3 February 2022
I’ve embarked on an adventure of a lifetime to Europe! Stepping onto the plane in Dubbo was the beginning of my dream coming true, even with a long-haul flight in front of me!
Arriving at Alicante, Spain, was surreal. Located on Spain’s sun-drenched Costa Blanca, it’s a Mediterranean paradise from the palm-lined esplanade along the harbor to the Moorish castle looming above. The mild weather here is quite a shock too, especially coming from a hot Dubbo summer!
Here, I got to meet my new team for a training camp - IBCT Women's continental team. Luckily, I instantly formed friendships and connections with my new teammates and staff. This training camp was all about performing a few different efforts and exercises within the team environment. I’m grateful that I got a chance to form some close bonds before the season started..
16 February 2022
Today, we flew from sunny Spain to rainy Belgium where I was able to settle in and explore my new ‘home’. I am staying at an awesome bike hotel called the ‘Flandrien Hotel’ in Brakel Belgium which was co-founded by an Aussie ex-pat Jamie Anderson. The location of the hotel is awesome for exploring Flanders by bike. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to stay here, and I have even had the pleasure of meeting Gary Sutton and Heinrich Housler during my stay at the Flandrien.
1 March 2022
My first race! I’m really excited about the challenge! And the new experience!
My teammates and I wore the IBCT team kit in the Le Samyn des Dames. The nerves bubbled heading into this race because of the cobbled sections (I’ve only ridden cobbles a handful of times leading into this race), and it was my first ever European women’s UCI road race.
The challenges came in quick and fast! I had a mechanical 2km into the race (just out of neutral zone) which saw me having to change bikes. I regained my position in the peloton and was feeling really good. I had settled into the pack and was holding my own. At the 70km mark (30km to go) we hit a cobbled section and I heard a tyre blow. I remember thinking that's unlucky for someone until I realised that someone was me! Whilst waiting for my team car to give me a new wheel, I watched the peloton ride away. I’d lost connection with the peloton. But it didn’t stop me from finishing the race - I crossed the line!
I’ve definitely gained confidence from the entire experience as I head into upcoming races. I’m more determined knowing that I can hold my own against the world's best!
4 March 2022
It’s been a rollercoaster of challenges. From entering a foreign country where English is their second language, shopping for groceries, riding on the opposite side of the road and even the brakes on my bike are opposite! However, I have adjusted to all these new changes and have settled in nicely now!
Moving to the other side of the world has really made me appreciate the constant encouragement, guidance, and mentoring from the Dubbo Cycle Club, Gus Dawson, Vaughn Eather, and my beautiful family and friends. Everyone has played a massive part in my life and helped to make this adventure happen. This support has definitely guided me to become the determined lady I am!