Archive for March, 2014

Late last year a young Queensland rider had an accident on the way home from a club race.  As he was descending a hill he hit a pothole, tried to keep upright, and in so doing ended up ploughing into the back of a parked car.  A few inches either way and it could well have been a much worse outcome.

CyclingDad told the story at the time (with a blog called There but by the grace of God); written from the point-of-view of a cycling parent and that this sort of accident could happen to any of us.  It was the most viewed post in the short history of this blog with over 3000 views in two-days.

Others in the cycling community were equally touched by Seb’s predicament with a number of the Victorian riders in Seb’s age-group organising a collection at the Melbourne round of the NJTS.  This was supported by the NJTS organisers and everyone who attended was very generous.  The goal was to try and raise money towards a replacement bike for Seb as his got written off in the crash.

Seb being given the bucket of money raised for him at the NJTS.

Seb being given the bucket of money raised for him at the NJTS.

Well, the good news is Seb is back riding, and better than that, he’s back racing.  With the help of money raised (some $1200) and the support of a local bike shop he’s riding a nice new Giant and is even entered to race at the upcoming Australian Junior Mountain Climb Championships up Mt Buffalo.

CyclingDad asked Seb some questions and these are his answers:

How’s the recovery coming along?

I am recovering very well thank you, everything is very close to being healed, the only thing that hasn’t healed yet is the radial nerve in my left arm, so I’m wearing a splint but it’s getting better and I’m coping very well.

What can you remember from the accident?

I can remember everything up until 3 minutes before my accident, going over a small hill on my way home with dad, and then nothing until I woke up in hospital, after coming out of the coma. The pain wasn’t bad until they stopped giving me the very strong pain medication. The pain once I came home was very bad at times and I wasn’t able to do things like showering and dressing myself.  I needed a chair for the shower and needed a lot of help for a while; it was very frustrating after going from being so fit and healthy, to being so reliant on others and losing all of my fitness and lots of muscle, I looked very small and skinny, I lost just under 5kg in the 9 days I was in hospital.

What did you think about all the support you got from the cycling community?

It was really amazing the support I got from the cycling community. I didn’t think people from all around Australia would help out so much and send me so many nice messages, it was a big surprise to me.

What are your goals for this coming road season?

My goals for this road season would be to get a good result at the Canberra Junior Tour and Nationals; if I can get some good result at these competitions I would be very happy.

What have you learnt from this whole ordeal?

That when bad things happen, if you stay positive and work hard you can get better. I’ve also learnt there are many nice people out there who are very supportive and willing to help when you aren’t doing so well.

Can you take away anything from what you’ve been through and offer it as advice for other juniors?

Always stay alert when out riding and look out for potholes.  Stay positive when things aren’t going so well for you and be grateful for everything you have, there are many worse off than you.

If you happen to see Seb up at Buffalo, be sure to introduce yourself and ask him how he’s travelling.

Stay safe out there…

CyclingDad

 

Wow!  Some awesome results at the recent Junior Track Nationals.  Thanks heaps to Christian Beitzel for keeping all that weren’t in Sydney abreast of what was going on with his ‘as live’ GoogleDoc results (link below).  Seems strange that there are live results for all four rounds of the NJTS but not for what’s meant to be the pinnacle event on the junior track calendar?

JM17 Flying 200m Record Holder, Ryan Schilt, stalks his prey in an early round of the sprint.  Ryan went on to win Gold.

JM17 Flying 200m Record Holder, Ryan Schilt, stalks his prey in an early round of the sprint. Ryan went on to win Gold.

And mentioning results: no less than five records were broken and one set (from my count) with the Victorian JM17’s breaking two records (Team Pursuit & Team Sprint) and the JW17’s setting one (Team Pursuit – first year with four riders over 3000m), WA’s Tahlay Christie breaking Courtney Field’s Flying 200m record and Kerrie Meares 16-year-old 500m TT record.  Legend has it that Kerrie was sporting discs and full TT bike set-up when she set that record – not sure if this is true or not – but either way some amazing strength and speed shown by Tahlay (she also won Gold in the Keirin and, no disrespect to Mitch Wright at all, but how Tahlay wasn’t Champion-of-Champions is beyond me!?!?).   And all of the top four JM17’s broke the old 500m TT record with Cam Scott coming out on top and being the first under-17 rider to break the magic 33-second barrier (something Anna Meares has only recently been able to do with a 32.836WR in Mexico late last year!).

