February 22, 2018
In September, 2017, my life lacked clarity. All had gone well for the first half of the European racing season, but the latter came to an abrupt halt. I had unfortunately come down with illness and needed time to work out what was wrong. Coincidently, September also marked the beginning of my partnership with Clearwipe Antifog. After just one use I was excited to discover just how effective Kobayashi’s product was. For so many years I dealt with foggy glasses, or simply just dirty glasses when the weather turned sour out on the bike. I’d tried countless sprays and wipes, but none compared to that of Clearwipe Antifog.
Naturally I jumped at the exciting opportunity, which gave me slight relief from the frustration surrounding my illness.
After three months, my health turned a corner. I was given the all clear to resume training as normal, with exactly five months till the Commonwealth Games. I had lost a lot of fitness, and was certainly behind where I had hoped to be, but luckily time was on my side. Selections for the Commonwealth Games weren’t to be made till February 1st – there was no way I wouldn’t be named on that team.
November and December were tough. I had to grovel through every session, trying to keep up with my teammates. I flew to Melbourne for a large block of racing, and was beaten time and time again. I had to let go of my pride, and take on the hits, for I knew the challenge would only make me stronger.
The Australian track squad went their separate ways for Christmas, which gave me a chance to find myself. After an intense 9 week period I was able to have some space and get the kilometres done in my own way. After a week I was already feeling better and finally started to recognise the old Nettie that had disappeared in Norway, back in August. The Tour Down Under proved my sensations were correct as I managed to win Stage 1 and finish 3rd on Stage 4. A week-long track camp was next to be crammed into the legs, which thankfully, I went well at.
Another win at Race Melbourne was a welcome bonus and helped confirm my sprint form amongst the peloton. My team and I then took on Cadel’s Race and the inaugural women’s Herald Sun Tour. By the time I flew to Brisbane for the Track National Championships, the legs had started to run out of steam. I was part of the winning Team Pursuit from South Australia, but things slid downhill from there. I had wanted to target the Track National Championships to solidify my position once again within the Australian Women’s Track Team, but unfortunately I didn’t achieve the results I’d hoped for.
Nevertheless, my performances at the recent track camps and Australian road racing scene were enough to place me back in the team and earn selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games!
What a relief. Whilst confident, there were still times where I doubted myself. We have a very strong women’s track endurance squad at Cycling Australia, and the level is constantly increasing. It’s a blessing and a curse; everyone is constantly forced to lift their game, enabling them to get more out of themselves, but inevitably, selection gets harder and harder.
I’m very thankful to those who stood by me through those hard months and helped keep my head on my shoulders. I’m also thankful to my sponsors, including Clearwipe Antifog for assisting me on this journey as I race towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Just six weeks to go!