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WCN quicklink >>  Amy's Ride & Bay Series Launch     Dandenong Criterium Write-up   Dandenong Photo Gallery (78 images)   Bay Series Results

On this page >>    Jayco Bay Series               Greater Dandenong Criterium      Amy's Ride         Rider Update   

                                Kate Nichols interview     Photos          



Jayco Bay Series and Amy's Ride launch

January 4th - 8th 2006

Amy's Ride website

Jayco Bay Series    

The 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 January.

This 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.

Jayco Bay Series Races 2006

Wednesday 4th January 2006 – Williamstown 12:30pm

Thursday 5th January 2006 – Portarlington 12:30pm

Friday 6th January 2006 – Geelong (Ritchie Boulevard)  4.00pm (incorporates Australian Criterium Championships)

Saturday 7th January 206 – Geelong (Botanic Gardens) 4.00pm

Sunday 8th January 2006 – Docklands  10:00am


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Greater Dandenong Criterium   

Another 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.


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Amy's Ride   

Amy’s 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…….).  

So 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.

Entrants 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 enter the ride via the website >> Amy's Ride website

Amy 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 aims:

~  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.

Jayco 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.


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Rider Update 

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.

Lorian Graham – 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.

Louise Yaxley – 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

Kate Nichols

Kate was at the Jayco launch she suffered damage to her hand, cutting two tendons and sustained deep glass cuts to much of her body.

Kate has been back on a bike for a couple of months, and is "enjoying it again". “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 that.

I’ve 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.

This 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 again “Its 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.

Kate 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.

Having 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.

When 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.


WomensCycling.net thanks Kate Nichols for her time and courage in attending the launch and responding to the questions put to her.


Best 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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Launch Photos

IMG_7082 IMG_7094 IMG_7099 IMG_7102 IMG_7105
IMG_7127 IMG_7129 IMG_7140    



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