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We began racing the crits on the 2nd of January in Geelong’s Botanic Gardens.  Being pursuiters, we weren’t expecting any major results out of the short, sprint-like racing, but rather to get some quality intensity sessions, and to test our back/gluteal injuries we have both carried over the past few years.

Sarah:

I went into the racing with an open mind and looking forward to testing out where my fitness was at.  It would be my first intense block since winning the World Cup in Melbourne in early December.  The first race was a shock to my system, and my body didn’t handle it too well with strong winds and a fairly steep power climb every lap and I had to eventually pull out.

The 2nd day in Portarlington was also brutal, but I coped much better on this day and got into a steady rhythm.  My back would usually seize up after 10minutes on this sort of circuit, but with the help of Rocktape, I got a solid 30minutes before I experienced any aches and pains.

On the 3rd hotdog course on the Geelong waterfront, I was told to go for it from the start and put the hammer down to stretch out the field for as long as I could.  I enjoyed doing this as I was in control and it’s what I feel most comfortable doing, even though in doing so I also ripped off my own legs.  Here and on the final day at Williamstown, I held on for as long as I could, given I was out of my comfort zone.  I just had to grit the teeth and keep pushing and focus on the good training it was giving me in preparation for the World Cup in 2 weeks.

Overall, I was happy with my performance and hope to keep improving on my weaknesses in racing crits.  Having Rocktape on board with me helped me to get me through a tough 4 days of racing.  The Rocktape also helped me maintain my correct posture on the bike and help support the muscles surrounding my back, which I use to compensate when the fatigue starts to set in.

Ash:

The Bay Series Criteriums signalled my return to racing after having an extensive amount of time off the bike due to injury.  So like Sarah I wasn’t expecting much out of these crits and they were treated like a block of training.  On day 1 I was just told to sit in and get a feel for racing again.  I surprised myself considering I have done little to no intensity training sessions.  I didn’t finish but did successfully close down a dangerous breakaway, and lasted until one lap to go.  My glute and back held up great with the Rocktape on both areas.  I had no pain during or after the race.

Day 2 at Portarlington was a day to forget, as I didn’t last very long.  I twinged my back and my glute was in a lot of pain, so I decided to pull out rather than risk seriously injuring myself with a pre Beijing World Cup camp coming up.

Day 3 and I decided not to race anymore of the Bay Series, as I wasn’t prepared to risk further injury when my focus is on the track.

So for the next 2 days I just trained and watched the racing.  It was hard not competing, but I have got a lot coming up on the track and I want to be 100% for that.  As along with Sarah and our other team mate, I have a World Championship to win.