Part of the all conquering #TeamVic - the JW17 girls set a record for the new format TP (4-girls over 3000m).

Part of the all conquering #TeamVic – the JW17 girls set a record for the new format TP (4-girls over 3000m).

It seems like two-years on the bigger gear especially helped the sprinters and in the team events… but does anyone else think it odd that neither of the Individual Pursuit records have been broken since the change up?  Jackson Law’s record was threatened by Victoria’s James Tickner in qualifying, but he was unable to get any closer than 1.6-seconds to Law’s impressive 2:18.279.  In the JW17, no one was able to come within 5-seconds of Rachael Linke’s 1996 IP record of 2:29.570, again, this record could have been set pre-junior restrictions, not sure about this one?

IMO, stand-out riders across the age-categories were:

JW15

  • Apart from the usual suspects who showed themselves in the NJTS, in Georgia Cummings, Sarah Gigante and Alana Field, the revelations were Queensland sprinters Skye Robson (Gold in the Sprint, Silver in the TT) and Courtney Patterson (Bronze in the TT), along with teammate, Alexandria Martin-Wallace (Gold in the Scratch Race).  Also a great result for NT’s Eve Marker (Bronze in the Scratch Race), who left home to live with her aunty in Tassie to be near a velodrome in the lead-up to the championships.

JM15

  • There were no real surprises here as all medallists had all shown themselves throughout the NJTS: NSW’s Mitch Wright (4 Golds and a Bronze) and Zac Marshall (3 Medals), the ACT’s Matt Rice (Gold in the TT and fastest qualifier in the Sprint) and Tassie’s Ronin Munro (2 Silvers) where the stand-outs… with promising performances from Victorian duo Nathan Bof and Angus Collins to name just two emerging riders.

JW17

  • Some new names came to the fore in this category: Queensland’s Kristina Clonan, SA’s Kate Branson and Tasmania’s Morgan Gillon all walked away with medals and ensured pre-event favourite, Victoria’s Ruby Roseman-Gannon, had a real fight on her hands. Roseman-Gannon did manage Gold in the points race to go with her Gold in the TP and Bronze in the IP.  While I mentioned the incredible sprint performances of Tahlay Christie above, honourable mentions should go to Queensland’s Brook Tucker (3 Silvers) and Victoria’s Brit Jackson (2 Bronze) amongst the fast girls.

JM17

  • Cam Scott has been the stand-out rider of his year for the past four-years – and a worthy and humble champion he is.  It was good to see him challenged though, particularly by a well drilled Victorian outfit.  Ryan Schilt, Tom McFarlane and Conor Rowley met him head-on in the sprint events… he still managed to take home Gold in the TT, Points Race and Scratch Race, with Silver in the Sprint and Bronze in the Keirin.  Schilt was impressive, especially his ride to take Gold in the Sprint final and no one could believe Godfrey Slattery was bottom-age, but for me it was Tom McFarlane’s performances in winning Gold in the Keirin and Team Sprint, along with Bronze in the Sprint and 4th in the TT that amounted to the biggest step up.  And he comes from some pretty good stock with his dad, Dave, a past-National RR Champ!

A couple of other conclusions:

  • The Victorian team benefited from a specific training program that, for many of the riders, started back in October last year.  They were fit, ready and well drilled – especially in the team events.  Hilton Clarke Snr and Laurie Norris along with CV can take much of the credit for these results.
  • The new events – the keirin and the points race – were definite winners offering more riders more opportunities to race.  Plus from all reports they were terrific races with only a crash in the JM17 points race causing any lasting damage to athletes.
The keirin, an exhibition event last year, made its debut as a medal event at these Championships.

The keirin, an exhibition event last year, made its debut as a medal event at these Championships.

  • Queensland’s commitment to the NJTS paid big dividends with its strongest performance for a number of years.  CQ subsidise their riders to attend NJTS events.
  • It was NSW’s worst result in years – only saved by standout performances from Scott and Wright.  There was discontent amongst many parents that they just didn’t do enough team training in the lead-up.
  • It was probably WA’s worst result in some time too.  Maybe this was due to Victoria’s dominance or just the cyclical nature of the states share of talent?  Probably a bit of both.
  • A lot of coaches thought the program was tough on the athletes… but most of the riders found it a walk in the part compared to a round of the NJTS!

Keen to hear others thoughts on the event… what was good, what still needs work?

Keep spinning

CyclingDad

Chris Beitzel’s results can be found here (including splits for the timed events)

Thanks to Robin Dunk for the photos