22 Sep 2013

National Capital Tour Canberra 2013

Craig Cooke Race Report

A modified 2nd stage from the original due to a rock fall presented a challenging 120km stage. Many climbs throughout with a variety of gradients, strong winds and a challenging 6km final climb was as brutal as anything on the NRS calender so far this year. Our team had a little bit of help prior to the stage from our stand in team convoy drivers Nathan and Paul who provided fantastic support and local knowledge. As we made our start from the Museum we were straight into the surreal ‘neutral’ phase of the race! Aside from limiting the progress of the front of the field the usual jostle for positions, kamikaze over taking manoeuvres combined with a brief encounter for a few on the wrong side of the road into on coming traffic raised the concentration levels immediately.

Events didn’t calm down as the first sprint points were up for grabs after 4km and then KOM after 8km. Straight away it was pretty clear climbing legs were the order of the day. Our team witnessed no shortage of drama with a spectacular crash at the 50km mark as a rider somersaulted into the bush which left many the wrong side of a split and a very tough day at the office to try and get back to the main group.

Personally, I felt good throughout the stage, being able to move up onthe climbs and hold my position in the top 20-30 places of the bunch throughout the race. For the remaining 70km, as we were on the approach to the final climb, the orange work-a-holics from Genesys seemed to be setting an ever increasing frantic pace for the inevitable Nathan Earle show on the final 6km.

Our team started the final climb with four riders, Jonno Bolton, Matt Marshall, Mitch Cooper and myself. I engaged my usual level of pain for the finale giving everything on the varying gradients to finish 14th on the stage. Thankfully Team Manager Brendon was able to catch me 5m after the line as I was started to lose basic co-ordination of standing as I slumped over the  bike and then onto the grass in a heap, much to pleasure of nearby photographers. Jonno performed well despite cramp to move up many places in the overall classification. Matt had the   misfortune of a puncture early in the climb and worked hard with Mitch for the remainder to achieve solid finishes for an improvement in our overall team position. Two more stages to go
on the final day including a picturesque criterium on a circuit in front of Parliament. More chewing on the handle bars and attentive riding is in store with stages better suited to breakaways and sprinters.

For the statistic lovers:

Time: 3:08:49
Distance: 118.7km
Average Power: 270W
Nomalised Power: 304W
Max Power: 1067
Average Heart Rate: 152
Max Heart Rate (a new recent record for me!): 192
Total Work Done: 3059kJ
Elevation Gain: 1714m


Day 3 consisted of a double stage with a 20km kermesse circuit to be tackled 4 times followed by a mid afternoon criterium

Stage 3:

After a brief roll out from the accommodation to loosen up the legs after yesterday’s efforts, we were straight into another round of 100% focus for the stage. The first few km’s took us through the main university in Canberra which created quite a hazardous series of left and right turns as well as speed bumps and central reservations.
Jonathan Bolton was straight into the action firing the first attack of the day. Jackson and Alex were both in the next counter that had good potential to stick. Sadly, the next key move disappeared with 4 strong riders as the we sat conserving energy behind the Genesis lead train once more. They were once again doing a fine job of setting tempo.
Alex was using his vast experience guiding me up the field throughout the race as we tried to avoid various hazards as we raced around Lake Burley Griffen. Jonno and Matt managed to escape in a move in an attempt to bridge to the leaders approx. halfway through the stage. Shortly, afterwards, Jonno instigated another move, Jonno’s super aggressive riding may or may not be attributed to last night’s impressive Satay dish. On the last lap, another crash brought down two riders and looked quite painful as we avoided it at over 45kmph. Shortly after this point, Matt Marshall punctured (two in two days) and then after getting a spare
from Brendon in the convoy had further miss fortune. Whilst Matt attempted to get a draft behind the car, a breakdown in co-ordination/communication, ended up with him slamming straight into the rear of the (hire) car. Two dents on the body work from the handlebars, a rather large face smear on the rear windscreen and a very shaken up Matt resulted. Matt, finished the stage and, like a trooper, was ready to ‘get back on the horse’ for the crit later in the day.

Jonno’s valiant efforts were finally brought back to the main field with only 500m to go as the bunch then swarmed past to finish approx. 30seconds behind the leading four riders. Unbeknown to the rest of the team, Mitch suffered a nose bleed from the start of the stage and was quite a sight covered in blood by the end, another brave ride to finish with the main group.

Stage 3 data:

Time: 1:50:19
Distance: 82km
Average Power: 255W
Nomalised Power: 268W
Max Power: 1092W
Average Heart Rate: 134
Max Heart Rate: 175
Total Work Done: 1688kJ


Stage 4:

We had approx. 2.5 hours before the start of Stage 4, a cirt on a square 1km circuit between the old and new parliament buildings. A gradual 400m rise of approx. 4% up to the finish straight was going to become leg sapping as we tackled 50 laps. The race organisers did a fantastic job of providing this rare opportunity to race in front of such an iconic backdrop. The weather was improving as we prepared ourselves with Brendon’s fine sandwiches for the one hour onslaught to come.

