A few months back, we featured upcoming semi-professional cyclist, Dylan Davies on our blog. Every week, he will be writing entries as we follow him his trip to Australia. You can check out his adventures on instagram under #lvstk_dylan
" Over twenty eight hours of travel via a layover in Guangzhou airport in China landed me in Melbourne on Saturday morning. Determined to make sure I shook the jet lag I put together my bike and made sure I didn't fall asleep by a guided tour of Melbourne's finer cafés with Erin. Coffee culture in Melbourne is taken very seriously, and really produces some of the best coffees I have ever had. Sunday was spent the same way, spinning around the city to get the legs a stretch, and shake the last of the sleep out of them.
Monday morning I woke up to get moving on a three and a half hour training ride along the coast leaving Melbourne to the east. Funny enough it felt a little like home, raining the first two hours and overcast, though Vancouver winter doesn't boast the same UV index, and I actually got a very mild sunburn, without ever actually seeing the sun.
Tuesday, Christmas eve, Erin took me to the Brunswick velodrome. A concrete 333m track in the middle of her neighborhood actually, we rode for maybe five minutes before I was warming up and doing a workout on a track well loved and covered in graffiti. Totally my jams.
Christmas day was spent mostly enjoying the time to sleep in, and spinning the legs around the city, with an orphans Christmas in a park under a sun that was boasting temperatures over 30°.
This morning, Thursday morning, we woke up at 4:00am and were headed to an airport for a 7:30 flight to Launceston, Tasmania. This was the start of a long day. I was racing in Latrobe, a different town altogether, and staying in Devonport, about 12kms away. We hopped a bus in the early afternoon that put us in Devonport for 3:00, our home stay Chris picked us up and I reassembled my road bike, for the first race I'll be doing during my week of carnivals.
This first race actually was a criterium, not a track race. A short-circuit road race circling two long blocks of the town. The long straights and overall flat course suited my strengths, even though before the race I was nervous, training for shorter races on the track left me concerned I would be left behind by several brand name pros I saw circling around the course warming up including riders from WorldTour pro teams like Orica-Green Edge, Belkin Pro-Cycling and Shimano-Argos.
It turns out I had a really great race. Even though the pace was drilled from the start, the pros and some teams pushing up the pace to thin out the peloton a bit. I ended up attacking the field at an opportune moment, riding away solo for over a lap before being bridged by two riders and we rolled a break away for another three laps before being being caught by the group.
Settling in to recover from my effort I paced myself and kept near the front to make sure that as the pros kept drilling the pace I wouldn't get stuck behind others blowing out the back. I moved right to the front with three laps to go, and was there when the pace exploded for the sprint at the end, but was only able to manage 12th. Which, is actually pretty respectable, considering the field.
My home stay family treated us to a lovely home prepared dinner on their patio in this insanely beautiful city. Tasmania is state that is undeniably beautiful almost everywhere I look. I don't know the last time I enjoyed just over two hours on a bus quite so much!
As I write this I am lying with my feet up against the wall, as tomorrow is the first of the track events for the week. Again in Latrobe, again with fast, fast dudes, many of whom specialize solely on the track. I hope my good form carries through and I can ride like I did today all week. "
Check Dylan Davies out on http://shredordead.ca or on instagram: @shredordead