again with Beutler (Elk Haus) earning enough points to win the mountains jersey. Only 17 girls made it over the top and the Bigla team continued their attacks. One by one they went making the pace really fast until the finish. Nicole Cooke (Univega) was responsible from chasing a lot of the Bigla attacks and also attacked herself, but it was the attack from Zoulfia Zabirova (Team Bigla) that worked.

Zabirova did another successful last minute attack that has seen her win many races this way. With 1km to go, she found picked the right moment and rode solo to the finish, taking out the fifth round of the Women’s World Cup Series. Coming in the take the sprint for second was Wood, followed by Olga Slyusareva (Rus) Russian National Team and team mate, Annette Beutler finished 8th to now move up to 6th position in the overall world cup series.

But the big news is that Nicole Cooke managed to win enough points to take the lead in the World Cup series with Oenone Wood moving into second place and Teutenberg slipping back to third.

Round 6 – Castilla y Leon World Cup, Spain is scheduled for 7 May 2006.

Wellington Tour and World Cup, 2006

Wellington Tour and World Cup, 2006

I joined the Italian based Safi Pasta team, as a guest rider, for the Wellington Tour and World Cup. It was a tough week of racing and here is what happened.

Stage 1 – Lower Hutt Criterium – 40km
The criterium commenced at 6pm with a large crowd of kiwi supporters watching us battle the 80km/hr blustery winds. It is hard to describe the challenge of racing in gusty conditions – one minute it is mildly windy and the next minute an 80km/hr gust sends the peloton into the gutter. Needless to say, there were several wheel touches and crashes during the race.

A break of 10 riders broke clear of the field within the first 5 minutes and were never seen again. The conditions were ideal for a break and with 10 minutes to go, the break had lapped the field and rejoined the peloton. The peloton sprinted with 3 laps to go and I was happy to finish in the top 10.

Local hero and individual pursuit gold medallist, Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand) outsprinted the riders in the break, to claim the yellow jersey. The field was given a time gap of 1min 45sec, so it will be interesting to see if Ulmer can defend her jersey in the hilly road race and evening criterium tomorrow.

Stage 2 – Road Race – 120km
There were only a few attacks early in the race, with Ulmer’s New Zealand troops keeping everything together. The race profile showed two major climbs of 2km each, with the second climb having a gradient of 10%. About 20 riders made it over the second climb together, including Ulmer. I crested the climb about 20 seconds later and quickly caught back on. A move off the front by Susanne Ljunskog, former world road champion, caused the front group to stretch into a single line with Ulmer seeing her as a major threat, and getting her team to bring her back.

At the finish, the Swiss based Univega team set up a fast lead out for Kiesanowski (Univega), however Ina Teutenberg (Tmobile) stormed home to take a convincing stage win. Ulmer remained in yellow, whilst I finished somewhere in the top 20.

Stage 3 – Criterium – 40km
After lunch and a nap on the floor of the local Masterton community hall, it was back on the bike to contest a figure 8 criterium. I drank a red bull before the start and just like the commercial, I felt like I had grown wings. I was pleased to have good legs because the race was ridden at a pace of 45 to 48km/hr. I attacked hard a few times, however Ulmer’s team mates were patrolling the front, and not allowing anyone to escape. Again we saw a bunch kick, with Teutenberg scoring her second victory in one day!

Stage 4 – Individual Time Trial
I had flown to New Zealand to focus on the World Cup, and as I was outside the top 10 in the GC, I decided to withdraw from the Tour and therefore, I didn’t start the time trial today. I rested a lot, had a massage to try and get my lower back sorted out and stretched well.

Wellington World Cup – 128km
A world class field of 120 women contested the second world cup event in downtown Wellington. It was a cool, windy but dry day. I am so glad it didn’t rain as it would have been carnage in the wet. The course was a 6.1km tight and technical loop with 17 corners per lap and 3 hill climbs.

The race started at a blistering pace and never slowed down. After only 25km, 60 riders had been dropped and pulled from the course. I was riding on the rivet for the entire race. The course was so technical it was better to ride close to the front, to avoid breaking on the corners. I featured in the first 3 breaks and had great legs. Each of these breaks had good representation, but after gaining 30 seconds, was reeled in by Tmobile, Ina Teutenberg’s team.

