Thursday, February 17, 2011

Riding Around the World

Photo taken at Corin Dam, one of my favourite rides in the A.C.T

For a fairly small city Canberra has a serious knack of producing some great cycling talent, with the past, the present and the future of the sport looking incredibly bright within the Capital. Canberra has a rich and dense cycling culture and community, with the morning bunches including everyone from a club rider (getting a ride in early before their full time work) to ProTour riders. For me, its this social aspect that makes Canberra so great; most of the people I ride with are my close friends, so going for ride is just like hanging out with mates. But I'm not writing here to tell you how great Canberra is, instead I thought it would be cool to review what some of the Canberra riders are doing this year, with a significant amount travelling overseas to race, to see where they are going, who they are racing for and what their goals are for the year. Hopefully later in the year I'll come back and re-do it, to see everything they have achieved and the ups and downs of the year.

So here is just some of the Canberra riders making their stance on the world stage.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order and obviously missing some riders, if I did all the good riders in Canberra, the post will never end!

Alastair Loutit

Age: 21

Team 2011: Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda
           -Location (Team Base): United States of America
           -Residence: San Diego, USA.

Goals for 2011:
-To be selected as one of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda members to compete at the 2011 Amgen Tour of California
-To integrate into and become a valued member of Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b Kenda
-To win a UCI race

Favourite Ride in Canberra:

The Saturday Bunch Ride with a bakery stop and Cotter Uriarra loop to follow
Special Question: How many Jelly Belly beans do aim to consume this year? 
I currently have about 70kg with plenty more to come, so let's start with aiming to consume my body weight in Jelly Belly jelly beans and Sports Beans and go from there!

Keep up to date with Alastair on Twitter:

Chloe Hosking

Photo Credit: HTC- Highroad website, Chloe Hosking Profile

Age: 20

Team 2011: HTC-High Road

           -Location (Team Base): United States of America
           -Residence: Girona, Spain
                  "It's a real cycling hub in Europe for English speakers and great training so it was a bit of a no-brainer [to live there]." Chloe Hosking

Goals for 2011:
I think as everyone, one of my major goals is simply to do well in Europe - I'm still chasing that one big European win so here's hoping...But also the World Championships in September. I'd love to also see our team (HTC-Highroad women) creep back up into the number one ranked women's team in the world

Favourite Ride in Canberra:
Most of them have been sullied by cold weather, something which I have become allergic to. But an easy ride around the lake on a still morning or evening with the sun reflecting off the water never ends badly. 

Special Question: What's your normal coffee stop to ride ratio?
My ratio is definitely not as bad as the boys, no one coffee to every kilometre or anything. Probably more like one to every thirty. Unless it's a recovery day....

 Joe Lewis

Photo by: Stephen Harman

Age: 22

Team 2011: Trek-Livestrong

           -Location (Team Base): United States of America
           -Residence: Boulder, U.S.A

Goals for 2011:
- Win races in USA and Europe
- Try and step up to the next level

Favourite Ride in Canberra: 
My house, to Velo Republic Cafe, Home.

Spiecal Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how jealous are you that your (much) younger brother is double your size? 
15, he has picked up more chicks in the last week than I will in my whole life! 

Keep up to date with Joe on Twitter:

Josh Atkins 

Photo by: Emma Sutherland 

NOTE: Yes, you may be confused right now. Yes, technically he is a kiwi, but recently Josh has moved to Canberra and being the kind folk we are here, we have accepted him as one of our own and therefore included in this blog. And don't you worry, we have been constantly paying out his accent and reminding him that 6 is not meant to be pronounced like 'sex'. 

Age: 18

Team 2011: Trek-LiveStrong

           -Location (Team Base): United States of America
           -Residence: Boulder, U.S.A

Goals for 2011:
Achieve solid results, chasing wins and gaining experience in races in Europe and USA
Help my Trek-Livestrong teammates win races
Represent NZ at Tour de l'Avenir and the World U23 Road Championships
Favourite Ride in Canberra: 
Cotter-Condor [hilly ride on the outskirts of Canberra- often used as a course for Canberra Tour] Then finishing at VeloRepublic Cafe

Special Question: Who is your favourite rider? 
Phillip Gilbert, domination. Exciting to read about the way he races with explosive power from the peloton. Not necessarily the style of rider I am but he's a favourite of mine.    

Keep up to date with Josh on Twitter:

Matt Hayman

Photo by: jxpphotography

Age: 32

Team 2011: Sky Pro Cycling

           -Location (Team Base): U.K
           -Residence: Belgium, in a small town near Maastricht (which is in Holland). Nice place when the
           sun is out, lots of guys to train with, and a few hills.   

Goals for 2011:
Have a great race in one of the big Classics, had a few top tens, would nice to be on the podium for one of the classics even if it is not a big one.

Favourite Ride in Canberra: 
Cotter... Wherever, as long as it is in the hills, no cars. 

Special Question: Have you mistaken a Garmin rider as one of your Sky teammates yet this year?
Too many times, and I have only raced one race this year! 

Michael Matthews (aka Bling)

Photo by: jxpphotography

Age: 20

Team 2011: Rabobank 

           -Location (Team Base): Holland
           -Residence: Belgium 

Goals for 2011:
To get to ride in some of the 'big classics' this season.

Favourite Ride in Canberra:
Coffee ride. From home to Velo Republic.

Special Question: Are you going to make dancing a pre-race ritual, such as we saw at the TDU?
[Laughs] No. That was a one off. 

More about Michael (via Giant Australia)

Keep up to date with Bling on Twitter:

Michael Rogers

Photo by: jxpphotography

Learn more about what Michael Rodgers is doing this year at:
Team Sky Rider Profile: Michael Rodgers

Tom Palmer

Age: 20

Team 2011: Drapac Professional Cycling
           -Location (Team Base): Australia
           -Residence: Canberra, AUS/Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Goals for 2011:
To win races

Favourite Ride in Canberra:
Finding a new ride I haven't done before.
Special Question: What do you most miss about racing on the Track?
The Wheelraces. 

So there is just a snapshot of some places Canberra riders will be this year. Obviously they are many more travelling abroad racing (including the likes of Fabio Calabria, Viki Whitelaw, Edward Bissaker, Mitch Lovelock-Fay, Alex Carle and more) so watch out for several Canberra names high up in the international results sheets for 2011.

As for me, my next race see's me off too the Singapore Criterium and then too the Tour of Taiwan, all of which is happening in March. Later in the year I'll hopefully be having a couple month stint in Europe racing, based out of Belgium. Which will be very exciting and hopefully i'll be able to catch up with some fellow Canberra riders over there! 

I'll also try and do some kind of video blog, for Singapore or Taiwan so keep checking of updates. 

Follow me on Twitter.


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