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Rest week this week and no riding today so I thought I continue my little excursion into the past with part II of my Tour de Tablelands adventures.
In February 2005 we moved from Cairns to Brisbane for better job opportunities and a “big city” lifestyle. Cairns, whilst beautiful, had gotten a little too small for us. I changed job shortly after our move so I wasn’t able to take leave to race the Tour in 2005. In fact I didn’t ride my bike much at all for the first few months in Brisbane, gained six or so kilos and was fairly unfit by the time I lined up for my first race in Brisbane in June that year. I found the number of cycling clubs and available races in Brisbane very overwhelming at first. In Cairns there was one club and one race and that was it! We picked a Hamilton Pine River Wheelers road race in Elimbah and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was racing D-Grade and got dropped on the very first little hill. Familiar feeling …
In 2006 I was keen to give the Tour a good go again. Alberto couldn’t join me due to work commitments so I flew up to Cairns by myself. Mick, a cycling friend of ours, picked me up from the airport and he had also booked and organised a beautiful little self-contained two bedroom cottage in Yungaburra where I stayed together with Mick’s wife Cecily and another good old cycling friend Bruce, who came up from Melbourne for the Tour. Cecily, not a cyclist herself but married to one for many many years, knows more about race nutrition and recovery food than I and she went shopping and cooked and looked after us like the best soigneur in the world couldn’t have done better. So we could really focus on just racing. I was immensely nervous. I had told everybody that my goal was a Top Ten finish but deep inside I was doubting that this was a realistic goal at all. Secretly I was worried sick that I would get dropped again. I wasn’t sure if I could keep going again as the frustration and humiliation would have been unbearable.
… to be continued …