Bendigo's Jack Haig had a bumper 2013 season including winning the under 23 national mountain bike title, finishing third in the under 23 men's road race at the MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships, and winning the the Subaru National Road Series.
Jack Haig has set himself lofty goals for 2014 including selection for both the under 23 road world championship team and the Commonwealth Games mountain bike team and he hopes to kick things off with another strong showing at the MARS Roadnats!
The MARS Road National Championships was a breakthrough event for you in 2013, how will you prepare for the event this time around?
I will have a similar lead in to last year but I’ve also learnt a lot of things throughout the season with my coach Mark Fenner about how I can lead into target races better and what training I respond to best to get the best results.
I did a mountain bike race at a similar time to the Hellfire Cup this year, I also raced at the Tour of Bright this year and I’ll do the Huon-Genesys team training camp in Tasmania again.
After that I’ll do two weeks of specific training before I head to nationals.
What will be your target race for the 2014 MARS Roadnats?
I want to focus on the time trial (TT) rather than the road race. I’d like to podium in the TT and I’m hoping that I’ll be good enough on the day to get a better result that just the podium.
If I won the national championship title it would go a long way to helping my selection for the Road World Championships later next year which is a pretty big goal.
For the road race, it’s a bit of a lottery because you have to be in the right place at the right time. I’ll definitely go there to have a good result but it’s harder to have that specific goal where as in the time trial, it all comes down to you and the bike and there are more elements that you can control.
Who will be your biggest competitor in the time trial?
Probably Campbell Flakemore. Now that Damien Howson has moved on to ORICA-GreenEDGE, he’s not eligible to ride in the under 23 race. Campbell won some big time trial overseas and was fourth at the world championships so he’ll probably be my biggest competition. Alex Morgan is also always up there as well
You and Campbell are teammates, can you put that aside when you go head-to-head in the Mars #roadnats time trial?
It’s weird because we are teammates [Huon-Genesys] and coached by the same coach [Mark Fenner] but I’d like to think we’re pretty good friends and it wouldn’t be disappointing to come second to him, he’s so talented.
The road race course suits you, are you quietly confident?
I think it’s a case of who can save the most [energy] but still be there at the right time of the race. The plan is conserve, but not too much that you take yourself out of the race. For me it would be ideal to finish solo because last year it came down to a sprint and I was last in the sprint and got third.
Selection for the Commonwealth Games on the dirt is a big goal for you, how will you juggle road and mountain bike again next year?
I will try and do well in the road nationals, which will hopefully lead to selection in the UniSA team for the Tour Down Under, and then hopefully I’ll be selected to ride in the Herald Sun Tour with Genesys.
After that I’ll begin my Mountain Bike season which will involve the World Cup in Cairns and the National Championships which will hopefully lead to selection for the Commonwealth Games.
That’s a big schedule for 2014, do you put a lot of pressure on yourself?
I try not to put too much pressure on myself and focus on all the things I can do to make it right, that way I know that if it doesn’t work out the way I wanted then I can’t blame myself, it was because I simply wasn’t good enough.
What has been your Golden moment for 2013?
It is probably winning the Tour of Tasmania. It’s one of the most prestigious races on the national calendar and it was the race that sealed the overall series win for me.
Also, being at the Cycling Australia awards night was a really great experience. I was in such good company and it was a great night.
Team NetApp-Endura has signed 25-year-old Czech rider Frantisek Padour, thus completing the team for the upcoming season.
Padour is leaving the third league Bauknecht-Author team to join the highest ranked German cycling team. Last year the former junior national champion (2006) topped the general classification of the Czech Cycling Tour, which was also the biggest achievement in his career to date.
“We’ve had a lucky hand with the Czech riders we’ve signed. With Jan Barta and Leopold König we have the current national champion and a Grand Tour stage winner riding for our team. We have seen both cyclists develop from the amateur level to riders who guarantee top results in the biggest races.
We know Frantisek to be an experienced rider with qualities on any terrain. Above all, he is strong in the mountains, which we will use on tours for our classification riders. Of course he will also have the opportunity to ride for himself,” said Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp-Endura. Team NetApp-Endura is heading into the new season with 20 riders. After the first team meeting in December, the season will kick off with a two-week training camp in January on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
The squad also includes Australian rider, Zak Dempster. Team NetApp-Endura: Jan Barta (CZE/28), Cesare Benedetti (ITA/26), Sam Bennett (IRL/23), Iker Camaño (ESP/34), David de la Cruz (ESP/24), Zakkari Dempster (AUS/26), Bartosz Huzarski (POL/33), Blaz Jarc (SLO/25), Leopold König (CZE/26), Tiago Machado (POR/28), Ralf Matzka (GER/24), Jonathan McEvoy (GBR/24), Jose Mendes (POR/28), Frantisek Padour (CZE/25), Erick Rowsell (GBR/23), Andreas Schillinger (GER/30), Daniel Schorn (AUT/25), Michael Schwarzmann (GER/22), Scott Thwaites (GBR/23), Paul Voss (GER/27)
The 2013 RACV Energy breakthrough saw the team consisting of Gerard Delarue and Emily Westmoreland take the challenge to yet again weigh every HPV to compete in the breakthrough.
The idea was put to the table in 2013 in the hope that by weighing the vehicles, teams will obtain an appreciation and understanding of the importance of weight saving in endurance racing.
All 233 vehicles competing throughout the weekend in both primary and secondary sections and managed to weighed a total of 7620 kg.
The average weight this year was 32.7kg across all vehicles; sadly this is up from last year’s average of 32.6kg.
Including all vehicles, the lightest was Nitro from Derinya Primary School that weighed in at 22.1kg with the heaviest being Luigi from Chaffey College that weighed in at 53.5kg.
