My Year of Racing

This is my first blog post and I think the best way to start is by giving you all a little insight into my 2017 year of racing…

This post is not that exciting as I didn’t want to get into all the details, I mean it would turn into a twenty page essay if I did. So its pretty much a summary of my year!

The Begining

I started the season with a pretty good idea with what I was planning on doing. I had plenty of racing in New Zealand, Australia and I had also planned a trip to America and Canada to do some racing with a couple of friends.

The year started off with a bang and I become the National U23 time trial champion! This was such a huge accomplishment for me and was the perfect way to start the year. I then raced in Australia doing my first ever UCI races as part of the New Zealand road team; Tour Down Under, Race Melbourne and Cadel Evens Road Race. I was then back home doing local races for the Mike Greer Homes Women Cycling Team, before heading back to Australia for Oceania’s.

I then got an opportunity of a life time. And this was to race for an American UCI women’s cycling team – Team Illuminate. At first I was unsure of whether to join with the team, I had already organised my year and I didn’t want to drop the commitments I had already made with others. I only knew one rider on the team, and was a little scared about jumping into the unknown.

However, I knew an opportunity like this would open so many doors for myself, and anyway life is about taking risks and exploring the unknown.

A changing point

After a camp in Australia and a little family holiday/more hard training in Noosa, I was on a flight by myself to San Francisco. I was so excited and anxious but ready to go explore what America had to offer! My first few days where pretty overwhelming as I was meeting new people and I was half way around the world from home. However, everyone around me was so friendly and I quickly started to feel less nervous, but not for long as I was about to start my first ever world tour! Arhhhhh, I was defiantly scared, but the team around me defiantly helped calm those nerves and I quickly became excited to race and enjoyed every moment of the tour.

The rest of the trip flew by and I got to stay and train in Menlo park, the riding there was awesome and I cant wait to go back again one day. I then traveled over to the other side of America and raced Winston Salem,  I don’t actually know where that is but it was one of the hardest races I have ever done! Next I went to Johnson City to race an Omnium tour. This was more low key, and I had so much fun with my team mates. Until Georgia crashed pretty badly, and I got to experience and American hospital with just a few crazies! I was then off to Colorado to train with my Kiwi friends before heading back to Australia to catch up with my parents.

Soon enough, I was heading away again. This time I was off to Whistler for some more hard training before starting my last racing block in America. This was all going good until I got hit pretty hard with illness. I think I court a bug on the plane flight over, but what ever it was it was really nasty and took ages to fight off. I went into my next tour a little off form as I was still feeling not quite right from being sick. I kept pushing through and was able to find form and improve as the tour went on – but it was a huge week nevertheless.

My last race in America was Tour of Colorado. Leading into the race I was starting to struggle, I do not know whether this was physically or mentally but I was feeling on and off each day. When I think back to it now I think I was just ready for a refresher. I had been away living out of my suitcase for almost four months, and I must admit the last few weeks I was starting to miss home for the first time. Despite my head space I was still really looking forward to racing Tour of Colorado. The tour was only two days, but we were racing at altitude and it was probably the hardest racing I had ever done… aha I feel like I said this every race I did over in America!

When it was time to pack my bags for the last time, I was really quite sad. I had some of my best experiences whilst I was away and got to meet some pretty incredible people. I had such an amazing journey but was defiantly ready to head back home.

Back Home

When back at home I was on my two week break, but a ‘break’ for me means time to do other sporting activities – I cant just do nothing! I spent my time enjoying lots of walks, mountain biking, lots of coffee runs as it was really cold and went skiing for day – would have liked to have liked to have gone skiing more but it was actually really expensive!

My season of racing wasn’t actually finished as I still had some more local New Zealand races, but they fitted nicely into my base training as I started to prepare for my 2018 season.

So, that is pretty much a summary of my 2017 racing season!

I will be adding some more content about what I have done throughout 2017 – it was an awesome year and I would love to share more of what I got up to, and of course I will be posting heaps with what I got coming up.

Hope you enjoyed the little insight of my year,

Mikayla x