Ok, so that’s a little dramatic. But I spent several hours last night crying into my pillow justifying to myself why I wanted to not quit.
then I crossed out Adelaide, and Tamworth
then I was back in for everything, but I was finished after…
Did I train? Did I want to train? How could I sabotage myself so I had an excuse to just hang up the bike.
I quit a few weeks ago. But I’ve been going through the motions. I’ve been turning up** Step 1, get out of the house. Step 2, hold it together. Step 3, remember this is fun.
**I’m physically there, but mentally I’ve checked out.
to anyone who’s asked if I was ok. Thank you. I’m not. I’m not ok, but I’m coping, although not always holding it together. I’m in a lot of pain, but knowing I have such a supportive network makes it all bearable. I will be ok, but right now I’m not.
I’ve been through this before. I hit an equally low low back in in 2015. This time it’s the same story.
actually having a re-read of that… I remember how I felt, and I’m still here, still racing.
really, it’s just. one. race. But it’s not ‘just one race’ Due to circumstances beyond my control. This was going to be my last ‘big’ race. Not for this year, but ever.
this is 2020, and I’ve built this up. Maybe, I’ve got tunnel vision. But this is how the year went.
- Qualified for the World Cups!
- Although on a UCI trade team, with the required UCI points, couldn’t do the WC’s due to quotas
- International races cancelled
- I got told I needed an ankle reconstruction
- my UCI team didn’t re register due to covid
- Nationals got postponed. I qualified for 2020! (sat out my 2 year exclusion period and made times)
- Racing started up again!
- Virtual track challenge- I was struggling with motivation. I was saying no to riding with friends, although I didn’t have any solid goals.
- Nationals re scheduled!
- Nationals Entries re opened- I am no longer eligible…
- Mentally checked out
- Found the regulation in the AusCycling tech regs saying I could race
- One person has made the decision to not let me race
- I quit
2020 has been a shit storm of a year, and as much as I had joked about retirement in the past. It would seem like the events of this year were forcing the retirement. I wasn’t choosing it. And that’s what sucks. All I have wanted to do for the last few years is race at the Aussie track nats. This year I was finally eligible, and that too has been taken from me without it being my choice. Then to make it worse, it has been the decision of one person, and I have not had the right to appeal. That’s what hurts the most.
This is not the first time I’ve quit over bureaucracy. I keep this photo on my phone. This was back in 2018 when I was about to give up on my dream of racing in Japan. I was absolutely shattered. I couldn’t race because of some policy even though I wasn’t asking for anything except an endorsement. I had given up… but somehow it worked out. This photo is a reminder to keep at it.
I took another one at the sprint GP… that was the hardest race. I was not having fun, I didn’t want to be there, I was not holding it together. I don’t want to remember the end of my elite racing this way.
For those not following along on facebook. This is the story so far
AusCycling Tech regs as of November 1 2020
AusCycling Schedule & Entries Contact
To clarify after your messenger post today
The 2020 Elite and Under 19 National Championships are a State based competition and is not open to club riders in any form
It has been opened to International Riders as below, therefore they compete as an International rider in National Registered clothing only
This is the information on the entry portal for this specific event
Wednesday 16th December – Sunday 20th December 2020
- International competitors wishing to compete in an Open Championships must have:
- An international licence issued by a National Federation recognised by the UCI; and
- Have met the AusCycling qualification standards; and
- Be a Member of a National Team recognised by a member National Federation of the UCI.
Note: International competitors cannot be considered for national team selection.
Domestic Riders must compete as part of their State Team.
This is a UCI Registered Event and then the additional regulation in the AusCycling Regulations for this event is:
2.02.02 Open Championships are Championships that allow cyclists registered with AusCycling (regardless of state of residence) or another UCI National Federation provided they have a current UCI International licence.
This is the information given to you the first time you contacted me and has not changed. As previously discussed, if the event does not take place or you are not able to cross the border into Queensland then you will be refunded your entry fee. The International License can be purchased once the border announcements are made on 1st Dec.
Thanks for the email and the information it provided. I accept that International competitors need to comply with the requirements that you listed and that are clearly stated in the entry portal. Please be advised that I am not seeking to enter the 2020 AusCycling Elite & U19 (Open) Track National Championships as an International competitor.
