12 June 2009


Once more I have been letting my mother and all of my regular readers down since... well... I can't even remember when I last wrote something for my blog.
It's a loooong story, but I have been enjoying life in England settling into the new team and surroundings (but not enjoying my 'personal' side of the cycling so much).
Right now I'm in Quebec, Canada with the team, doing the Tour de Beauce and celebrating Matt Cronshaw's win in the Crit! Two days ago Darren Lapthorne won a stage as well and Tommy Southam is sitting pretty on 10th on GC, so all in all I think it is fair to say that we are having fun.
Some pretty cool pictures and stories from the tour so far, so with a bit of effort I might just overcome my usual procrastination and actually share them with you.
Now I need to get some sleep though. Two stages to come. Should be fun!

20 February 2009


Sunny Africa my love! Here I come!
Sitting in Gatwick on my down to SA for the Tour de Boland, Giro del Capo and of course the Argus after a lovely week in Spain. Although training was not the best due to some cool photo shoots and my leg still nagging me (more in my mind than anything else) I am looking forward to the early trip home.
Just hopped across the channel chatting to a Saffa Expat, chatting all the way and loving every moment of it. Amusing how the most arbitrary trips can end up being become something special cause of a good chat!
I just love the way things turn out

10 February 2009

Late Morocco Pic

I was just sent a few pictures from the African Champs in Morocco, back in November last year.
Unfortunately I still don't have any photos from the actual contact with my dear Moroccan friend, but at least I now have this pic. Notice how close to the line and to the banners he is ;)
Thanks Theresia.

09 February 2009

Chilly Times

Training in the UK has not been quite as bad as I had expected. Which means that I have actually been able to train as opposed to sitting in the house all day sulking.
Somehow my body seems to have acclimatised to a reasonable extent and I have been out and about in three degrees with snow covered fields and freezing toes and fingers. That means the rides have not been as long as they would have been back home and I'm nervous to find out how that works out down the line.
At least the team's off to Spain again soon, so we'll get in some more miles there and I hope to have a bit more power than the last time we were there.
For now I'm just happy to be healthy and in a good mindset concerning the cold. Fun and games!
*Pics are from the plane on our way back to Manchester Airport after the first training camp in Spain and a look out of my bedroom window after another nice and chilly night.

30 January 2009

Rapha-Condor 2009

Although the last weeks seemed to take forever to go by, the time to jump on board an Air Namibia Boeing and jet into London finally came.
I landed in a cold and wet London, Friday 23 Jan and headed over to the Rapha offices to meet some of my new sponsors as well as new team mates. After an amusing afternoon there and a quick stop over at our accommodation for the night we moved on to the posh Hotel Malmaison for the team presentation.
I was asked to introduce the bike to the crowds so had a few nervous moments in the spotlight and froze nicely when we went outside for a team photo!
Other than that the night went by in a flash as there was always something to do and somebody to talk to. Had a ball.
After that I had two nights in my new house for the next few months before flying out to Malaga, Spain, for the teams second training camp. While every else is enjoying the sun and warmth, I have a sore throat from the cold... Not what I had in mind, but then again, also nothing new or different for my return to chilly Europe.
I'm already feeling a lot better so after two overly cautious days I hope to be out on the bike again for a proper ride in the morning.
One observation using a piece of Davide's old wisdom's. A teams spirit is measured by their actions at the dinner table. As everyone only gets up about 15minutes after the last person finished eating I think we are headed in a very good direction!

17 January 2009

Alive n Kicking!

Don't I just love doing my disapearing act!? Especially at this time of year.
Do forgive me for not updating my blog much, but every offseason I just go home, put my legs up and tend to forget about everything. Which of course includes my blog, my RIDE article and in many cases, good behaviour...
But all of that is over for another few months and I am back on the bike and working at building up for what must be my most exciting year so far!
A new team, a new country, a new level and just about everything else! all makes for a lot of excitement and my nerves are starting to go balistic as my departure date comes ever closer and closer. Only five more days now and I am off to London to join my new Rapha-Condor team mates for our team presentation. Shortly after that we hop across the pond to Malaga in Spain for a training camp (Mallorca is apparently too cold this year!?) and not long after that we fly down to the beloved Cape for the Giro del Capo and Argus! Can't wait!!!
In the mean time, I might have to learn to stay upright on my bike...
I had a little run in with my front quickrelease this morning, which lead me to getting up close and personal with the tarmac miliseconds afterwards...
One broken helmet, front wheel, rear deraileur and brand new pair of Giro sunglasses and RAPHA shirt later I think I perfected my new look for the upcoming team presentation.... :(
Sorry John!