After 30km, Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand) launched a powerful attack and no-one responded. She built up a 1 minute lead that gradually grew to 4 minutes by the finish. The 20 lap race felt more like an epic criterium with attacks being launched on every climb. Tmobile rode brilliantly to cover all attacks and protect their world cup leader, Teutenberg.

With 3 laps to go, only 40 riders remained. My lower back was really hurting and I had virtually no power to climb. In the second last lap, a huge attack by aussie Oenone Wood dislodged my two other Safi Pasta team mates and myself from the field. We chased feebly but were all completely spent. We rode tempo in the final lap and I finished 30th. Ulmer took a brilliant solo victory whilst Oneone Wood (Nuernberg) and Ina Teutenberg (Tmobile) rounded out the podium places.

I was disappointed to have been dropped but had nothing left to be there at the finish. I returned to Melbourne on Monday and after a VIS phsyio assessment, discovered I had a tilted and rotated left hip which was the cause for my lower back pain. After 3 treatments, my hips are even and my power has returned.

Stay tuned as I train for my final aussie race before I head to Europe for the 2006 season.

Geelong Tour and World Cup, 2006

Geelong Tour and World Cup, 2006

I was very excited to be racing with an Austrian Team, Elk Haus No, until I heard that my inclusion in the team, as a guest rider, would prevent the team from earning team UCI points, so instead I joined a mixed team with Susanne Ljunskog (former Road World Champion).
Susanne and her partner Klas, together with Bob and I, stayed with friends in Geelong during the Geelong tour and Geelong world cup. Here is what happened during the week.

Stage 1 – Portarlington Individual time trial
After tapering too much, my legs felt horrible as I warmed up for the time trial. I race better when I have had a good ride the day before, and so I suffered terribly in the time trial, finishing about 1min 20sec down on the winner. Christiane Soeder (Univega) from Switzerland rode fastest to claim the yellow jersey.

Stage 2 – Portarlington Criterium
After lunch and a nap, it was back on the bike in the afternoon to contest a hilly 30km criterium. I usually love criteriums but my legs were still dead. Instead of riding in a good position at the front, I found myself hovering on the back of the peleton. The field shattered with every lap and only 30 of the 160 riders finished the race. Rochelle Gilmore (Safi Pasta) outsprinted the field to win the stage, while Christine Soeder, safely retained the leaders jersey. I finished safely in the front group.

Stage 3 – Barwon Heads Circuit race
Today’s course was scarred with crashes. All breaks were reeled in as the dominant teams kept the peleton together for a sprint finish. I conserved today, stayed out of the wind, and had a relatively easy day following wheels. A nasty crash with 200m to go, saw Rochelle Gilmore (Safi Pasta) hit the pavement, along with Priska Doppmann and her team mate, the tour leader. I narrowly avoided bodies and bikes, remained upright and finished safely, without losing any time. My team mate from 2005, Tina Pic (USA) won the stage, with a convincing display of speed. Christine Soeder retired due to injuries from the race, while intermediate bonus seconds put Oenone Wood (Nuernberg) in the yellow jersey.

Stage 4 – Lara Road Race
Today I was worried about the 25% wall that we had to climb. The race started aggressively with many riders keen to sneak up the road on the final stage, however Wood’s Nuernberg team worked hard to chase down every break before the climb. A group of 8 crested the 1.8km climb ahead of the field. I climbed in a 27 tooth chainring but wished I’d had a 29. The break was caught within 5km and all attacks, were shut down as the Nuernberg team successfully defended Wood’s jersey. My final placing for the Geelong tour was 38th, 1min 33 behind the winner, Oenone Wood.

Geelong World Cup
Over 140 women contested the first world cup event, all keen to finish in the top 20 and earn world cup UCI points. The race was 120km, consisting of 8 laps with a 1km climb per lap. My legs felt ordinary during the first 4 laps and gradually felt worse over the remainder of the race. I had really bad lower back pain and no power for climbing. I got gapped from the front group on the final climb and finished 1 minute behind the winner in 58th place.

I was concerned with my back pain, had a post race massage, but didn’t have an opportunity to see a physio and get it checked out properly. I rushed back to Melbourne, packed my bike and headed to the airport – bound for New Zealand, for the next world cup race.

Australian Time Trial Championships, 2006 Perfect Preparation

Australian Time Trial Championships, 2006

Perfect Preparation

In early November 2005, I sat down with my coach, John Beasley and talked about my goals for 2006. The Australian time trial was being used to select the Commonwealth Games team, and wanting more than anything to represent Australia, we planned out a 10 week time trial program.  The main focus was to build strength and learn to sit at threshold for up to 45 minutes.

