Jayco Bay Series and Amy's Ride launch
January 4th - 8th 2006
launch of the Jayco Bay Series took place yesterday, including the launch of
“Amy’s Ride” – with Simon Gillett in attendance. 2006 will be the 7th
year as the Jayco Bay Classic and the 10th year of the event. The
Jayco Bay Series is now placed as the season-starter for Australian (and
visiting) racers. It may be the first event of the year, but the Bay Series
also has a reputation as being the fastest criteriums on the circuit. The
2006 event will be the biggest so far. Once more, Phil Liggett will be
commentating. The races take place at various locations around Port Phillip
Bay – including a showcase finish at Melbourne’s Docklands on Sunday 8th
year sees 10 teams entered. 2005 was the first year that the women’s races
took on a team format and that will be repeated again in 2006. Kate Nichols
and Alexis Rhodes, who were injured in the accident in Germany in July 2005,
will be making their race comebacks, whilst Katie Brown, who was also
injured will be helping her boyfriend, Mark Renshaw by acting as Team
Manager of the team he will be riding for. Also entered are defending
Champion, Oenone Wood, Olympic Champion, Sara Carrigan, 2003 Jayco Champion,
Kate Bates and 2002 Champion, Rochelle Gilmore.
Bay Series Races 2006
4th January 2006 – Williamstown 12:30pm
5th January 2006 – Portarlington 12:30pm
6th January 2006 – Geelong (Ritchie Boulevard)
4.00pm (incorporates Australian Criterium Championships)
7th January 206 – Geelong (Botanic Gardens) 4.00pm
Sunday 8th January 2006 – Docklands 10:00am
event, promoted by the same organiser takes place this weekend – on Sunday
18th December. Races start from 11.30am. The programme includes
women’s racing, which takes place at around 1:30pm. The women’s race
will be a fundraiser for the Amy Gillett Foundation – all entry fees from
the day will be donated to the Foundation by Cycle Sport Victoria.
The Dandenong criterium course takes in the following streets: Putney Street, Wilson Street, Langhorne Street and Wedge Street.
Ride take place during the Jayco Bay Series and is for anyone who wishes to
support the Amy Gillett Foundation to participate in. There
are 3 road courses and 2 off-road courses to choose from. All Bay Classic race
competitors will be riding Amy’s Ride too – as “Amy’s Army” – anyone
who gets into trouble on the ride will have help from one of the Bay Classic
competitors, according to organiser, John Treverrow (although he admitted that
he had not told the competitors this yet…….).
far, the ride has just over 1000 entries. Interest has been very active in the
past couple of days and the organisers are expecting 2000 participants.
will be eligible for an Amy’s Ride cycling jersey, Amy Gillett wristband
and a bidon (drinking bottle). Change of course choice can be made on the
day, without informing the organisers. Entrants are encouraged to complete
their chosen ride, then watch the stars in competition later that afternoon
in the Jayco Bay Series, race 4, in Geelong’s Botanic Gardens. Riders can
Gillett was killed in an accident on 18th July 2005, when a car
ploughed through the Australian team which was training for a race which
started the next day. The Amy Gillet Foundation was set up with three main
To provide support for the rehabilitation of Amy's five injured team-mates,
To fund and administer a scholarship program for young women cyclists to
support their sporting and academic endeavours,
~ To promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists.
Bay Series organiser, John Treverrow introduced Amy’s Ride with the
following tribute to Amy Gillett:
“Amy Gillett was a very special person. There are not many athletes who can make it to Olympic standard in one sport and then move into a completely different sphere and one which uses very different muscles and make it to the every top. In a short time she made it to Australian Champion and I’m sure was destined for greater glory in her new chosen sport.”
Although the riders are still battling with their injuries, they are also getting on with their lives. Each of the survivors is keen to either get back on a bike, or to race at the highest level possible again. All are involved in cycling and cycling events at the moment. Here’s a brief update about where they’re up to:
Alexis Rhodes – will be starting her season at the Jayco Bay Series. This will be her first major racing since the accident, although she has been training and riding local events.
– has just spent 10 days as support driver to a ride which she
joint-organised along with her partner, Pete Forbes and which went from
Maitland to Brisbane. Sporting stars who took part in the ride included
Robbie McEwen and Henk Vogels.
– will be acting as ambassador for the forthcoming Tasmania Carnivals.
Katie Brown – will be Team Manager for the men’s Skilled team which is competing in the Jayco Bay Series in January
was at the Jayco launch she suffered damage to her hand, cutting two tendons
and sustained deep glass cuts to much of her body.
has been back on a bike for a couple of months, and is "enjoying
“Obviously something like this
shakes you up and makes you question why you’re still doing the sport and
I realised how much I love racing and so decided to continue on training. My
first race back will be the Bay Series. I’m really looking forward to
been back in the bunches in Sydney and I’ve been doing some ‘cross
training’, swimming with Katie Brown as part of her recovery and just
enjoying riding and life again.”
young rider has been through so much physically and mentally. She obviously
still feels the pain of losing a friend and team-mate and the trauma of the
accident. Her outlook, though, is positive and she says that she now “wishes
to get the most out of every time I ride my bike – training or racing”.
Her love for cycling, competition in particular, is something which has
confirmed her motivation to regain race fitness and pin a number on her back
been a difficult time being back on the road, out training especially. I did
a race in the Canberra area last week and realised my great love for the
sport and my love for racing, so that motivates me to get back out there.”
admitted that she had suffered some doubt about whether to get back on a
bike again after the accident, but in the end, she was overcome by her love
of the sport “I definitely
considered what might be a safer sporting option, but unfortunately I
can’t run and I can’t swim, so the options were limited. But I
definitely have a passion for racing. I’ve been racing since I was 12 and
I’ve always loved it – the toughness about is and the endurance aspect.”
raced locally in the past couple of weeks, she is ready to put herself back
into the higher echelons of racing, with a season ahead which includes
several major events. Kate didn’t know whether she’d “last
a minute, or last forty minutes, the important thing is to be there”
in the Bay Series. That is just the beginning of a campaign which is mapped
out until mid-year. “This
summer, I’m going to do the Bay Series, then the Nationals and the
Adelaide Criteriums and then possible the Geelong and New Zealand World Cups
and then go from there. I’ll probable go back to University for the
session and there’s a possibility of going overseas midway through the
year but we’ll see about that.”
asked about road safety and her involvement in initiatives, she responded
“I’m definitely more
involved in flying the ‘safety flag’ with motorists and cyclists. I
think habits need to be changed by both parties. One of the most comforting
things to hear for me since being back on the bike is that people are
telling me that they drive more safely, ride more safely. If we can spread
that word, its definitely a good thing.”
thanks Kate Nichols for her time and courage in attending the launch and
responding to the questions put to her.
wishes to Kate, her peers and the Amy Gillett Foundation in the future.
WomensCycling.net will be covering Amy’s Ride and also each of the Jayco Bay Series events, including the Greater Dandenong event this Sunday.
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