As much as I sit down to write this race report I really can’t do justice to what actually happened. It was painful. About 50 maximum effort sprints over the course of the hour with the skill elements of moving up cleverly, taking 90° corners at near 60kmph and avoiding the odd stray traffic cone that managed to find it’s way into the middle of the finishing straight inside the last 10 laps. I was mentally prepared for the first 20mins being the hardest and then a case of hanging onto a good position and moving past riders that were blowing up and letting the gaps open.

Once we started, I didn’t think I was going to last 5 laps. I think there were very few times that the group was not one big long line. Sadly for our team, as legs became tired and gaps started to appear, by the half way point I was the lone representative battling endlessly to hold position. I was like a fish out of water with my mouth wide open telling myself to keep going. I managed to finish 22nd on the stage, in the main group behind a breakaway pair that held onto a 5 second lead by the finish line.

Thanks to the fantastic support from our sponsors for giving us the opportunity to participate in a remarkably spectacular tour in the heart of Canberra. Thanks to Brendon for stepping up to be our manager and Dorte for handling the logistics, in particular ‘doing our shopping’ online and having it delivered to the accommodation for us. As I fly back to Perth with sore legs, back, throat and generally exhausted, four of our team continue onto Tasmania (Mitch, Matt, Jonno and Jackson) with Alex and Peter putting the final touches to their preparation for the arduous Melbourne to Warrnambool in a few weeks’ time.

Stage 4 data:

Time: 1:08:01
Distance: 47.5km
Average Power: 311W
Nomalised Power: 317W
Max Power: 1114 W
Average Heart Rate: 166
Max Heart Rate: 187
Total Work Done: 1271kj

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16 Sep 2013

Pinjarra Classic 2013

Henry Morley Race Report

With rain and wind forecast for the morning it was nice to be only greeted by the latter for the start of the 2013 Pinjarra Classic. 138km over a 2 lap course through rolling terrain lay in front of the 30+ starters in the Elite Men’s event. With the wind ripping through the parcours it was set to be a tough day out. The Satalyst-Giant Racing Team had a strong contingent of 8 riders in the field, each capable of winning the race & wanted to take advantage of this and their superior numbers.

Forgetting the fact there was along way to go in the race, attacks went from the gun & before the first major climb had been reached a solid break formed containing 4 SGR riders (Pete Hatton, Jono Bolton, Michael Fitzgerald & Henry Morley), Wade Longworth (Arbitrage), Ryan Willmott (KD cycles) & Matty Upton (Dome Coffees). Pete Hatton set a frantic pace up the first climb not only dispatching Matty Upton & Ryan Willmott, but also further establishing the breaks advantage. From there it was a Team Time Trial with Wade sitting on the back of the Satalyst locomotive.

Back in the bunch the rest of the SGR gang were being very proactive in not letting anyone else slip up the road without being represented. Jackson Mawby & Aaron Slavik along with Luke Pledeger (Bianchi-Lotto-Arbitrage) & Jon Gregg (Brooks) made a gallant effort to get across to the days major move to further bolster our numbers up front but were bought back into the fray after being out there for over 20 kilometres.

The break upfront continued to build on what would be an unassailable lead. Halfway through the 2nd and last lap the SGR riders at the head of the race set about getting rid of Wade Longworth, which proved to be a tough task. The young man showed great resolve and strength in dealing with the initial attacks before Bolton, Morley & Fitzgerald forged clear never looking back to make it a Satalyst 1,2,3! Pete Hatton worked with Longworth to the finish and outkicked him for 4th. The depleted peleton was lead in by our own young gun & recently crowned world champion on the track, Sam Welsford, after a superb lead out from Aaron, Jackson, & Theo Yates.
Fantastic teamwork was the key to the days successes and this all bodes well for the teams upcoming challenges in the National Road Series, with The Capital Tour (Canberra) & The Tour of Tasmania just around the corner. We look forward to these events & bringing news of further accomplishment.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters as well as the race organisers, volunteers and other riders.

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23 Aug 2013

Sam Welsford Worlds journey…

My Worlds journey…


In February, I was fortunate to be selected to represent Australia at the 2013 Junior World Track Championships following some good results at nationals. Over the following months in the lead up to the competition, we had two training camps in Tasmania and South Australia. After an intense 3 week camp in Adelaide, we headed to Scotland. The day we arrived, we got to check out the new Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow, where it all began to sink in as to what we were here to do. After recovering from Jet lag, we hit the track for some final hit outs, which also gave us a glimpse of some of the other 32 rival countries.
Day one of competition kicked off with the Mens Team Pursuit Quals. We were last off so we knew what we had to beat. We went out there and rode a comfortable 4:09 which was 3 seconds faster than New Zealand who qualified second.

