What an amazing week it has been!  At the beginning of the year my goals were to 1 win the World Cup Series but number 2 more importantly win back my World Champion Stripes in the Road Race.  Well I at least accomplished one of them…and the stripes were the most important.  There is always next year for the World Cup Series.

The Time Trial last Thursday was in tough windy conditions with some massive hills to contest and I took the win with a 7 second buffer. (A bit too close in my books!)  The Road Race took place on Saturday on a beautiful day in Pietermaritzburg, it was sunny but not too hot with a slight breeze.  The race pretty much was the 3 podium places from the start as Jana Majunke (GER) took off setting a solid pace.  In fact as we went around the course on the first lap I thought to myself “If she keeps this pace up I’m going to die!”  Jana has become an amazing climber and with a couple of climbs on the course it was very well suited to her. 

I was on her wheel with Jill Walsh (USA) behind me, we had dropped the other girls on that tough first lap.  On the 3rd lap at the top of the biggest climb we were all still together, but about 400m down the road I looked back to see that we had dropped Jill, so told Jana and I went to the front to get a good crack at the sweeping left we had to do which was also downhill.  I was able to get in front of one of the male T1 riders which blocked Jana and then committed to just time trialling the last lap and try to put in as much time between us as possible.

I was able to cross the finish line 32 seconds ahead of Jana and just over 1 min ahead of Jill. (turns out Jill had a slight crash which put her behind).  So I was extremely happy to win back those stripes!

After the Road Races on Sunday we had a celebration back at the Emoyeni Lodge where we are staying.  To say that the hospitality was second to none is an understatement.  Brenda and Brian the owners, along with Darren (manager) and his partner Gill have been amazing.  The staff have been incredible always greeting us with the most amazing smiles!

Our team is incredible and did a great job at this years Worlds.  With a lot of new riders making their first appearance at World Championship level they are all to be congratulated!  We are coming home with 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze medals!

Even though cycling is an individual sport it certainly doesn’t take just me to make it happen.  There is a whole team behind me and without the support I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing!

Thanks to my husband Russ – you are my rock.  You have always supported me in whatever my challenges are and you keep the home fires burning!  I love you more than you will ever know.

Thanks to my friends and family (near and far) who are always there to support me whether by riding with me or just chatting they are just as important as each other.  My good friend Clare Giddens…thank you for riding all those weekend mornings in the cold!

To my coach Rebecca DiCello – what can I say, you have pushed me beyond limits I ever thought possible and even though at times I think its nuts what you want me to do…it obviously works!

My sponsors LIV Australia, you have been behind me since 2012 and there are not enough words to thank you enough.  I would never have been able to afford the world class equipment you provide me.  Thanks to my chiropractor Stella Parrisis for coming on board this year as a sponsor to help keep this old body running smoothly!

The St. Kilda Cycling Club who have embraced Para Cycling and allowed us to take part in all aspects of training and racing.  Without that it would be impossible to gain the skills needed!

To the Victorian Institute of Sport who have supported me for 10 long years, my Sports Scientist Nick Owen, strength and conditioning coach Ben Willey and nutritionist Kylie Andrew, thank you for your tireless efforts in making me the best rider possible.

Last but not least all our National team staff and riders, from head coach Peter Day down, thank you for believing in my abilities and allowing me to be part of the best team in the world!  I look forward to continuing at least for the next year!!! (Yes I only plan a year at a time)

Its now time to go home, spend a little time in the real world before the next challenges arise and I look forward to sharing those challenges with you in the near future!

Thola iNingizimu Afrika

(Goodbye South Africa)