Europe, Injury, Future!

So! What happened in Europe? What am I up to? What’s next?

Well let me fill you in!

Europe started off on the wrong foot with me snapping my bike into pieces on the 1st Stage of the Tour of Ulster in Belfast. Unlike my crash 4 weeks prior in Adelaide I couldn’t do much about this one as I was taken out from behind. I came out of the crash with just bruising and swelling to my lower legs from being run over but my bike was worse for wear.

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Snap!

That stage got abandoned and I was able to complete the rest of the tour on a borrowed bike. I jumped on another borrowed bike until the backup arrived and brought over a slick looking 2014 team issue Trek Madone. I tested it out with the rest of the team at the Shay Elliot Memorial cruising in for 16th after three of my teammates were in the break, Jesus finishing 7th!

The time had come for the UCI 2.2 An Post Ras and I felt like I had okay form but I lacked legs early in the first 2 stages losing time. Heading into stage 3 I was sitting 27th GC over 6 minutes down. The chance came to jump across to the move of the day around the 60km mark and I took it. The day planned out well, I didn’t have the best legs but I rode the smartest stage of my life, I thought. I saved energy where I could and coming into the last 30kms with the peloton beginning to chase I dropped back to the car to talk with Frank. The 6 of us in the break started working well together like we had most of the day. I saw who was strongest on the long roads into a headwind and with 45-50sec at the 10km to go mark it was looking unlikely that the bunch would let us survive. We were down to 5 men and I covered the Team 3M rider. He attacked and so did I straight over the top of him inside the last 4kms.  For a minute they all looked at each other and gave me a bit of space, but it didn’t last and they came across to me and at the 3km mark the peloton had arrived and it was over. I rolled in on the back of the bunch dreaming of what could of been but I wouldn’t say I was disappointed as I rode smart and left it out there. Of course I had ‘what ifs’ that night but it was over, time for the next stage.

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Subaru once again looking after us in another country.

The next two stages hurt. Mentally more than anything. I didn’t put myself in the best position and paid the price getting caught out in the crosswinds both days. I wasn’t riding how I wanted. Both legs were attached, but they weren’t working how I was telling them to!

The last two stages were chalk and cheese from the previous two. Finishing in the pack, something I came a long way not to do. I was on the up and my legs were feeling better on the bike day by day although a little tight in places, on to Belgium it was.

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After a day of travelling Daniel and I arrived at ‘The Farm’. A well known home stay for cyclists owned by Staf Boone. The home of Kingsnorth International Wheelers a cycling team with a prestigious pedigree I later found out.

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The stairs of death at ‘The Farm’

I was excited for our first race coming off the Ras, sadly it wasn’t what I had hoped for having to pull out half way through thanks to a swollen lower leg. Also making the trip from the Ras to Belgium was the NZ track team. In good kiwi spirit they helped me out and made their resources available to me. Rest was on the cards for several days to try get through the problem but stepping out again the result was the same.

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Catching up with Mudgway at the NZ headquarters in Belguim, was cool to see Agostino’s bike up on the wall.

I was lame! Not happy. I rested a week trying to get one last race in to no avail. While this was happening Daniel crashed out snapping his bike, while Darcy was flying!

Belgium was everything they say; windy, narrow roads, full gas. If you’re not in the break your nowhere, simple as that.

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Another kiwi, Cory Cannings!

I arrived home and after sleeping for a day I was straight into the Dr and then on for an ultrasound. The news wasn’t good, an inflamed plantaris saw me on the sidelines for 5 weeks.

Frustration was an understatement! I wanted to ride. Wind, rain, cold I didn’t care I just wanted to be on my bike getting ready for the next assault. Reflection just made me realise two things. One, it confirmed where I want to go with my cycling career. And two, I had unfinished business! The news was also bad on the Australian front. With races being cancelled the calendar has thinned out.

In my break I have turned to other ways to drive my motivation along and get ready for the second half of the season. One thing is for sure I’ll be on the hunt for more racing to get me up to speed for the big goals I have highlighted.

Massive thanks goes out to my team Subaru Albion and our sponsors for giving me my first taste of European racing as well my personal supporters who without I don’t think I would be in this position.

Stay tuned!

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What’s next?

After opening up my season with the team at Nz cycle classic it was off to Sydney for the team launch and then up to Toowoomba for Oceania champs.

