Friday, December 7, 2012


Check out Tour of Bright Video Cameo @ 8mins with the Veneziano Boys.

This is the most beautiful part of the country to ride your bike, and offers many of the qualities I enjoyed in the French Alps and Pyrenees. A must do for any Australian cycling tragic. Don't underestimate these Mountains they are a hard place to ride a bike but also a rewarding place! As for racing there - Brutal!

Riding in the Tour of Bright in  a composite team of SA boys for the Team Veneziano Blefari I was a hired gun there for my ability to put a hole in the wind over flat and rolling terrain. I went to Bright with one goal, do what ever I could to get Karl Evans (usually rides for SASI in Nation Road Series - NRS) the best finish possible, that meant burring myself to deliver him to the mountain climbs, and disregarding any personal potential in the race, as low as that potential may have been, simply  finishing was the only ambition I was able to afford myself.

Read on for more on the tour and my experience! FS

Stage 1 was a beast,  130km with 1800m climbing. Neutral service Moto’s are rad, I took a rear wheel Stage 1 10km in and got moto paced back on – so pro! The ride backwards thru the middle of the pack of 100 riders with a flat was interesting. 30-35km/hr up rosewhite was interesting, 4.5 km, 4% climb similar to Norton's just to test the legs before you get to the real climbing. My job was done at 90kms in with team leader up the road in the break, from here I joined a Grupetto including 3 riders from  NRS team Search to retain, with local Cam Bayly and we simply suffered in the wake of the mountain climbers. Andrew Clarkson and Chris Harper rode well close to the lead group containing Karl at the 110km mark. Karl fought well and was leading with 2km to go but just didn't have the gas to go with the final attack and finished a valiant, no excellent 5th.

Stage 2 The TT. My best ride was the TT 59th over all with out digging to deep with stage 3 in mind. Ave 39.9km/hr over 15km’s of rolling out and back course after 130km’s in the morning in 25 degree 90% humidity weather was still not easy! Karls TT was good and he held 7th in the GC going into the Sunday's final stage.

Stage 3 was the big one, Mt Hotham. 30 odd Kms from top to Bottom, top 1800m above sea level, it is a harsh place and environment to be in by it's own right let alone accounting for the self propelled journey required to get there by bicycle.  I Smashed myself getting Karl to the bottom at the front of the race and with a good sit on the shoulder of the race with the whole team tucked in behind. It was a great feeling, being so organised for a bunch of mates just doing our best it was our best effort of the tour to hold Karl in the perfect position out of the wind at the front of the race and with room to move and respond in the early part of the climb.  So I was cooked at the with 30km’s of climbing to go!!! It was a sufferfeast rolling up With the search to retain boys dictating a pace of 300w to the top for the next 2+ hrs. The 3 2kms of kicks of 7 and 10% close to the top were sole destroying! The clouds started to roll in and ive never been so cold and so hot at the same time!

Karl finished 12th on stage 3 and 8th overall on GC for the tour and the team was 10th out of 20 teams. Pretty good for a bunch of dudes thrown together and an amazing effort for Karl, I cant imagine how hard the tour was for him, to ride pushing yourself to the limit at those speeds, those heights, the numbers blow your mind! I came 73rd out of 104 on GC, and I was wrecked!

It was a very hard tour but loved it, beautiful riding over there. I was happy with my performance did my job got Karl across the flat stuff in the front of the pack and considering effectively no training for the three weeks leading in with a badly sprained wrist (I only raced twice and trained once in those weeks to prep for it) I was with all the other NRS domestique in the groupetto, so pleased with that. In good form now, just need to buckle down and train hard to get myself back p to speed.

Thanks heaps to my Father Peter Smith for his Support for me and the boys over the trip, and Mike Slater the Manager of Team Veniziano, for the opportunity to ride the tour with a great buch of blokes. Thanks most to my team mates Chris Harper, Andrew Clarkson, Tim Clayton and Karl Evans. Had a blast, never laughed so much in a long time, there where times when all you could do was laugh!