As we lined up for the start of our final, the nerves started to kick in, but we all knew what we had to do. Gene Bates our coach guided us on to ride a 4:06 and to the realization that we had achieved the gold medal. It was a once in a life time feeling being on the podium looking towards your home flag.
I was fortunate to get starts in the Scratch race and Kilo TT were I learnt so much. My last race was the Maddison which was held on the last day and I was paired up with South Australian Josh Harrison. As we lined up on each side of the track we realized that with 30 other riders out there, this was going to be one hectic race. We showed our colours early by leading the first half of the 120 lap race but we missed a change and I got caught up the back of a French Rider and hit the deck leaving Josh to take up the slack. It took a couple of laps but after persuading the medical team I was ok to race, we got straight back in the mix but unfortunately while I was down, the eventual gold and silver teams took a lap on the field. Josh and I attacked hard and aggressively to try to get a lap but to no avail. After a lot of carnage out on the track we were ecstatic with our bronze medal.

This was a incredible first time experience and to be a part of an Aussie team where every rider got medals was even better. We had a great team of coaches and mechanics plus lots of Aussies and flags in the crowd to cheer us on.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me! Cheers Sam Welsford

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18 Aug 2013

Collie-Donnybrook Handicap 2013

Collie to Donnybrook 2013

Riders Racing:

  • Henry Morley
  • Johnothan Bolton
  • Michael Fitzgerald
  • Jackson Mawby

104km’s of swap-off pain is what lay in store for myself, Henry, Johno and Fitzy at the start of the day. I managed to get up for second fastest by days end, only 25 seconds off the all time course record. But the day was not without incident.

First order of business was checking out the handicaps. All but myself were off scratch, me being off block, 3 minutes in front of scratch. Consultation with the rest of the team led me to the decision to roll through with block. I was feeling strong at the start of the day and felt I would be capable of swapping off with scratch despite rolling through with block.

Race underway, and straight into a set of challenging, rolling hills. With the front bunch more than 30 minutes in front scratch, we had it all to do.
20km’s in and block group had caught the group in front. A super-group was formed, and with 15-20 blokes swapping of nicely, we were on the charge!

At the turnaround point in Donnybrook, the super-group smashed it out of town, re-energised with a delightful tailwind. We were also able to guage how far scratch was behind us. I gestimated they had made up 1 minute on super-group. With a forceful tailwind, and almost triple the riders of scratch, it would be touch-and-go whether scratch could make up the remaining 3 minutes.

25km to go and the hills once again came into play. We received a time check at the beginning of the climb, indicating there was still 9 minutes between us and the front bunch. It seemed it was not going to be our day for overall race contention, but fastest time was all to play for. Scratch fought long and hard to make up ground, but it wasn’t to be. The strong tailwind played in favour of the super-group and we had put several minutes into scratch in the first half of the return journey.

A fierce pace was set up the first set of hills. The super-group was beginning to split. I sat towards the front of the bunch, and followed any attacks that soon came. A big attack up the most challenging climb further split the field. I was feeling comfortable up the climb, but with several strong riders from different teams still holding on, it seemed a break away was not going stick. I continued to swap off and force the pace on the front of the remaining riders, attempting to confirm fastest time of the day.

1km out from Collie, and the lead out trains were in full swing. After a heads up from a hard riding Reece Tucknott, I jumped on the back of the Bianchi Lotto/Arbitrage lead train for Luke Pledger, with Eddy Hollands’ Andrew Williams sitting on my wheel.

Final corner, 300m out from the line, and myself, Pledger and Williams all kicked together. Williams was the strongest of us, putting a bike length or two in front of myself. I was strong enough to kick round Pledger but not able to reel in the flying Andrew Williams. Fastest time went to Williams, myself second and Pledger 3rd.

Great to see assistant manager Matt Davis and Tifosi member Gary Boylan both achieving top 10 overall finishes. Thanks to all the sponsors and supporters.

Jackson Mawby

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01 Aug 2013

Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland 2013

The Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland ( kicking off on Wednesday is an 8 stage road tour that starts on scenic Phillip Island, and includes a stage on the infamous Grand Prix circuit. The Satalyst Giant Racing Team lining up for the race is:

Mitchell COOPER
Jackson MAWBY
Gerry & Jenny VAN DER PLOEG- Team manager and support

Day 1 – Peter English Report

The Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland 2013, one of the most highly regarded NRS Tours with a quality field, this is a race that all of the Satalyst Giant boys are keen to make an impression on.

Day 1 saw the race start in the familiar and picturesque surrounds of Phillip Island. The team shacked up at the Kilcunda Caravan Park overnight, and shipped across to the island in the morning for the first stage in Rhyall. As a wise man once said; “I could think of worse places for a bike race.”

The Rhyall Crit, a 1.4km circuit with a water view was a great way to kick the race off. A very early flat for Jackson Mawby and another for Aaron Slavik, did not help proceedings. Jackson was pretty keen to launch himself off the front early, which was not to be on this occasion. As an Under 19 rider though, many opportunities to do so are still ahead of him.

All was well in the bunch until 4 laps to go when the hammer was dropped. The Satalyst Giant boys were riding good position in the first 30 riders when a rider came down in front of Jackson. The team unfortunately came off second best with 4 of the riders getting caught up. Peter English broke a front wheel, Aaron Slavik a rear, and Jackson Mawby a rear and a set of handle bars. Henry Morley was also caught up, which left Paul Van der Ploeg to chase with Mat Marshall. Proceedings were not helped with another pile-up on the last corner for the remaining peloton and both crashes were given bunch time. Welcome to NRS crits.

