Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Legacy

The final few days of racing for me consisted with the Keirin and also the 500m time trial. I finished 2nd in the Keirin and 4th in the 500 just outside a medal! Paige finished 11th both in the Keirin and 500. this years championships have been personally the best meet so far in my cycling career, I have come away with 2 silvers, a Bronze medal, 4th place and I was so close to getting the Junior World sprint record, missing out by only 0.011s!
Start of the Keirin Final
500
Keirin podium...2nd :)
The final medal count for the New Zealand team at the 2011 Junior World Track Championships is a staggering 10 medals, this bettered the previous medal total of 5. As a team we came home with 4 Silvers and 6 Bronze medal, being a small country we have so much talent. Last year we only brought home 2 Silver medals, this year really shows how much NZ cycling has come along. Ross Machefski told the team to create a new legacy on this years campaign. In Aigle he put a short video together after discussing what we need to do to create it at the track camp early this year. We trained hard, we showed professionalism on and off the bike, we had our ups and downs but we all pulled through and created a new legacy that will stand for the next group to take on, anything is possible!
Frame winding it up in the Kilo. 11th
Soph winning a sprint in the points race. 3rd
Cassie on her way to winning 3rd in the Scratch race.
I just would like to say a big thank you to everyone and all the support that I have been given to make this all happen! Hearing the Haka and also the Po Karekare ana song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GXua6gD4Hc in the background every time one of us was on the start line made us all proud to be there, before one of my earlier sprint rounds I have got to admit I got a bit emotional hearing the song! All the hard work, planning, preparation and commitment my personal coach, Stuart MacDonald and Simone Jones put in before I headed away was phenomenal! John Rastrick....AKA JR our sprint coach from Christchurch, did a wonderful job trying to keep both Paige and I in order whilst overseas on the campaign and I am sure he was so proud to see this year's championships unfold it was truly one of a kind!
JR & I after coming 2nd in the sprints.
Also thank you to those that have financially helped me get there, I literally would not have done it without you, once again thank you to the Canterbury Orthopaedic Services, Don Oliver Sports foundation, SPARC,  Cycling Southland, ILT, Cycle City and last but not lest my wonderful parents, Murray and Debbie McKenzie! They were unable to attend this year's championships because they bought me a house in Invercargill so that I can train using the only indoor Velodrome in NZ even if it is at the bottom of NZ, I want to train to be the best and reach those goals.

Yesterday, I arrived back into New Zealand early morning and meet both my parents before my next departure to Christchurch and onto Invercargill.....Righto from here I am having a short break so I can also catch up on my Massey Papers and then will be back into it focusing on the Oceania's (Nov 21st-24th), which will be held here in Invercargill this will be my first race meet where I am Elite so I am really looking forward to it!!
Arriving into Auckland...with my parents :)
So, that's all for now, thank you for taking the time to read my blog hope you have enjoyed it.

Steph

Friday, August 19, 2011

2 days to go!


Well racing has finally got underway and we our now into our 4th day of racing. The NZ team has already had a number of medals - Boys team pursuit 3rd, Sophie 3rd in the points race, Cassie also 3rd in the scratch race and Dylan with a wicked come back from 9th going into the second day of the Omnium to finishing with a 3rd after winning the Kilo and Scratch race. The Omnium is a multiple race event which consists of 6 events and the points are awarded in a reverse order so the rider who has the lest points wins the event. The girls team pursuit were narrowly beaten in the Bronze medal ride off and finished 4th also in the men's scratch race we had Hayden who had a great race and was in a 4 man break away but came down to a sprint and finished 4th. So far the rest of the team has been in fine form and have been really positive each day. 
Georgia leading the girls TP
Boys TP in action.

Paige and I in the qualifying round.

Riding off for the Bronze medal.

Stella and I
My results so far....In the Team Sprint, Paige and I qualified 3rd and rode off for Bronze against the Polish, we were able to edge them out and win the bronze by 1 second. The Russians won and the Aussies came 2nd. On the second day of racing I had my sprint qualifying which I was hoping to gain that World Record held my Becky James of Great Britain but I was out by only 0.011s and my time was 11.104s to secure the top qualifying spot. I was lucky enough to have a bye in the first round because the top 24 qualified but there were only 23 riders, so I went straight through to the next round were I raced one of the Americans and comfortably beat her. In the quarterfinals I was up against Stella from Italy, funny enough last year at the Junior World champs, in the Semi finals I raced her but this year was a new year and anything could happen. I was able to beat her 2-0, after the race she said to me "Same as last year! But this year you’re faster". In the semi-finals I came up against one of the Russians,  Tamara, now the races were getting faster and now the tactics were crucial, I also beat her 2-0. This was really exciting being the first NZ female sprinter to make the Gold/Silver medal ride off I knew that I had already bettered my last year's disappointing 4th place in the sprints. Unfortunately in the finals my opponent was clearly too strong and had a home advantage and bet me 2-0. I finished off with the Silver and Victoria of Great Britain had a really strong ride in the finals and secured herself a Bronze medal.
At the start line for one of the Gold medal ride offs
Today Paige and I have the Keirin rounds, Sophie is finishing off her Omnium event, Men's Individual Pursuit which consists of Scott and Fraser and finally we have Alex doing the Men's points race later tonight. Tomorrow in the final day of racing Paige and I have our final event....the 500m time trial, Georgia and Georgina have their individual pursuits and the lucky last event for Fraser and Alex is the Madison.