Among the secondary students the average was slightly heavier at 33.2 kg, this is most probably due to the larger size of the riders requiring larger vehicles. The lightest vehicle on the RACV track was Greenlight from Carey Baptist Grammar that weighed in at 24.3kg.
Basic physics is the reason why teams should aim for a lighter vehicle. In essence, Force = Mass x Acceleration Greater mass = greater force = more effort and energy required to move the vehicle. Further, a heavier vehicle is also less safe in a crash as it has more kinetic energy and thus has the potential to do more damage to the vehicle and other riders than a lighter vehicle would. Simply, a lighter vehicle is easier to pedal. However, there are other considerations required besides weight; safety is paramount and so is aerodynamics. The ultimate race vehicle is one that effectively balances all three of these factors to create a light, safe and aerodynamic vehicle. There is no point in having the lightest core-flute head-out construction when it isn’t safe and is always pushing against the wind.
What we noticed when weighing
Since last years weigh in, a lot of people have chosen to remove their decorative lighting, radios and cute, but unnecessary plush toys. This is fantastic as it saves weight easily, BUT there is always room for improvement.
For example: chain guards are a great way to save weight as they can still be safe and effective with many holes drilled into them. While this may only save a few grams, it all adds up and is what they call in the motor racing industry the ‘one-percenters’.
The same goes to excessive padding. Consider the weight of booster seats and padding before using them and really see where the padding is not being used. Overhanging padding is carried around the track for every lap at no benefit of the rider.
What we recommend to loose weight
Less tape. Less paint. Less padding.
One team sanded back their old paint before putting on a new coat and claimed to have lost 2-3kg.
We also suggest teams remove any old tape before putting on new tape and be very frugal with the tape.
Make sure all electronic wiring is as short as possible and none is coiled up. Cutting Speedo wires and shortening them is easy to do with a soldering iron.
Another great way to save weight during the day is to only ride with your battery during the night. This means your day riders are not carrying a battery they are not using. This can be aided by having a battery that is easily removed.
If you are using core-flute and it doesn’t need to be structural then consider using 3mm instead of 5mm. We noticed a lot of hair guards made of 5mm core-flute where 3mm or a ‘tape curtain’ would have sufficed and been much lighter.
As part of our analysis we created a histogram. This is a graph that shows a distribution of each weight point with the higher columns having more vehicles at that weight than the shorter columns. Ask your maths or science teacher for a further explanation.
Overall the distribution of weights was positively skewed (See Fig. 1 Histogram). This means that the vehicle weights clustered towards the lighter end and petered out towards the heavier end of the scale. This is a great shape to have in a distribution as it shows that constructors are pushing the envelope of the lightest race vehicle. If they were not the distribution would be negatively skewed and there would only be a few lighter vehicles.
We are eternally optimistic that the weight of the vehicles can continue to be lowered while still maintaining safety and aerodynamics. This race is not only about promotion of alternative transport methods but also innovation in materials and construction. Keep up the good work and try and surprise us next year.
Download > 2013 – Weight Results Listing Download > 2013 – Summary Sheet
Images courtesy of RACV Energy Breakthrough
Baden Cooke has announced that he will retire at the end of 2013, ending a 14-year career as one of Australia’s most decorated cyclists. The six time Tour de France rider and 2003 Green Jersey winner is in the process of setting up a sports management company from his base in Monaco and is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead given the abundance of Australian talent in the professional peloton.
A winner of more than 50 professional races, Cooke has ridden on some of the world’s biggest teams including ORICA-GreenEDGE, Saxo Bank and Francaise des Jeux. He is proud to finish off his career at Australia’s first WorldTour team.
“After 14 years racing at the highest level, I am moving on,” said Cooke. “Having the honour of finishing my career with Australia's first own WorldTour team has been a dream, Racing surrounded by my best mates has been a phenomenal experience. I am very proud of my career and am ready for my next adventure. I feel blessed having had the life and career that I always dreamed of having since I was a little boy starting out at Benalla Cycling club with a BMX and a stack hat.”
The Commonwealth bronze medallist and 2004 Olympian will ride a farewell criterium in his hometown of Melbourne as part of the Logie-Smith Lanyon SKCC Super Criterium on Sunday December 15. He will be surrounded by his ORICA-GreenEDGE teammates Matt Goss, Simon Gerrans, Michael Matthews, Brett Lancaster and Peter Weening. The 35 year old’s friends and former teammates from the Australian cycling community, including Brad McGee, Matt White, Henk Vogels and Matthew Wilson, will also attend Cooke’s final race.
Looking back on his illustrious career, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner sights his green jersey and stage win at the 2003 Tour de France as two of his career highlights along with his wins at GP Fourmies and Dwars Door Vlaanderen.
"All I ever wanted in life was to race bikes professionally,” said Cooke. “I never thought I would have so much success and win the races that I did. I am retiring from racing at a professional level but I will continue to train and don't be surprised to see me pop up at a local race."
Image of Baden Cooke courtesy of Graham Watson
Tonight's crit racing for Bowden Elite Team Series and the Junior Crit will both go ahead thanks to favourable weather report from Bureau of Meteorology. There has been 0.4mm of rain since 9am in the CBD, and with a 10% chance of 1mm or less, it will be possible for both races to proceed.
There are still SW winds varying between 25-35kph, and these will help dry the track.
As a safety precaution, our Chief Commissaire will inspect the track prior to the racing to ensure conditions are still conducive to racing.
The junior crit is from 5pm-6pm.
Round 8 of Bowden Elite Team Series will begin at 6:30pm. Further details click here.
Image courtesy of Cycling SA
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