Between stages, Jackson inherited a new set of bars from Gerry Van der Ploeg’s Giant and half the team scavenged some new wheels. Peter English also enjoyed a cup of tea from the locals who were out to watch the race.

The Phillip Island Grand Prix track is certainly iconic and an amazing place to race a bike, engine or no engine. This was the scene for Stage 2. Coupled with stunning weather, this stage was a real treat!

The team went off with the objective of getting some some intermediate sprint points and to contest the stage, a plan which was easier said than done. Both intermediate sprints were hotly contested with Henry Morley instrumental in the first to try and get Paul VdP up for the spoils.

The team was well organised for the second intermediate sprint with Mat, Jackson and Peter all assembled in front of Paul. A well executed plan which didn’t take the cake with Paul coming in fourth.

The final few laps were chaotic as always. The team once again tried to get Paul up for the win. A massive pull by Aaron gave us great position going into the final kilometer. After a big effort by Mat, Peter dropped Paul off with around 300m to go, but we just didn’t have the horsepower to get him exactly where he needed to be. There will be more opportunities for us in this race.

We unfortunately lost Liam Dove after stage 2. A recurring problem with his ITB has meant the he had to make a call to pull out. In true Liam style, he has offered to stay with the team for the rest of the week to help out. What a legend.

The team then headed to the local Kilcunda pub for a dinner with the Seight Test Team and are now readying for tomorrow which will likely see the first settling of GC for this tour, with a 91km stage from Leongatha to Yinnar.

Peter has now got some hospital issue, knee length compression socks; much to the delight of Mat. Mitch is becoming acquainted with talcum powder. Liam is recovering money from the supermarket after he forgot to pick up $50 cash out. Mat is enjoying his hospital issue, knee length compression socks. Jackson is licking his wounds. Aaron is reading. Paul is missing his girlfriend. Henry is being a boss and Gerry and Jenny Van der Ploeg are sipping on gourmet, artisan tea.

All is well in the camp.
Stage 3- Leongatha to Yinnar: Jackson Mawby Report

91.6km’s of harsh, undulating Gippsland road is what lay in front of the SGR boys at the start of the day. With 1300m of climbing indicated, today was going to hurt!

Immediately the race started climbing out of Leongatha, and the race continued uphill for nearly 20kms. Aaron Slavik and Matt Marshal were keen to get in the early breakaways, and covered the moves well. Both men jumped in the most substantial morning break and swapped off hard, hoping to establish a substantial gap. Despite their efforts, many teams had missed the break and escapees were reeled in.

At the 34km mark, a 3km climb averaging 6% took its toll on the peloton, with splits forming in the 140-rider cartel. At the top of the climb, a very select group of riders had a ten second gap over a 30-man chase bunch. Matt, Mitch, Jackson, Henry, and Paul had all made the 30- man split, with Aaron chasing hard due to a crash in the bunch. With Paul in the split, Matt directed us to get on the front and start chasing- not many other sprinters had made the split and Matt recognized we had a unique opportunity to win a stage. Great initiative from the young man.

After pulling some big turns to bring back the leading riders, Mitch launched a move off the front and was joined by numerous riders form Budget Forklifts, Euride, Genesys, Search2Retain and VIS. The stage winner, Alex Edmonson, came from this group. After some hard chasing by Aaron, he rejoined the main chase bunch.

A winding and dangerous descent saw many crashes in the chasing bunch, one involving the yellow jersey, Ben Grenda. The general consensus among the peloton was to show good bunch etiquette and wait for the yellow jersey. Unfortunately this allowed some 50 chasing riders to rejoin the main peloton.

The final 10km was chaotic as always. On the final KOM, Mitch ran out of legs after pulling hard turns all day in the breakaway. The peloton and caught Mitch at the top of the final KOM, and from there it was a downhill run to the finish.
Henry cleverly came to the front of the peloton and pulled some strong turns to bring the break back. In final kilometres, Matt and Paul were well organised and made for the front of the bunch. The David and Golliath combination just ran out of road after being aggressively hooked out of position.

After swapping war stories after the race, we learned Aaron had broken his saddle during the crash and rode the last 50km on saddle sitting at 45 degrees! An outstanding effort.

Despite having a bad day on the bike, Peter English remains uplifting as always and is in good spirits. Tomorrow sees 36km criterium in the town of Sale followed by a 97km road race in the afternoon, a very testing day on the horizon.