Bye for now :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Москва!

So, we finally arrived in Moscow a few days ago after a 3 hour flight, which turned into a whole days worth of travelling, after waking up at 0430 in Aigle to catch the 0502 train to Geneva Airport. Once we finally landed after circulating a number of times we loaded up the truck with our bike boxes and jumped onto the bus and as we were leaving the airport boom there’s already a car crash. The wee bus trip was meant to be a 1-2 hour bus trip, turned into a 3 hour bus trip stuck in the Russian traffic.

Traffic we were about to join.

We got to our accommodation at 1730 and settled down for a wee bit then walked down to the track where we will be having dinner most nights. Everyone was starving as we hadn't had much to eat since breakfast! So we were all eager to get some food in, we arrived a wee bit late to dinner and were interested in what they were serving us. Turned out that there was some liver and offal with an interesting sauce that some of the others manage to find out for us, not the best tastes in the world!
Accommodation from the outside.
Massive banking
The man cleaning the track!
The next morning we were to have breakfast at the track again so we weren't too excited about what was going to be there, again there wasn't a lot there we were given the option of stale bread,hard boiled egg, some doughnuts and there was one bowl of cereal which the others shared between 3. But Steve our manager and also Ant our Physio have been able to find a few supermarkets close by to get supplies for our breakfast and lunch. After breakfast...if you can call it that it was time to build our bikes and get back into it. The track is huuuuge! But the sensations you get from rolling off the top of the banking are awesome, you gain sooo much speed from it, it's amazing. today we will have our first proper training session on the track so can't wait, pretty keen to get these next few days out of the way and get racing... Racing starts on the 17th August and Paige and I's first event is the Team Sprint! Last year Hettie and I got 2nd in this event so lets hope that we go one step further :)

Cheers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

THE COACHES KILO...& Lausanne


It’s been a few days since my last post so thought it was time to fill you guys in, so please take some time out to read through and have a good look and the pictures below its sure to be a goodie.

On Saturday we had another rest day, so we jumped onto the train and headed towards Lausanne which is located at the southern slope of the Swiss plateau, with a difference in elevation of about 500 metres between the lakeshore at Ouchy and its northern edge bordering. Lausanne boasts a dramatic panorama over the lake and the Alps.  Lausanne is also where the Headquarters of the International Olympic Committee is located.  We got off the train and headed towards the Olympic Museum taking in the views of the mountains in the distance of Lake Geneva.
A cute paddling boat with
a wicked slide!
Some cool Olympic cutlery
At the Olympic Museum this is where you can find the famous  carbon-fibre Lotus 108 time trial bike designed by Mike Burrows and made by the sports car manufacturer ‘Lotus’ is displayed which was ridden by the also famous Christopher "Chris" Boardman. We were all inspired that little bit more to achieve what we want and knowing that my goal is to be at the 2016 Olympics my spirits were lifted and gave me that extra motivational edge for training the next day.
Being based in Aigle the sprinters have mainly been on the track and in the gym and also get the occasional road ride done...even though it’s the sneaky ride to and from the track which is roughly 3km which is enough for me. But when we do get the chance to ride longer than 6km we get to take in a lot more of the this amazing city and the hills that surround it. I have got to say the mountains that pretty much stare at me all day are truly amazing especially when the sun starts streaming down its unbelievable, definitely a part of the world that is a must see.
The 'Lotus'


Yesterday we had our race rehearsal day, where Paige and I both did a flying 200m and also a team sprint which was a wee bit longer than normal...600m so I did the first 300m which was a lap and a half on the Aigle track and then Paige brought it home. We use this to get our heads thinking about what we need to do on race day and to see what does and doesn’t work regarding our warm-up prep and also our gear selection. Obviously it is a bit hard to say what gears we would race on because the Moscow track is a lot different to the one we are training on. This morning we have a wee road ride to freshen up our legs ready for our last track session tomorrow here in Aigle. But yesterday’s highlight and one of the best days so far on this campaign was the famous Coaches Kilo! Up first was Ant our physio/masseuse to set the bar with a 1.22.9s not to bad for his first event on the track with only a few days before to experience the track. Second was one of our fine athletes....JR, which started with a flyer but unfortunately not being able to keep the pace up and cracked with 3 laps to go out of his total 5 laps! His end time put him in first with a 1.21.0s, although he was able to stay up on 2 feet this year after the big Kilo event.