Blue Cycling Corporation provided me with a T-12 time trial bike that I trained on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I went to the VIS gym and lifted heavy weights and with any remaining energy left, I tried to race a local criteriums on Sundays.

With such a hard training schedule, nutrition was essential to keep me backing up during this strength block, and Champion Nutrition provided me with pre, during and post training endurance products to help me replenish and repair damaged muscles.

About 4 weeks before the Nationals, headed to the Australian Institute of Sport for a training camp.  I did two 30 minute time trial tests in the laboratory as well as a time trial on the road to see how my training was progressing.  My results indicated I was getting stronger which motivated me to keep training hard as I counted down the days until the big race.

Race day

It rained all night and I awoke to overcast skies and drizzle.  I rode the windtrainer for one hour before breakfast to wake up the body and legs.  As I sat down to breakfast I started feeling squirmish in the stomach.  Thinking it was just nerves I forced breakfast down and tried to keep relaxed.

Around 8am, I was hit with chronic diarrhea. Within an hour, I started getting intense stomach cramps. We arrived at the race venue where I met my coach and gave him a report on my health.  He reminded me of how much preparation I had done, how strong I was and told me that I would have a great day.

The warm up for a time trial is extremely important.  The legs and lungs need to be ready to go flat out from the start line. I warmed up for 40 minutes and was a bit worried about how heavy and lethargic I felt.

The time trial course was 27km over a very hilly terrain.  The first hill was 100m from the start and up this first climb my gears started jumping about and changing automatically.  I couldn’t believe the bad luck I was having.  Standing on the podium was my goal, so to finish 16th and more than 5 minutes behind the winner was devastating.

After the race, I went for a ride alone and thought about what had just happened.  Weeks of the hardest training I have ever done and nothing to show for it.

Life goes on

Cycling has many high and low moments and 11 January 2006 was a day I want to forget and just move on.  On a positive note, I am fit, healthy and ready to plan some new goals for the 2006 season.

Stay tuned as I refocus on what lies ahead.

GP Cham – Hagendorn Road Race, Switzerland 20 May 2006

GP Cham – Hagendorn Road Race, Switzerland

20 May 2006

Today is my first ever win in Europe! I won a Swiss national road race held in Cham, north of Luzern, called the GP Cham-Hagendorn,  Here is what happened:

Yesterday, my two Elk Haus NÖ team mates, (Annette Beutler, Patricia Schwager) and I, decided to attend this race as good preparation for the Montreal world cup next week.  This was the first road race on the Swiss National calendar.

With many teams in France racing the Tour de l’Aude, we were pleasantly surprised to see World Cup Leader Nicole Cooke (Univega) and two of her team mates on the start line.  Bigla cycling team had 5 girls racing, Team Rothaus – Vita Classica (Germany) had 4 riders while Team Stevens (Switzerland) and our team, Elk Haus NÖ, had 3 riders each.  The rest of the field was made up of individual riders.

The race was only 73km (9.3km x 8 laps) which is very short for a women’s race so I warmed up well, anticipating it would be fast from the start.  Each lap was 9km in length and had two climbs.  The first climb was 1.5km long while the second was 700m.  The last 2km before the finish and 1km after the finish had some short power climbs, fast descents and many corner. In our warm up, I knew this would be a good place to attack the field.

With 5 riders from their team, Bigla dictated the front of the race in the first two laps.  They drove it fast up the climbs on lap 2 and my legs felt the speed of the climb.  As we approached lap 3, I was given instructions via the race radio to make it fast to the base of the climb.  I rode hard through the start/finish and opened up a gap on the field.  A Bigla and Team Stevens rider got across to me but wouldn’t work. I let them sit on and kept going hard to the climb to string out the peloton.

Noemi Cantele and Andrea Knecht (Bigla) drove it hard up the climb and this split the peloton.  Both my team mates got over in the front group, along with Brigitte Sollner (Team Stevens) and Nicole Cooke (Univega). I got over the climb 15sec later with Ellen Heiny (Team Rothaus-Vita Classica) and we chased together and got across to the front group.  We were really happy to have Cooke isolated from her Univega team mates and to have 3 Elk Haus riders in the front group.  Bigla realising that they were outnumbered, started attacking but after Schwager (Elk Haus NÖ) closed the gap an attack, I counter-attacked.