Day 3 – Stage 4 & 5 Henry Morley race Report

What a day!
The Sale Criterium was the first course on the menu. We were greeted with rapturous applause from the local Primary School kids spurred on by the voice of WA cycling, commentator Matt Poyner. The fast flowing 1.2km circuit made for a quick and aggressive race. Enter Paul Van der Ploeg. The big brute of a man (quote from a Huon Genesys tweet) had stated his aims to attack in the morning and he spent more time of the front than he did in the pelo. Unfortunately his numerous attempts to get away were to no avail, as well as those of others. Anthony Giacoppo won the bunch sprint in convincing style. Meanwhile the rest of the team was doing their best to get safely through the race in preparation for what looked like a brutal afternoon stage on paper. A 97km journey to Licola, placed in the foothills of the Great Alpine Range.
Enter the weather. The wind picked up during the morning and the rain was also on its way. Riding in good position was crucial with the winds ripping through the peleton but with all the teams having the same aim it made for a chaotic opening to the stage. The bunch split and came back together numerous times in the cross winds before the action really began at the first KOM of the day at 68km. Paul “the brute” Vandy was on the attack again getting over the first part of the KOM with Dan Bonello before Genesys and the wind ripped the race to pieces over the exposed ridge at the top of the climb. Aaron Slavik, Mitch Cooper and Henry Morley worked hard to place Paul and Matt Marshall in the front split of around 20 riders. Mitch selflessly sacrificed his own chances in getting the boys in a position to contest the stage victory.
There is nothing you really need to know about the last 25 kilometres other than it was comparative to sitting on your exercise bike, under a cold shower, in front of an industrial fan. However the pace up the final climb was ridiculous in Matt Marshall’s words and the boys were gapped near the top and along with others, which meant they were unable to contest stage honours. The rest of the lads rolled in safely albeit a tad cold.
We headed back to the riverside ranch in Stratford for hot showers followed by a superb spread put on by the Seight Test Team. We look forward to attacking the racing again tomorrow in search of a good result.
Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland – Day 5: Peter English Report

The end of the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland came on Sunday afternoon after a brutal criterium in Traralgon. The ‘hotdog’ circuit had a considerable hill injected into it, coupled with a roaring headwind up the home straight and the said hill.

The morning began with most riders from Satalyst Giant and the Seight Test Team running around trying to locate their sprawled goods of the last four days. Paul VdP decided to have a nap in the back of the Subaru whilst this was going on, feeling the effects of a few very hard days racing, and a crash two days prior.

The team arrived in Traralgon and promptly escaped the imminent foreclosing weather at Three Little Birds, a local brewhouse around the corner from the track. The team enjoyed a last debrief before the 8th and last stage of the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland.

After getting organised and completing the routine warmup, the crit was on and the pace was reasonably absurd. The trick was though, that given the surging nature of this course it was actually easiest on the front, or on the back; not in the middle. Around half way through the race, most of the Satalyst Giant team had received the mid-peleton memo from Paul VdP that the back was the place to be and that is where the majority rode the rest of the race. Paul eventually stopped foxing and came in for a strong 6th place on what was a difficult day at the end of a difficult tour. Five of the seven Satalyst Giant riders finished the last stage in a hugely depleted field. Incredibly, the yellow jersey stayed on the shoulders of Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts) by the slimmest margin possible; 1-second!

It can be said that the team was somewhat unlucky to not come away with more from this tour. Every effort was made by all members of the team, both on and off the road, to net a result. In some instances, we didn’t have the legs. In others, we didn’t have the luck. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

A huge thanks to Gerry and Jenny Van der Ploeg for selflessly investing their time in the team in their support role during the tour. A job which doesn’t carry much glory, but one which is hugely necessary in enabling us to race our bikes. Thanks again from all of the team, much appreciated.

To the Seight Test Team, a seamless display of logistical prowess. Thanks for having us on board.

Finally, thanks again to our sponsors; Satalyst, Giant Bicycles, McDonald’s, Bont Cycling Shoes, Seight Custom Clothing, Kask Helmets, and to all of our supporters and other sponsors.


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18 Jul 2013

Q & A with Adam Semple

Q & A with Adam Semple

16 July 2013, by Cycling Australia

Q & A with Adam Semple Adam Semple takes second place on stage three at the Tour de Perth

Your Subaru National Road Series this year has included top ten finishes in multiple hilltop stages, placing 3rd overall at the Battle on the Border and currently sit 12th in the overall series rankings – How do you rate your season so far?

It has been nice to come back from some deeply frustrating injuries over the past couple of years, to have some consistent results. My season so far has been intense and very focussed, but I still have much improvement to come on my comeback trail.

What are your goals for the remainder of the season?

I am actually over in Italy racing for the next couple of months. I have had good results here in the past and I am looking to build on that. Then i plan to come home for Tour of Tasmania and the Melbourne to Warrnambool, in search of a couple of late season NRS wins.

Do you have a favourite stage or event in the NRS? What about the toughest?

The Tour of Perth stage three around Mundaring Weir is probably both the toughest and my favourite. I have trained on those roads my whole life, and the scenery isn’t only beautiful, the heat and hills are quite challnging. It’s nice to know every single corner as well.

You are a part of the Satalyst Giant Racing team, what role do you play within the team?

I am the leader on the road. Not only for GC ambitions, but teaching the younger riders a thing or two about riding in a bunch, a tour, or nutrition. I also like to think of myself as the team-male-model and the team-genius, but i’m sure people will argue about those last two!

How did you first get into cycling?

I started after I saw the track racing during the Athens Olympics.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My mum, or Wes Anderson the film director.

Can you tell us about what you do outside of cycling? Do you work or study?

