- Published: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 06:12
- Written by Mel Hoskins
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. For those of you who have looked at my website and bio you will know enough about me now to know that I love sport and can't sit still for long periods of time. It’s the way I’m wired. Mum, Dad and my sister Jess are much the same and funnily enough, so is my boyfriend, Rohan Dennis.
It will probably come as no surprise that I always have a full diary, juggling track and road seasons doesn't leave much time to stop and smell the roses. The 2014 season will be no exception and my first 4 months have passed in the blink of an eye.
January started with a track camp in Adelaide leading into the 2014 Australian Track Nationals, a selection event for those hoping to represent Australia at the World Track Championships in Cali, Colombia in February. This year was a little different Commonwealth Games year so a successful Nationals campaign doubly important.
So far, so good. My Nationals campaign was a success securing selection for the World Track Championships and the long list for the Commonwealth Games Track Team.
This year I was given the opportunity to ride in the Tour of Qatar with the Orica-AIS Team and my thanks must go to the AIS High Performance Staff who saw it is an opportunity to assess the impact of a road race on my Track form so close to the World Track Championships.
There was though just one snag. I had to leave for Qatar before the Track Nationals were finished. I skipped the last day of Nationals and headed off to Qatar. Thankful it turned out to be a success. I was competitive in Qatar and I was able to return to the track with no sign of fatigue or loss of track form. Winner!
The World Titles went came and went. A bit blunt? Well maybe, but it’s true. It was my 3rd tilt at a World Title, the last 2 had failed to reach the goal set in Melbourne 2012. There we secured silver there but it felt like gold, considering where we had come from. We felt that we were close to breaking through.
It’s not that we aren't doing everything right or everything wrong, there is just a lot more competition now, more challenges and challengers. This year we secured bronze and nothing to scoff at, trust me. I’m proud of myself, my team and my coach. It’s not the result we are chasing. We were the hunters, not the hunted. Sometimes being an underdog is all the motivation that is needed. It worked in 2012. Why not in 2015, or even 2016? Only time will tell.
It was time to leave the Track and get back to Road racing. From Cali I headed straight to my ‘second’ home, Girona, Spain. It’s been 5 months since I left Girona, I had missed it and was looking forward to spending a month there with Rohan, recovering from the summer of Track and rebuilding for the 2014 European Road season which was already in full swing.
Riding road and track leaves you with little time to holiday or just have a break, so being able to stay in one place for a month, and unpack the suitcase, brings its own relief. To say I was looking forward to it, is an understatement.
First race for me on my calendar was the Energwacht Tour in the Netherlands. Five days and 6 Stages starting on the 9th and finishing on the 13th April. It was a race which sure told my body to wake up! Not only were the elements challenging but so was the wind, the roads and the 186 starters that came with it. The best way to describe it is like an elimination race. If you aren’t up the front, you risk being an early casualty. The narrow roads and corners invariably result in a long single train, drop the wheel or crash and it’s probably game over for those left behind.
I made it through the 5 days without incident. Being my first race back it was more an opportunity to find the race legs and help my teammates achieve their goals in general classification and stage wins. So it was my turn to be domestique and look after them during the races as best I could. Keeping them in good position and making sure they had enough food and drink. Gracie Elvin was the lucky recipient of my company for most of the days along with Loes Gunnewijk, our trophy Dutchie.
Coming off a solid week of racing I was happy with where I was at. Yea, I didn’t have the best sprint legs or race form but having this race under my belt is a good platform to build on. Gave me the chance to work for the girls who previously have spent time looking out for me.
Now you’re up to date with my season so far. Next week I head back to the Netherlands for a one day race called Gelderland but for now I'm going to sit back relax and maybe bake something delicious!
Adios for now,
Race reports Energwacht: