An interview with Nettie Edmondson

I interviewed Annette ‘Nettie’ Edmondson for The Roar.

She’s an extremely talented rider on the track, and had plenty to say about her transition to the road. She also made some excellent comments about women’s cycling, and some suggestions for how it could be improved to lift its status closer to that enjoyed by the men.

I have to say, Nettie was a great interview subject, very articulate and engaging. In fact, she spent extra time after the interview (on a Saturday night!) writing some extra thoughts and making sure she gave a good account.

It was a pleasure to speak with her, and I hope you enjoy the interview.

Aus Road Nats 2014

Adam HansenDrapac and GreenEdge on the chargeDescent of Fiskens RdSteele Von Hoff had a great rideSimon Clarke gives me a funny lookAvanti were prominent
Drapac blazing a pathSomeone spotted a camera.Damien Howson chatting with Nathan Earle on Mt Buninyong. Jack Bobridge cruises ahead.Drapac pushing hardRichieCadel
Sweating it outAt the top of Mt BuninyongDrapac rider popsCadelMore Cowbell!Admiring the view
Docker chases DrapacDocker and Durbridge lead up the climbAusRoadNats_2014-19The chase groupRichie sips a drinkClimbing

Aus Road Nats 2014, a set on Flickr.

The Australian Championships were held in Ballarat last week. I managed to attend the men’s elite road race, which gathered an outstanding field of ProTour riders.

The race was won by Orica-GreenEdge star Simon Gerrans, from a three-man selection including Cadel Evans (BMC) and Richie Porte (Sky).

Gerrans used the excellent support provided by his team-mate Cameron Meyer (who launched a late attack and then drove the pace for Gerrans, allowing him to sit on Evans and Porte, saving energy) to perfection.

Having the national title decided from arguably the three top Australian riders of the moment was a rare treat for the crowd, and the buzz at the finish was extraordinary.

It was a great day out, with a brilliant vibe along the side of the road, and some excellent hard racing.

The sheer numerical advantage that Orica-GreenEdge has means it’s always in the box seat for the win, but this year Drapac had a good shot, controlling the race for a long period. Ultimately though, the World Tour team simply had too much firepower for the Pro Continental team to handle.

Some of the other elite riders without strong team support, the likes of Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Adam Hansen, Steel Von Hoff, and Jack Bobridge, tried hard but when it comes down to it, the best team usually wins.

Mitchelton Bay Crits – Stage 2, 2014

The Mitchelton Bay Crit series is on this week along the coast to the west of Melbourne, predominantly around Geelong and Williamstown. It’s a great last-minute tune up for racers competing in the National Road Championships, and also a very early season hit-out for other top Aussie professionals riding for World Tour or Pro Continental squads. I headed down to Geelong’s Eastern Park to catch Stage 2 of the race, and snapped some photos and video to capture the scene.

While the Northern Hemisphere pros are stuck inside on trainers, or getting muddy in cyclocross races, the Aussies are lucky enough to get warm conditions and some early opportunities to burn the off-season away. As a result this series attracts some big name international riders, including Orica-GreenEdge stars Matt Goss (who won this stage), Luke Durbridge, Leigh Howard, Michael Hepburn and Mitch Docker. Garmin-Sharp’s sprinter Steele Von Hoff also made an appearance, along with newly-uncontracted former Orica-GreenEdge sprinter Allan Davis. There were also plenty of up-and-coming riders including Caleb Ewan, and local talent from the Australian National Road Series (NRS).

Matt Goss claimed the victory after a strong team performance from his Orica-GreenEdge team. Luke Durbridge was particularly aggressive throughout the race, but Michael Hepburn and Mitch Docker were also active. Leigh Howard finished third, behind young sensation (and future GreenEdge rider) Caleb Ewan (Subaru-NSWIS).

The women’s Elite field was equally star-studded, fielding former world champion Giorgia Bronzini and her Wiggle-Honda team; the world’s #1 ranked women’s team Orica-AIS; Specialized-Securitor; and Team Vanderkitten.

