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Mark on the Podium at Canberra

mark_podium[1]  I am just writing to thank you for the donation you made  to help me get to Canberra in Australia and perform at the best I possibly could.  Firstly we flew to Auckland to meet the rest of the NZ team, then we flew to Sydney and drove to Canberra that day. Finally we reached our destination at 12pm. We stayed at the Australian Institute of Sport. We each got our own rooms.

Thursday and Friday were my days to relax and do a couple of training rides. We had a look around the city and the routes that the races were to be on.

Saturday came around pretty quick. The tour started off with a time trial of 16kms. I was placed 17th. After that my grade had a 55km road race, the course didn’t have one flat bit in it, either up or down, no chance for a rest. The bunch started out at 80-90 riders and by the finish it was down to 20 riders, I managed to make a little break in last 700 meters with 5 riders and then sprinted to victory to win the stage.

On Sunday I knew it was going to be another hard day with the same course in the morning as we did on Saturday afternoon. Two people managed to break away and we stayed away till the finish and then i managed to get third from the bunch kick. This was the ACT state road championships, so I came home with a bronze medal for the race.

The last stage was a criterium, I was placed 2nd going into it, so was really keen for a podium finish. It was a purpose built track and was very fast. In the last lap I was placed really well for the sprint, unfortunately I got court up behind another kiwi rider that had crashed and didn’t end up getting anywhere in the stage. I finished up 5th overall in the tour.

It was a great event. One of the things that was really hard to manage was the intense cold, it was very bitter being only minus 2  at the beginning of the morning stages.

I enjoyed being with the team and getting to know the other good riders in my grade.

It was a great experience, making all the training worth it and am very thank full for you donation.