I write articles freelance for websites and magazines. I also study economics and English at uni. I am a barista too, and a real estate agent, but I don’t practice at the moment.

If so, how do you juggle your other commitments with racing?

I don’t juggle barista, I just get ‘let go’ whenever I race, so i need a new job every time I come home. Real Estate juggling means training at 5am or 5pm. Uni juggling is the art of manipulating the system as much as possible, specifically being an athlete means I get leeway, but I also manage to concentrate study into awefully concise periods of time. Oh and I can write anywhere, thats the joy of writing.

What is the one ‘App’ you can’t live without?

Sleep Cycle is pretty cool, it wakes you up at the ‘right time’ and tracks your sleep.

What is your best method for passing the time when traveling to a bike race?

Books. Theres are so many in this world, it’s ridiculous. I always have a book on me.

Do you have any superstitious/pre-race habits?

Nope, and if I wasn’t allergic, I’d buy a black cat.

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11 Jul 2013

Jackson Mawby – U19 Nationals Report

Beautiful Noosa was the setting for the u19 Nationals 2013.  Postcard views, moonlight swims and drop-dead gorgeous beaches (and women) made this trip feel like a big group holiday, for the first few days at least.  Having not elected to ride the time trial, I had several days to relax, enjoy myself and enjoy the finer things Noosa had to offer.  The heated pool and spa of our picturous apartment was a personal highlight.

Come the day of the time-trial, I tried to make myself useful to all the other guys and gals riding the time-trial.  The hour before the start of a time-trial is always very nervous for the riders, so it mainly consisted of me handing people food and drink, swapping aluminium wheels for discs and being told to go away.  I had the privilege of following teammate Sam Welsford in the team van.  Sam blitzed the first half of the course, sitting on excess of 60km/h on the flatter sections of the course.  Sam was also fortunate enough to have a radio in his back pocket, allowing Darryl Benson to give sound advice and relentless encouragement throughout the tt, guiding Sam to a solid 21st position, covering the 19.1km course in 25:33, a more than respectful time on a challenging, undulating course.

That afternoon, Andrew Jackson and myself set out on a motor pace to reco the road racecourse.  100km later, at a fine brew shop, we concluded the major features of the 20km course included:

  • 1, 2km berg, hitting 15% in places.
  • 3 smaller climbs, still capable of splitting the pelo.
  • Fast descents.
  • Narrow roads, lined with potholes.
  • An uphill run to the finish line.

The course was certainly a challenging one, offering numerous opportunities for dreams to be lived or hearts to be broken.  For the men, it was to be raced 6 times.  For the women, 4 times.

The following day was a rest day, allowing for the rest of the crew to reco the road racecourse.  We tapped out the first 40kms before opening up the taps for a little leg sharpening effort, then jumping in the vans and driving back to paradise to rest for the road race the following day.

Saturday.  Race Day.  Time to switch on and sharpen up.  First though, getting through the 5:45am wake up.  Once that was over, it was all focus.

The first challenge, positioning on the start line.  Often one of the most challenging aspects of a race was fighting for a good position on the start line.  Being a national title, bodies were nervous and tension was high.  Even though I arrived on the start line 15 minutes prior to race start, I only managed to secure a spot in the 3rd line of riders.  No matter, once the race was underway, and into the neutral section, I was able to duck down the inside and place myself directly behind the lead car, an ideal position to be in before official race start.

Once the neutral flag was dropped, it was WA rider Tim Sellar attacking straight away, quickly developing a 30 second advantage on the main peloton.  The peloton cruised to the first climb of the day, where attacks began in earnest.  Sellar was soon swallowed up by the main field, which was reduced by 30 riders, that is, until, the chief commissaries halted the race because of too many riders crossing the double white lines.  Sarcastic comments arose from the peloton as we received a lecture on how to distinguish our left from our right.  The race was restarted 5 minutes later, allowing the dropped riders to rejoin the main peloton.

Lap 2 was undoubtedly the quickest toughest lap up the main climb, with constant attacks and the New Zealanders determined to split up the main field.  However, at the end of the second lap, some 50 riders still remained in the main peloton.

Each time up the main climb, the main peloton was reduced by a handful of riders.  At the bottom of each climb, Sam Welsford would ride to the front of the peloton with myself on his wheel and drop me off at the front of the group, putting myself in an ideal position to cover any dangerous moves each time up the climb.  Sam would then drift back through the peloton, and hold on for dear life.  Sam was an irreplaceable asset throughout the race, major props to him for all his hard work and determination.

On lap 3/6, WA rider Reece Tucknott attacked with fellow WA rider Lawson Mills, quickly establishing a 1:05 advantage over the main peloton.  Reece proved a little to strong for Lawson over the climb, unhitching him from his wheel, before dropping back to the main peloton.  Reece continued to power on, staying ahead solo for more than one lap of the course, before deciding his breakaway was not going to stick, sitting up, taking on some food and water and waiting for the main peloton.

Meanwhile, I conserved energy, covered dangerous moves and remained safe at the front of the main peloton, thanks to the efforts of Sam Welsford and Luke Sleegers.