15 December 2008

12-12-2008. FNB Desert Dash. 340km. Windhoek to Swakopmund

A few months ago I was sitting in Switzerland, all innocent and minding my own business when I received a mail confirming my entry to the Desert Dash. Solo. I had no idea about this and with a bit of investigation was able to find out that a certain mad Irishman had something to do with the entry.


So on Friday I lined up at the start of the event, completely under prepped and not knowing what I was letting myself in for… I spent as much time as possible trying to persuade people that I was not going to race as I had only just started training again and had no idea what lay ahead of me.


So much for that..

As planned I started with the leaders amongst the 211 strong field, but instead of slacking off as planned I clung to Mannie Heyman's wheel and was dragged into the desert at an alarming rate. Unable to offer much help with the pace making I hung on and decided to go until my body decided that it had enough.


By the 100km service point I was still with Mr Africa but gulped down a bit too much lasagne so once we started up again it was not long before I was struggling to hold the wheel over the extremely nasty rollers. Before I knew it I was on my own and riding towards the setting sun, trying to regain my breath and enjoying the one or two river crossings along the way.


By the mid way mark the night had well and truly set in and the full moon peeked out from behind the clouds every now and then, confusing me, making me think that a car had suddenly crept up on me. Truly amazing moonlight in the middle of the desert!


With 140km to go I thought another backup vehicle was about to pass me, but it turned out to be Willie Engelbrecht (riding in a two man relay team) with some serious lighting dripping off his incredibly snazzy MTB. We were able to exchange a few niceties when all of a sudden we hit some thick sand and he disappeared behind me. Later I found out that he'd punctured, but I was not very bothered. Put my head down and found an amazing rhythm (after 200km of MTBing!) and blasted off into the night.


On three occasions I thought I saw Mannie's lights off in the distance, but each time it turned out to be a car or my imagination playing games with me.


I was not impressed.


With 60km to go Willie's team made, Wim, was biting at my heels but thanks to his equally bright lights I could keep an eye on how far behind me he was. That was, until he decided to follow my stealthy example and ride with moon light alone. As I still had my red back light going, he knew exactly where I was, but I thought that he had dropped. Until all of a sudden I caught sight of a dark blur moving past on the opposite side of the road, trying to pass me.




After some choice words and hard pedalling I was panting, but on his wheel. Where I decided to stay, leaching for the time being. Problem was that 30km from the end Willie and Wim would get back together and keep on riding to the end, while I needed to refuel.


Fortunately there was a bit of chaos at the sign in and Marc Bass did a super fast refuel for me so after a few more choice words and hard pedalling I caught up to the pairing and some mad riding at full tilt ensued. Fortunately we were all sharing the work, but then realised that we were hurting ourselves for no reason. Mannie was long gone and there was no one behind us for nearly an hour.


From there I was very glad to take it easy till the end, as we cruised through the dark streets of Swakop with an escort (the marshals were still in bed, not expecting us so early) crossing the line at 4h28 a whole 13h28 after leaving Windhoek. 15 minutes behind Mannie and almost 10 hours before the last solo rider.


I'm still trying to recover as my body took a decent beating, but I am really impressed with how the legs handled it all. Evidently I have not lost all that much form from the last season.


What a great event. Certainly worth the trip up for the many South Africans who came up to join us.

Thanks Aiden and co. Job well done (just please change the last confusing loop through Swakop)! Pics to follow.

05 December 2008

more reading

Another very interesting read. Now we just need a few more people who think like Suzanne!

03 December 2008

Another worthy read

Cyclingfansanonymous is proving to be the undisputed leader in cycling journalism! Of course Pez and Cyclismag rock, but CFA just gets down to the nitty gritty like no one else.
Here is another amazing piece well worth a read

02 December 2008

Quote of the month (or of the last 6 months)

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.    Anonymous