Looking good.....maybe not so good JR?
Next was Ross, which he took the more of a controlled Kilo and really saved himself for the last lap. It definitely worked for him to make a time of 1.16.2 very, very close to the world record but puts him into the number 1 spot. Up next was the favourite...Chris Hoy our team mechanic! He was in fine form and was determined to beat his own world record. His warm up was good, he looked good and was ready to roll! He started well and definitely finished well, all those road miles paid off and he came home with a new PB of 1.12.2s! Steve our manager was to follow and finished strongly with a 1.30.7 despite wearing jeans, a hoodie and having no cleats have got to give the man some credit! To finish we had the women's endurance coach, Lynn Meares which had an awesome push start by Georgie Wilson and was able to slowly build over the 5 laps to finish with a respective time of 1.42.7s I even have the video of Lynn's flying start, I hope you enjoy. Also Ant has done an awesome montage with all the riders which you can see here...http://vimeo.com/27470079
Yeeeeeeah Rosco!

video

Chris Hoy....thee man!
Well that's all for now here in Aigle. We head towards Moscow early Thursday morning and start to ease back into it by getting use to the track and what not. Here will be our final build up to the Championship event so fingers cross the whole team will be on fire. Will keep you up to date once we have settled into Moscow :)

Hope you have enjoyed my blog so far. Au Revoir!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Montreoux!

Lake Geneva from Montreux

A new day and another update. Yesterday we had our first day off the track so for the day we were given some options on where we could adventure off too. One of the options were to take a train to a small village called Leysin which was based upon a hill and views would have been magnificent but unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best, so I chose to hop onto a train towards Montreux. This lies on the north east shore of Lake Geneva at the fork in the Roman road from Italy over theSimplon Pass, where the roads to the Roman capital of Aventicum and the road into Gaul through Besançon separated

A few options of Swiss Army Knifes. 
Looks yummy!
Cigar anyone? There were many more
behind me was rather overwhelming 
 After all the excitement in Montreoux it was time to get back on a train which left roughly every 30mins to head back to Aigle, a group of us hopped on the train back to Aigle as the train started to move it was going the right direction towards Aigle so we knew we were on the right train. But when the train stopped outside a train station and no one was getting on the train or off we did wonder if we had got on the correct train, found out that we hadn't and were at the end of one of the tracks. We had to wait on the train for 20mins to head back to Montreoux whilst waiting, the train that we were meant to be on flew past us, in the end we made it back in time for the next train to Aigle. Once we got back to the Mon Sejour we had plenty of time to chill out before our recovery road ride.
Chris did do a good job. He's in fine form!
As we settled into the night the boys decided they needed to get a wee haircut from our mechanic, Chris which he is also one of Paige and I's athletes for the kilo. Chris never stops; he clocks up numerous hours to get our bikes in their best shape and form for when we need them now he is also willing to make our boys look the best off the bike too. We thought that the guys should all go for the David Beckham/Chris O'Conner look as you see above the end result is spot on, others in the team may not have had the same haircut but we all get the gist of it. We can all agree that it's better looking than having them get their hair dyed! 

Thank you for taking your time and reading through the wee adventures and you enjoyed it. Hope all is well :) 

Au Revior!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Onwards and upwards to Moscow.

The boys at the top of a climb. 
Bonjour! We have finished our 2nd day of training and the sensations throughout the team so far are très bonne! We have all experienced being on the track; have got to say that it is rather fast and mentally demanding because of its length. We have been for quite a few walks around the little village, their coffee goes pretty good, which makes life so much happier...nothing worse than a bad coffee! The hills that surround Aigle are amazing! Can’t say I will be climbing them anytime soon in my life, I’m thinking staying on the flat roads for now...but the endurance boys were lucky enough to have Dream take them up an 8ishkm climb which would have been lovely, if only.
Enjoying the weather!

Flying from Invercargill where it was snowing only 2 days before I left and coming to Aigle the weather here is a real treat, so I am trying to make the most of it and hope the weather sticks around. We ride from the Mon Sejour to and from the track for training and we also have had our main meals except breakfast there for the past few days.

Out and about.
Training has been so far so good, was behind le moto/scooter today driven or riden by the wonderful sprint coach John Rastrick...AKA JR. That was also his training for the day after going for a run this morning...yes I did say a run, yes sprinters are able to do that! As a tradition, all coaches and staff members that are on the campaign have to do a Kilo. So this year JR and Chris - our mechanic will be in fine form because they will be lead by myself and Paige...will definitely let everyone know how our fine athletes do!


The BNZ team. 'Save the Kiwi'.
I just would like to say congratulations to the cooperate pursuit team that I was helping out alongside Peter Grandeik, the BNZ team. They did a wicked time trial and I think we were all stoked that we made the Div 1 category showing a massive improvement from last year, but unfortunately I was unable to attend the fun fulfilled final night! I hope everything went well and you guys had a blast and congratulations to the other team involved and of course the winners, Div1 - Police 1 and for Div 2 – YMCA.

Cheers.