Thuringen Tour

Here's a pic of the team...

From left to right: Meshy Holt, Michelle Hyland, Toni Bradshaw, Dale Tye, Me, and Jo Kiesanowski

Check out cyclingnews website for results of the Thuringen tour in Germany by clicking here.
6 days of hell!   But ALL excellent training.  Will update you soon.

Giro Donne - Italy, Friday July 2 – Sunday July 11, 2004

I didn’t have much time to get online during the Giro so sorry for the lack of race reports.  And now it seems so long ago – I’m struggling to remember the stages.  So I’ll keep this brief.
Our team, Bike NewZealand had the full quota of 8 riders – Jo Kiesanowski, Melissa Holt and Michelle Hyland (the 3 Olympic road riders) and Susie Wood, Toni Bradshaw, Dale Tye, Johanna Buick and myself.  There were 17 teams and 130 of the world’s best women road riders starting the Giro.  The tour consists of different stages each year.  This year it was based in Northern Italy, starting about 150km north of Venice.
Prologue: Pordenone, 2.8km
The tour didn’t start well for me with 2 crashes in the prologue.  The conditions were hideous – pitch black, thunder, lightning and heavy rain making a very slippery 2.8km.  It was ironic that the Mountain Biker in the team had the crashes!  It was at the start that I was summoned for random antidoping – Great!
Stage 1: Pordenone – Montereale Valcellina, 106km
This was a flat stage and there were many crashes throughout the race including one in the Neutral zone!!!  This made us even more nervous about the pace and the Euro riding.  The stage ended in a bunch sprint and Suz was up there to help Jo K who sprinted for 5th.  Excellent.
Stage 2: Montereale Valcellina – Monfalcone, 120km
Another flat stage.  And more crashes. Jo was up there again, finishing in the top 10.
Stage 3: Cornuda – Crocetta del Montello, 133km
This stage started with 4 laps of an 18km circuit which managed to stay together.  I unfortunately did not position myself well before the climb and crested just off the back of a group.  By the end this bunch had grown to 40!  Jo finished in the top 10.
Stage 4: Bareggio – Bareggio, 118km
This was a flat stage consisting of a circuit of 8 laps with many technical corners.  The final lap was crazy fast with the last 5km at 60kmph.  At this pace there were a couple of splits in the last kilometer.  Jo was up there in the top 10 again.
Stage 5: Leukerbad (Switzerland), 21km
This stage made for a long 4-hour transfer to and from Switzerland, however a positive was we passed through some spectacular scenery.  The uphill team time trial was cut from 45km to 21km due to traffic issues.  We had 5km on the flat before we hit the 16km hill.  I felt a lot more comfortable today.  Jo B and I set the pace on the hill.  The 3rd rider crossing the finish line dictates the team’s time and any riders dropped from the team get their own time.  Most teams tactically only finished with 3.  We finished with 5.
As initially planned Jo K pulled out of the tour after Stage 5, and was accompanied by Michelle, returning to the kiwi base in Limoux, France to continue their training for the Olympics.  The kiwi team was now down to 6.
Stage 6: Sovico – Lazzate, 102km
Hideous conditions!  Heavy rain and thunder and lightning, though it wasn’t cold.  Didn’t have a good day and finished with the laughing bunch.
Stage 7: Pozzadadda – Oggiono, 90km
Hilly stage.  3rd bunch.  Again my positioning before the hills let me down.  One day I will learn.
Stage 8: Oggiono – Magrelio Madonna of the Ghisallo, 91km
I knew that I had to position myself better for the final climb and finish up Madonna hill, a 10km climb.  But everyone had the same in mind and the big teams were on the front leading out their hill climbers so I didn’t have a show in getting close to the front.  We raced through a 1.5km tunnel which was pretty exciting – the pace didn’t slow.  And then had a very scenic ride along the lake front before hitting the climb.  The hill climb hurt!  It was very steep for the first 3km.  I wished I had a 27.  Then it flattened out before climbing again.  Needless to say the bunch splintered everywhere and riders finished in dribs and drabs.  I was glad when that was over.
Stage 9: Lesmo – Milan, 71km
The final stage had a few decent power climbs which split the bunch fairly early on in the race.  The pace never eased up and we were doing 50kmph into a head wind.  It was pretty cool to race on the autostrada which was very wide and smooth.  And the final 9km consisted of 3 laps of the circuit in Milan where the Men’s Giro d’Italia also finishes.  I finished with the bunch.  And was glad it was the final stage.
In general classification I finished 84th (definitely nothing to write home about).  But the Giro was an amazing learning experience for me.  The road racing is very different in Europe compared to the US so I can grow from this experience.  10 days of hard racing is the ideal training for the Olympics and after 8 days of recovery I will be looking forward to another 6 days of tour racing in Germany.
Many thanks to our team Management and support crew who all did a fantastic job and were a pleasure to be around: Jacques (team manager), Bob (mechanic), and Nick and Cyril (swannies).
For complete results click here.

I have put some new pics up in my Gallery and updated my Sponsors page.  Check it out.
I will get a brief report from the Giro up soon.

Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre Fundraising Dinner.

From: Peter Kohing
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 2:15 AM
Subject: Fundraing dinner for Robyn Wong - NZ Mountain
Biking Olympian

Hi there

I’m Peter Kohing, president of the Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre. We are organising a fundraising dinner to support Robyn Wong, NZ mountain Biking Olympian.

We have already sent the following info, out to a number of people. We hope yourmembers will be able to help us support Robyn too.

Robyn Wong - NZ Mountain Biking Olympian

The Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre is extremely proud and pleased that Robyn Wong has been selected to represent New Zealand in the Mountain Biking Event at the 2004 Olympic Games to be held in Athens, Greece, in August this year.

Not only has Robyn been a member of the Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre for many years, she is also the first New Zealand born Chinese to represent New Zealand at Olympic Games level.

She is the current New Zealand Senior Women’s Mountain Biking champion, and has a world ranking of 35.

To help Robyn in her quest for a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens next month – the Wellington Chinese Association with support from the
Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre is organising a Robyn Wong Fundraising Dinner at the Grand Century Restaurant on Sunday 18 July 2004 at 6.30 pm.

Tickets for this dinner cost $40 pp, table reservations can be made in groups of 10.

I hope you will be able to help us support Robyn by attending this Fundraising Dinner.

Please let me know if you wish to help us support Robyn.

Peter Kohing

Wellington Chinese Sports & Cultural Centre Inc
Email: Phone: 0 47865865 Mob:027