Stage winner Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt) surprised Bronzini with an early sprint to grab victory, with track star Annette Edmondson (Orica-AIS) third.  Gracie Elvin, riding for the Australian national team, and former Orica-AIS rider Tiffany Cromwell (newly signed with Specialized-Securitor) completed the top five.

All in all it was a fun day of spectating and an easy way to catch some of the best riders in the world. I definitely recommend checking the race out if you live in or around Melbourne.

Bay Crits men’s elite video

 

Crankpunk: Hairy-legged pack fodder

Sometimes, you have to stand up for your rights.

Dear Reader, a throwaway line in fellow Crankpunker Cam Whiting’s excellent piece this week has got me all het up and ready to overreact.

A slur that cannot be ignored:

“Even if you’re still fitter than the average hairy-legged newbie pack fodder…”

Pack fodder? Newbie? Me?

This backhander cannot, must not, be allowed to stand.

If deliberately cherry-picking a throwaway line and ranting hysterically about it is wrong, then I’m about to be very wrong.

Being a hairy-legged cyclist is no shameful thing, Dear Reader. Allow me to explain why.

1. The element of surprise

The prejudices of the shaven are their greatest weakness. So dazzled are they by their silky calves and well-defined musculatures, their aerodynamic skin and clean silhouettes, that they dismiss the hairy bloke on sight.

The smooth-legged, secure in the misguided belief that shaving down confers extra watts, often interpret hair as a guarantee of inexperience and a lack of fitness.

I regularly spot a smooth-legged gent on five-figures worth of carbon bling, giving me the dismissive glance through his shades at the lights.

“Oh, that bloke doesn’t even shave, what a newbie”, whispers the straw man in my head.

Little does my nemesis suspect.

Just as a sniper wears a ghillie suit [it’s camouflage clothing, apparently – cp.] to disguise his true threat, the hirsute cyclist gives such a fuzzy impression to the smug razor enthusiast.

This just heightens the pleasure of a swift headshot to his pride on the next Strava segment.

2. Breaking the Rules.

We’ve all read The Rules.

Rule 33: Shave Your Guns.

It seems clean cut.

“Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times. If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders, or be considered a hippie douche..”

Challenge accepted.

Plus I saw Richie Porte break Rule 56 last week, so I reckon we all get at least one free pass.

 3. Being a Fakenger

Everyone knows bike messengers are cool. They’re the trendsetting punk rebels of the bike world. Hard-drinking vegans with serious attitude, lots of crash stories, and a permanent layer of road grime.

You know those guys who dress like bike messengers, drink cheap beer like bike messengers, have tattoos like bike messengers, ride fixies like bike messengers, and generally ride like complete arseholes – like bike messengers – but work in IT?

You can’t be one of those guys unless you have hairy legs.

4. Shaving sucks

I used to shave my legs. There’s nothing worse than getting a massage with a full winter coat, so if you’re getting a regular rub, then fair play to you.

But by golly gosh is shaving a pain.

An hour in the bath with the clippers and a desperate hope that nobody sees you like this.

A 4-pack of downpayment on the Gillette CEO’s new summer house.

Hot wax.

Those chemicals that melt the hair and smell like a tyre fire in a soap factory.

When you’re a bloke with shanks like a moose, there’s just no good way of getting smooth legs.

5. You’ll never be a Rapha model

Those moody desaturated videos of impossibly stylish cyclists spinning up craggy climbs while a voiceover dribbles on about the experience over a backdrop of minimal downtempo electronica?

You will never be in one of those if you have hairy legs, because they just don’t look good enough in the photos.

Nobody can see your ripped calves and bulging quads. Your tan lines are blurred. Your knees look funny. You’re probably not wearing $350 worth of lycra.

You’re not a sponsored rider, you’re not a pro, and you’re not here to look good.

You’re here to ride yourself into the ground, to taste metal, and to thrash your mates. It ain’t a fashion show…

Pack fodder indeed!

 This article was originally published on Crankpunk

A blog about bikes and people who ride them.