Both Cooke (Univega) and Bigla didn’t react to my attack.  They all waited for someone else to start chasing so whilst they looked at one, I disappeared up the road.  I put my head down and time trialled.  With 45km to go, I wasn’t expecting to ride solo to the finish.  The peloton regrouped during lap 6 but everyone still refused to co-operate and do any organised chasing.

My gap to the field stayed around 1min 20sec until the last lap when Bigla attacked up the climb.  Brigitte Söllner (Team Stevens Switzerland), Noemi Cantele (Bigla) and my team mate Beutler crested the climb ahead of the peloton.  They closed the gap to 1min but I only had 3km to go and was confident they wouldn’t catch me.  I pedalled hard until 500m to go, and then knew for sure that I had won.  I sat up, held my hands up high and rolled across the finish, thoroughly enjoying the victory.

Tomorrow I am off to Montreal, so more news soon from Canada. Ciao.

Statistics

Distance – 74.4km (8 x 9.3km circuit)
Time – 2hrs 01min 57sec
Average speed – 36.6 km/hr

1st – Helen Kelly (Elk Haus NÖ)
2nd – Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team)
3rd – Annette Beutler (Elk Haus NÖ)

Tour of Geelong

Tour of Geelong

I was very excited to be racing with an Austrian Team, Elk Haus No, until I heard that my inclusion in the team, as a guest rider, would prevent the team from earning team UCI points, so instead I joined a mixed team with Susanne Ljunskog (former Road World Champion).

Susanne and her partner Klas, together with Bob and I, stayed with friends in Geelong during the Geelong tour and Geelong world cup.  Here is what happened during the week.

Stage 1 – Portarlington Individual time trail

After tapering too much, my legs felt horrible as I warmed up for the time trial.  I race better when I have had a good ride the day before, and so I suffered terribly in the time trial, finishing about 1min 20sec down on the winner.  Christiane Soeder (Univega) from Switzerland rode fastest to claim the yellow jersey.

Stage 2 – Portarlington Criterium

After lunch and a nap, it was back on the bike in the afternoon to contest a hilly 30km criterium.  I usually love criteriums but my legs were still dead.  Instead of riding in a good position at the front, I found myself hovering on the back of the peleton.  The field shattered with every lap and only 30 of the 160 riders finished the race.  Rochelle Gilmore (Safi Pasta) outsprinted the field to win the stage, while Christine Soeder, safely retained the leaders jersey.  I finished safely in the front group.

Stage 3 – Barwon Heads Circuit race

Today’s course was scarred with crashes.  All breaks were reeled in as the dominant teams kept the peleton together for a sprint finish.  I conserved today, stayed out of the wind, and had a relatively easy day following wheels.  A nasty crash with 200m to go, saw Rochelle Gilmore (Safi Pasta) hit the pavement, along with Priska Doppmann and her team mate, the tour leader.  I narrowly avoided bodies and bikes, remained upright and finished safely, without losing any time. My team mate from 2005, Tina Pic (USA) won the stage, with a convincing display of speed.  Christine Soeder retired due to injuries from the race, while intermediate bonus seconds put Oenone Wood (Nuernberg) in the yellow jersey.

Stage 4 – Lara Road Race

Today I was worried about the 25% wall that we had to climb.  The race started aggressively with many riders keen to sneak up the road on the final stage, however Wood’s Nuernberg team worked hard to chase down every break before the climb.  A group of 8 crested the 1.8km climb ahead of the field.  I climbed in a 27 tooth chainring but wished I’d had a 29.  The break was caught within 5km and all attacks, were shut down as the Nuernberg team successfully defended Wood’s jersey.  My final placing for the Geelong tour was 38th, 1min 33 behind the winner, Oenone Wood.

Geelong World Cup

Over 140 women contested the first world cup event, all keen to finish in the top 20 and earn world cup UCI points.  The race was 120km, consisting of 8 laps with a 1km climb per lap.  My legs felt ordinary during the first 4 laps and gradually felt worse over the remainder of the race.  I had really bad lower back pain and no power for climbing.  I got gapped from the front group on the final climb and finished 1 minute behind the winner in 58th place.

I was concerned with my back pain, had a post race massage, but didn’t have an opportunity to see a physio and get it checked out properly.  I rushed back to Melbourne, packed my bike and headed to the airport – bound for New Zealand, for the next world cup race.

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