James Thompson is a Kangaroo Point Cycling Club Member who rides for Queensland Academy of Sport and TeamTLD. In this article he writes about his recent experience travelling with the Under 19 team to the World Championships.
Heading over to Italy to prepare/train/race and learn before we head over to Spain for the World Championships was such a great experience for all us boys that had been selected (Jai Hindley)(Michael Storer) (Lucas Hamilton) and I. We had some bad hiccups during the preparation as all of us got sick with a cold/flu at one point which dragged us down and not being able to train to our full potential. Lucas had a bad knee injury which stopped him from racing all the lead up races and the majority of training which was bad news for all of us.
The races we had done in preparing for worlds were a really good experience in leading up to our major race. We raced in Italy and did one Tour in Switzerland. All of us weren’t overly happy on the courses as the majority of them weren’t hilly enough to split the bunches apart until the finish.
During our last week overseas we all flew over to Spain for the World Championships, we got there on a Saturday and our road race wasn’t until the next Saturday so we got plenty of time to get some good last training in. When the time came for our race it was full on, Team buses mixing in with the pro riders and being treated like one too which was pretty cool, just the feel of all the crowd and barriers and helicopters and people wanting photos with all of us.
During the race in the first 5kms we all got in a crash but none of us injured so we got back on no problem except for Lucas who had his bike snapped in half and was un able to get a spare bike on time so that was his race over. Jai, Michael and I were still in the bunch of 200 riders and feeling good, there were a few breakaways that were going off the front but nothing serious.
Our course was a 7 lap circuit of 18kms and over 2000meters climbing. As it came down to the last lap we were all still there in the front bunch of only 40 riders so it had split quite a lot over the race. We tried our hardest on the final climb and nothing could be done as there were still 45 strong riders left until the finish, in our team we didn’t have any sprinters to finish it off so we had no chance in the sprint.
Overall I think all the guys and I had a great experience of our first World Championships, the whole trip is definitely one to remember.
Text adapted from Cycling Queensland.