NZ Cycle Classic was my first time riding for GC (general classification).
It was really interesting. A lot different to just doing a job for your teammates. I was looking at starting my season off strongly but felt I had missed an opportunity. Wrong decisions cost me in the end general classification but I left feeling positive and confident. I learned some valuable lessons very quickly and I’m looking forward to the next time. One thing I admired was my teammates belief in me which was through the roof even before the tour started. Their support was awesome and will be repaid.

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Getting a podium on the prologue was a one of the targets of mine heading into the NZCC.

The team launch was a new experience for me.  It was a good night out finally meeting all the team, supporters and sponsors.

Toowoomba didn’t come to much as the break went up the road with young Richard Lawson in there for us. He eventually came back to the bunch with a couple others but that was all as the break stayed away by 2minutes in the end.

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Team presentation night. Meet and greet!

Since then I’ve dialled it back a touch and I’m looking at building towards my next tour and my first NRS event of the year up in Adelaide. A week later I’ll be on a plane headed across to Ireland In the lead up to the An Post Ras, with a little excursion into Belgium for two weeks afterwards.

Once again the An Post Ras is a UCI race, so I’m hoping to get there in good touch. I’ve heard its a bit like Southland. 8 days long, crap weather , and only 5man teams. The days are around 130-160km all week which I’m looking forward to.

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Out training with the team in Sydney in the build up to Oceania Championships. Even got clipped by a car one day!

I’m really enjoying riding and racing my bike at the moment and I can’t wait to get into my next tour. The opportunities Subaru Albion have given me in such a short space if time is awesome. Not only me but there are a couple younger fellas in our ranks that I think can hit the mark in years to come, if they knuckle down.

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Between races I’ve been out racing around town, picking up a few Crit wins here and there.

I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated as much as possible in the lead up and throughout. Also you can follow the team and I on our Facebook page, Instagram, or twitter.

Thanks for all the support back home and now here in Melbourne. It makes the tough times a lot easier having so many awesome people behind you.

If you want to find out more feel free to message me.

Morgz out!

3 Months in & Going Strong!

So it’s been three months since I made the big move to Melbourne although I haven’t been in Melbourne much at all. I spent a week in Perth for Tour de Perth then flew down to Adelaide for the next tour. The month back in Melbourne was spent couch surfing at team mates houses with my partner in crime Lana.

There was no rest for the wicked with SKCC crit champs the Sunday after I got back, the Tour of Southwest the next weekend, then a double up with a Saturday handicap then a CV (Cycling Victoria) race on the Sunday. Followed with a day down at Phillip Island the weekend before heading off to the Battle of the Border.
I was due for a rest but that would have to wait as I got a late call up to do Toowoomba and flew back up to the Gold Coast the very next day.

Taking second in Stage 4 Tour of Toowoomba

Mixed in between all the racing and the couch jumping was the house and job hunting, even a new coach. We managed to secure a brand new townhouse in Doreen. On the northern outskirts of the city it’s awesome for training. A few Km’s to warm up then there are two 7km climbs to chose from. That’s just the ones I know about, with a few maps from my old mate Warren Docker (father of Mitch Docker, GreenEdge) I’m told there’s plenty more.

For me the jumping from house to house was more like fun. Staying with the guys and their families provided something different each time. However with out these people, things would have been near impossible. So thank you Andrew Cooper, Shannon Johnson, Nicholas Katsonis, and their families.
The biggest thank you though goes to Warren and Karen Docker! For the lovely dinners at their home accompanied by the league. It was good to watch even though the teams I go for around there lose. An awesome respite from the ping pong they call footy over here.

I’m now in the middle of my rest before building into the tail end of the season. With plenty of racing still ahead I’m hoping to turn some heads, with my personal results and helping my teammates.

Thank you to everyone back home for all the messages and likes. It’s cool having so many people following you. I believe it makes me more motivated, they feeling of winning is something of its own but sharing it with the people behind you adds to the fun.

Individual TT

Following are a few personal results / highlights.

Perth
GC 38th
Stage 3 ITT 14th

Adelaide
GC 88th

Southwest
GC 9th
Stage 2 ITT 7th

Battle on the Border
GC 47th
Stage 3 ITT 8th

Toowoomba
GC 38th
Stage 4 RR 2nd

Short sheet success 1 out of 6.

Thanks to all my personal supporters and my team sponsors for making it easier to chase down my goals.

Cheers Morgz