On the final lap of the course, all hell was released, with the specialized climbers unleashing everything they had on the peloton in order to establish a break.  A two man break was established on the remaining peloton, but gained no more than 15 seconds, and was quickly reeled in on the descent.  With 5km to go, only 23 riders remained in the peloton, Reece and myself the only WA riders surviving the onslaught.  The attacks were still coming thick and fast.  Between us, Reece and I were able to be amongst all of them, either covering dangerous moves or initiating breakaways ourselves.  With 1.5km to go a dangerous move consisting of Tom Kaesler (SASI), Ryan Cavanagh (QAS) and Ayden Toovey (NSW) had slipped away with a 7 second advantage over the main field.  Reece selflessly rode the front of the peloton with myself on his wheel to reel in the breakaway.  With 600m to go, it was all back together again, with a sprint finish imminent.

At 300m to go, a short steep hill provided a launch pad for several riders starting there sprint for the line, however they were swallowed up by the leading riders.  I was boxed in at 300m to go and had to fight my way out to start my sprint at 150m to go.  I was passing riders and lunged to claim 5th on the line.  Prevailing was ACT rider Michael Rice, Daniel Fitter 2nd (QAS), Ben Carman (QLD) 3rd, Alistair Donohoe (VIC) 4th and yours truly 5th.

It was a brutal race in very humid conditions.  Without the support of fellow WA teammates Reece Tucknott, Sam Weslford and Luke Sleegers, a top 10 finish would not have been possible.  A big thank-you for all their efforts during the race.  I am very happy with this result, and look forward to a rest week before beginning my prep for the back half of the year.  Too many people to thank for too many things but just quickly, huge thank-you’s to the team sponsors Satalyst Giant, Andrew Jackson, Matt Burton, Chris Howard and my parents for all they have contributed to my cycling endeavours. Thanks also to Paul McRedmond for the photo

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25 Jun 2013

Adam Semple Italy update

Hi Everybody,

Apologies for the delay in executing this correspondence, I totally forgot! I have been too busy psychoanalyzing the Italian culture and eating gelato.

So since I last left, not much has changed. The food is just as amazing; including the brioche, which when found fresh still blows my mind.
I arrived 4 weeks(ish) ago and have had a ball since then. I have raced 3 times, and trained very hard in between. My first race result was a DNF, that was a hard race, 3 days after I arrived, so I wasn’t surprised that my leg’s and heart said “NO!”. Since then I have had two other races, where I finished 17th and 14th. In both these races, there was a maximum of 25 finishers of the entire race. I do have good form by the way, these guys are just machines. It’s no wonder that the first-year Italian pros win big races straight away. It’s good fun though, and my form is lifting with every circuit race we do.

The courses are something like this: 10km circuit, 3km climb, 150km. I mean, there are flat races somewhere, but we don’t do them because they’re boring (and we can’t win them without a sprinter), just as the first 10 stages of Le Tour are generally boring to watch! Just take a look at the Italian national championships results (and time gaps) to see how the Italians love a hard circuit race.

My team is called Villa Verucchio. It’s also the name of my current town where my team is based and the apartment they’re renting me is situated. It’s beautiful. Heading East gets me to Rimini in 10km (beachside fyi), and West gets me to the mountains. To give you an idea of where I am, I rode through Tuscany and Marche today, before crossing back into Emilia-Romagna, the region where Villa Verucchio is.

My race calendar from July onwards is nice and chocca’s. Every Sunday and most Saturday’s i’m racing, and they’re all those ridiculously arduous circuits. If nothing else they at least make you a tonne stronger. Mind you, every race is worth the pre-race feed which Italian race organizers provide, where all teams eat together; a 3 course meal which is always a painfully simple pasta and antipasti, but always sweat-inducingly tasty.

Moving on, I just spent 2 days in Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre) ‘recovering’ from a hard training block where I hassled a restaurant manager for the recipe to the best tiger prawns the world has ever seen, and he responded with a glazed look as in “are you stupid?” then responded with the five ingredients that were involved.

Enjoy the photos, and any questions about anything, get me on

I hope all is well back home, I’m sure it is as Perth is so beautiful in the Winter, especially the wind-free Swan River.
Keep well,

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25 Jun 2013

Satalyst Giant Coverage on SBS

Great coverage from the Goldfields Cyclassic tour won by our Alex Smyth.

In this video aired on SBS Cycling Central on Sunday 23rd June , Satalyst Giant Rider Henry Morley talks about the importance of helmet safety. The relevant section starts at 8.30 into the clip.



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04 Jun 2013

Goldfields Cyclassic 2013

Goldfields Cyclassic 2013 Report – courtesy Peter English
Click on images to enlarge…


The Satalyst Giant racing team has just completed an amazing weekend of racing in central WA, with the Goldfields Cyclassic. This event, run between Kalgoorlie and Leonora each year, is certainly unique; both in its setting and in its nostalgia.

