Last ride in the Dandesongs (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

An Aussie’s Journey to the M1 Project

After finishing my 2014 season, with our Nationals being in January, it’s straight into pretty much full gas training whilst being careful not to overcook it as it’s a long year ahead!

Being in Australia I’m lucky enough that it’s currently our summer while it looks like all of Americas is going through a cold spell!

In late November I headed up to Bright for a week of training with some mates in Victoria’s Alpine region. This is one of my favourite places to train and is jam packed during summer with cyclists racking up the gourmet kilometres! I stayed with a bunch of top blokes from local Melbourne team Stay True Racing, which ensured the week was filled with laughter!

Stu climbing up towards the top of Falls Creek (Photo credit: Unknown)

Stu climbing up towards the top of Falls Creek
(Photo credit: Unknown)

Top of Tawonga Gap (Photo credit: Unknown)

Top of Tawonga Gap
(Photo credit: Unknown)

This week was closely followed by the Tour of Bright where a large amount of guys come to race and then spend a week or two after up there making for a great little training camp! This is exactly what I did, this time staying with some mates from various Aussie continental teams and spending the days training with my coach Greg Henderson.

The rewarding view after a dirt climb to The Horn on top of Mt Buffalo (Photo credit: Unknown)

The rewarding view after a dirt climb to The Horn on top of Mt Buffalo
(Photo credit: Unknown)

I’m lucky that Bright is only a couple of hours away and after a great week, I headed home for the Shimano Super Criterium the next day. Most of the top Aussie pros come down for this race, chasing the big prize money on the line!

Nathan trying a late race solo break racing for the Rockit Barber Shop team put together for this race! (Photo credit: JXPPhotography)

Nathan trying a late race solo break racing for the Rockit Barber Shop team put together for this race!
(Photo credit: JXPPhotography)

After Christmas, in preparation for Nationals, I headed up to Falls Creek with my mates Nick and Joel to spend over a week training up in the hills again. Falls is up at altitude and with the temperature at sea level being 35-40degrees Celsius, it makes for perfect training as you can roll down and ride around down the bottom but stay in the cool mountain air up top! We were very lucky to have Joel’s mate Josh let us stay at his five star penthouse at Huski! What a legend!

Nice sunset up on falls Creek (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

Nice sunset up on falls Creek
(Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

The sweet view from our apartment! (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

The sweet view from our apartment!
(Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

After the great week at the Falls, I headed to Ballarat for the National Road race.

The National Champs Road Race consists of 18x11km laps of a circuit that includes a 3km climb each lap. It’s normally a race of attrition which is just what I like! With Simon Gerrans out after breaking his collarbone, the race was a lot less predictable and very aggressive. Unfortunately I missed the winning break that slipped away with 50km to go, on a flat part of the circuit, after being in a bad position. I got unhitched from the next/main bunch on the road that included Cadel Evans and Richie Porte on the last lap with about 5km left to race but the break was already gone with Heinrich Haussler taking a great win.

One of my favourite riders, Heino, after getting the jersey! (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

One of my favourite riders, Heino, after getting the jersey! (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

Shortly after Nationals I headed across to Adelaide to join my good mate Mark O’Brien, who rides for Avanti Racing Team, and his family for a holiday on the beach in Glenelg. This coincided with the Tour Down Under, so the week was spent racking up some long hours on the bike whilst trying to see as much of the race as we could. Tones of cyclists flood the town during the week and I also enjoyed riding around with my mates from local Melbourne team Stay True Racing.

After getting home from Adelaide, I headed down to my local velodrome to watch Jack Bobridge try and break the hour record. There was a massive build up to the night and the atmosphere in the velodrome was electric! Unfortunately he just missed out by 500m!

Jack Bobridge trying to break the hour record (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

Jack Bobridge trying to break the hour record (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

A few weeks ago one of my best mates Nick also attempted the hour record. After somewhat getting roped into it and only having two weeks preparation, he managed a fantastic 48.275 kilometers. Not bad for someone that’s only ridden the track once before this! Looking forward to him having a proper crack, stay tuned!

“Benz Dawg” smashing it (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

“Benz Dawg” smashing it
(Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

Apparently the hour record hurts……..a lot (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

Apparently the hour record hurts……..a lot
(Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

On a non-cycling related note, I went and saw my favourite band the Foo Fighters on the weekend. After waiting since 2011 to see them again, fair to say it was an amazing night. I have also now completed my last rides here in Oz and can’t wait to get over to Canada on Thursday!

The Fooies! Got close enough I think! (Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)

The Fooies! Got close enough I think!
(Photo credit: Nathan Elliott)