As I mentioned here, I went up and raced in Bendigo a couple of weeks back. I was mostly heading up there for the club Madison, but was pretty psyched to be racing up there in general. First up was a twelve lap scratch race. The pace was, as per usual, pretty hot from the outset. A couple of laps in the pace went up another notch and someone in front of me dropped the wheel. I put the power down and spun my way back up to the bunch. It felt pretty good. We rolled around some more.
When the bell went I was at the front, which isn't the best place to be when a lap is more than 400 metres long. I wasn't too keen just to lead out Sean Finning, who was somewhere behind me, or Jarrod Maroni, who was probably immediately behind him. So I hit it. The wind was up and I figured they'd look at each other a bit, daring each other to do spend their bikkies chasing me down.
It seems that this was exactly how it panned out. I gapped the field, and held the gap until the final straight. Once they got to me I hit it again, and held off until the final breath, when Finning took the win by a wheel.
I wasn't disappointed. I threw all I had into the race and was only beaten by a Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist. It'd been a long time since I'd shown that kind of form, and I was relieved that finally it was beginning to come back.
For training today my coach had scheduled a Madison Skills session with Leigh Howard and Scott McGrory. After the session was done I got chatting to Scott. Apparently he had been in Bendigo that night, and had seen me taking it up to Finning. "It was a good ride," he said, "You made the right move."
I don't know if you've noticed - I may have mentioned it once or twice - but this year I've been pretty sick. After a while being sick starts to get into your head. You start to wonder if you're ever going to reach that same level of performance that you once had. Your confidence starts to be shaken, and you start to doubt. But right now, with some wins under my belt and a compliment from an Olympic Gold Medalist in my head, I feel like I'm ready to take on the world.