With $50,000 of prize money up for grabs over two days of handicap racing, this event attracted a standard which varied greatly, with many out to try their luck against the time of the scratch bunch. After all, this is what handicap racing is all about; it’s a bit of a gamble. Alex Malone, Alex Smyth and Peter English flew across from the Eastern States on Friday night and were suitably accommodated in Perth before a 5.30am rendezvous with the rest of the team at Perth Airport on Saturday morning. Our flight, run by Alliance Airlines and chartered by the event organisers, was a short 45 minute voyage from Perth to Kalgoorlie. We were met in Kalgoorlie by cold a wet conditions, and a prevailing tailwind.

The team assembled for the race briefing from Robert Northcoat, the Race Director, where we were warned of the traffic conditions and informed of our imminent starting times. The 85th Anniversary of the Kalgoorlie-Menzies Classic began at 10.10am for the limit group and 11.00am for scratch. With almost an hour between the front and the back of the race, the scratch group had challenge on its hands to come out in front.

The scratch group worked reasonably well for the first half of the 132km race and thanks to the Chief Negotiator, Henry Morley, this continued through to around the 100km. Henry was also particularly vocal whilst expressing his joy for the speed at which we were travelling; most of the race was ridden between 50km/h and 55km/h. We unfortunately lost the young buck, Theo Yates, after he was buffeted off his bike after a large road train past the peloton around the 80km mark. He has been making plastic cup pyramids in the Kalgoorlie hospital for the last few days. His absence was certainly felt amongst the team for the rest of the weekend, both on and off the bike. We wish him well in a speedy recovery from his high speed crash.
The final selection in the limit group was made with around 25km to go, but it was not enough, with the stage win going to limit rider Daniel Burke from Warrnambool in Victoria – this was disappointing for the scratch group, but great to see some of the other grades share in the spoils. Big pulls from Peter Hatton, Sam Welsford, Jackson Mawby, Henry Morley and Alex Malone meant that many in the team were spent by the time the finish line came. However, the team’s effort meant Alex Smyth was fresher than some, and he won the scratch sprint for grade honours. Little did we know at the time, but this was a course record time of 2h32m05s with an average speed for the 132km course of 51.3km/h.

The hospitality at Menzies was of quality beyond its size. We spent the rest of the day enjoying some stories and a beer with some locals at the bar, some coffees on the other side of the street and then a dinner at the Menzies Shire town hall. Saturday night’s accommodation was at Marapoi Station (, about 50km outside of Menzies. This place, with its shipping container quarters and desolate surrounds was certainly an experience. A rarity for most, this place was another world to the big city. The team enjoyed the simplicity of staying in such incredibly unique surrounds, which can only come from competing in this great cycling race.

Stage 2, the Leonora Golden Wheels (Menzies to Leonora) saw a change in wind, to cross-tail. Coupled with tightened handicap splits, this was a day for the scratch group to get up and fight for stage honours. The scratch group worked particularly well for most of the stage and the catch was made at around the 80km mark of the 103km stage. The pace was high, and there is no hiding in handicap racing so it was the strongest riders left at the end. With around 13km to go, the attacks started in earnest and the final split comprised Peter Hatton, Alex Smyth, Alex Malone and Henry Morley. Peter English was caught in “no-man’s-land” between the two groups and it was only after Jackson Mawby and Sam Davis (Huon Salmon – Genesys Pro Cycling) came across that they were all able to close the 300m gap to the front group (harder than it sounds!!). The catch was made with around 1500m to go and the final sprint was on. Sam Davis had a crack off the front and looked strong, but the attentive Peter Hatton was driving. With 600m to go Jackson Mawby went and was quickly chased by the equally attentive Doug Rephacholi and Andy Williams. This left Alex Smyth with some pretty fresh legs coming into the finish with Henry Morley at his side. Alex got the win, with Henry Morley coming in 4th, Peter English 6th, Jackson Mawby 7th, Peter Hatton 8th, Sam Welsford 10th and Alex Malone 11th. This too was a course record of 2hr15m57s with an average speed over the 103km course of 45.8km/h.

The efforts of the Satalyst Giant racing team, and the achievements of Alex Smyth, netted the overall victory for the Goldfields Cyclassic across the two days. Alex Smyth did pretty well during the presentations after collecting both course records, the overall win and a stage win. The standout was a framed and signed poem for the winner of the race written by local Bush Poet, Vic Dale, and a gold nugget! The team toasted over a bottle of wine on Sunday afternoon, with some happy campers amongst the ranks, replacing the mixed feelings from the first day.
There is so much to explain about this race that it is almost beyond words. Leonora, a quintessential Australian gold mining town, was a suitable place for us to say goodbye to a weekend which felt like it was much longer than a couple of days. With a volunteer and organising committee that were so happy to make this race happen, the feelgood factor associated with this event is like nothing else. This is the biggest thing that happens in these towns each year; it was both humbling and rewarding to be involved in our capacity.

Special thanks from the team; Dorte Neilson (thank you for helping make it all happen), Noelene Welsford, Alliance Airlines, Allied Pickfords, Robert Northcoat, Eastern Goldfields Cycle Club, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies Shire Council, Shire of Leonora, the volunteer and management committee of the race, and all of the other event sponsors. We also acknowledge the traditional owners of the land between Kalgoorlie and Leonora.
Until next year! SGR.

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