Read the story behind Geoff's latest Challenge

12 Nov 2019

Reflection is a great thing and looking back at this year it is a really nice look.

I can say nothing stands still changes are always happening. This year we made some changes in training and the constant evolution of equipment continued with Vittoria developing an even faster tyre, clothing manufacturers getting even more aero, bikes more aero and stiff, lighter crank arms and all those little 1% gains add up.

First indications it was going to be a great year was 21st March in Sydney (Dunc Grey Velodrome) racing state championships and riding 10.88 seconds for the qualifying 200m in the sprint. This was the fastest time I had ever ridden at Dunc Grey and slightly faster than last year Worlds qualifier.

Word got around the World and I was asked to go to Aguascalientes Mexico to try and set a few new World records in April. It was at the same time as Australian national championships so a decision had to be made. Mexico it was. Being one of the fastest tracks in the World the times were all new World records with the 200m set at 10.382 (69.35 kph average) the 500m Time Trail from a standing start 33.538 seconds and the team sprint 47.508 for the 750m.

Back to Sydney and training through the winter months went really well. I am really lucky to have an awesome training group that I do most of my training with.

World championships October Manchester England. First event for me was the 500m Time Trial. All the training leading up to this moment in time was focussed on staying relaxed. Saying that all the other aspect of all of my events were dissected to make sure every single aspect was covered and the performance would be the best I could possibly achieve.

So every other rider had finished and given it their best shot I was in the last heat, front straight and trying to stay relaxed. Countdown and every bit of force I had was used to get that bike out of the gate and on the way. Starting from zero just to give you an idea after 8 seconds I was travelling at 50kph. Second phase of acceleration down the back straight and up to cruising speed (65kph) keeping the line smooth and around the bottom of the track not to cover any extra distance. Throw at the finish line round in to the back straight to see the scoreboard nice 34.046 gold medal. If you would like a look check out the video right around minute 41.

A days rest and back for the sprint which is held over two days. First up is the qualifying to establish if you make it into the second round and your seeding. Being defending champion I was off last again and the times the other guys were recording were pretty quick but I was again trying to stay relaxed. Kept saying to myself all the work has been done. Finally rolled on the track first couple of laps are really slow just saving energy for the last 200m tyres stuck really well to the 42 degree banking. Approaching the last laps accelerate - stay aero – out of the seat max power – stop thinking about it and just go. All over in a flash - rolled around to see the scoreboard fastest qualifier 10.709 seconds, time to race. Two rounds on the first day I won straight trough to the final 4 riders so back tomorrow night for semi finals and finals.

Semi finals and I had to race and beat English rider Jon Gillies to get to the gold medal final. First round and following Gillies around the bottom of the track looking back I let him ride exactly how he wanted accelerated into the last lap alongside him in the final bend. Small flick up the track from Gillies and ouch missed getting past him by a small margin. Being best of 3 rides I did have another 2 chances to beat him but could not lose another one. Learn from heat one and figured out some of his strengths to beat him in the next 2 rides to line up against Italian former World champion Ferruccio Veschetti. I knew this was going to be tough you can’t give Mr Veschetti an inch. I knew his strengths having raced him a few times before so my choice to lead him into the last lap and try and hold on. Job done after just about covering every inch of the track up down blocking him accelerating down the back and giving it absolutely everything up the finish straight. Gold medal.

The next day we rode the Team Sprint Garry Mandy and myself have ridden together now quite a few times. New rider in the line up was Victorian Paul Parker who is a specialist starter and should get us off to a great start. We are still trying to figure out what actually happened. Countdown and away we went, Garry and I got onto Paul quite well powered through my lap out of the way to let Garry finish off. Garry and I being defending champions rode in the last heat and a bit surprised to qualify second. Looking at the splits we were 1.2 seconds down on the leaders after the first lap. My lap and Garry’s lap bought us back to be only 0.2 seconds down in the end. We made the gold medal final but we needed to go faster. Paul changed his gearing down a bit hopefully this would get us a faster first lap split. Countdown and go, Garry and me on Paul’s wheel well. Paul out of the way after the first lap and I gave it everything for my lap then out of the way to let Garry finish off. Time comes up on the scoreboard ouch 0.1 seconds behind the English team. Silver medal.

Photo Credit: Larry Hickmott he was great at Worlds an Aussie that lives in the UK works for


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