You have referred to AusCycling Technical Regulation 2.02.02 and this has confused me somewhat as this is within the “2.02 Status of State Championships” section of the AusCycling Technical Regulations. This seems not to be relevant to AusCycling Technical regulation 2.01 – Eligibility of Australian Championship Competitors. AusCycling technical regulation 2.00.02 would seem to me to be more relevant as it is within “2.00 Status of Australian Championships” section of the AusCycling Technical Regulations and states:
2.00.02 – Open Championships are Championships that allow cyclists registered with AusCycling or another UCI recognised National Federation, provided they have a current UCI International licence and who meet with regulation 2.01.02.
I refer to and am seeking to enter the 2020 AusCycling Elite & U19 (Open) Track National Championships pursuant to AusCycling Technical Regulation 2.01.03 that states –
“2.01.03 – Non-Australian citizens, who reside in Australia, who are members of AusCycling, and who do not hold a UCI licence issued by a UCI recognised National Federation, may compete in an Open Australian Championships.”
In this regard:
1. I am a Non-Australian citizen. – I am a Canadian citizen.
2. I am a member of AusCycling being a member of St George Cycling Club in NSW and my 2020 CA membership number is 167361
3. I do not hold a UCI Licence issued by a UCI recognised national Federation.
Accordingly, I do appear to satisfy ALL the requirements of AusCycling Technical Regulation 2.00.02 and 2.01.03. My reading of the AusCycling Technical Regulation indicate that I am entitled to compete in the 2020 AusCycling Elite & U19 (Open) Track National Championships.
Please by return email confirm my eligibility or explain by reference to relevant AusCycling Technical Regulations your reasoning for your advice that I am not eligible to compete in an Open Australian Championship.
I am keen to clarify my position so that I can enter and secure the required accommodation and travel arrangements as soon as possible while continuing to train and prepare for these Championships. I have also CC’ed in XXXXXX, the Secretary of St George CC. As he helped me asses my eligibility.
One week Passed
I raised a ticket with AusCycling membership requesting an appeals contact
AusCycling Schedule & Entries Contact
Following our previous correspondence, the situation has not altered.
The following regulations apply for the 2020 Elite Track Championships
These championships are open to State Teams & International License Holders Only. Club Teams are not permitted to enter.
2.00 STATUS OF AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
2.00.02 Open Championships are Championships that allow cyclists registered with AusCycling or another UCI recognised National Federation, provided they have a current UCI International licence and who meet with regulation 2.01.02.
2.00.03 AusCycling may, from time to time, declare a National Championship as an Open Championship. Open Championships shall allow non-Australian riders to compete.
International participants must present a current UCI licence issued by their National Federation before they may participate in the event.
2.01.02 International competitors wishing to compete in an Open Championships must have:
1. An international licence issued by a National Federation recognised by the UCI.
2. Permission from AusCycling to compete.
Note: International competitors cannot be considered for national team selection.
Reply from AusCycling membership ticket
Re:[## 61232 ##] Appeals Committee contact
Thanks for getting in touch.
We have passed this on internally and the response is that there is no update to the AusCycling Schedule & Entries Contact’s response, and as a Canadian in a UCI event you must have a UCI License.
I understand They have, or will soon send you another email outlining their response.
Any further questions, please let me know.
this response is basically telling me I have no right to appeal. There is one person making a decision. And this is why I’ve quit. I’ve worked too hard, and I’m absolutely devastated by this decision.
I always let Cycling Australia use my UCI code. It’s like an abusive relationship where I keep giving in. I’ve ridden Bundy, ITS, MCOW, Austral, Cycling Australia Madison nats… year after year. And not once have they asked me to produce an international licence. My CAN UCI code and CA licence has always been enough. I’ve ridden Madisons, IP’s, all the enduro races. Just because they needed my code to have the event as a UCI classified event. Now, I need them to follow their tech regs so I can get the opportunity to race, and I’m being told no.
It’s not fair, and I don’t know what the end game is. It’s not like there is an over abundance of female sprinters and they need to limit the numbers of competitors.
“Lets Ride Together”
Diversity exists – Inclusion is a choice.
I didn’t quit. I raced nats.
And by raced, I was there. I may have cracked a smile or 2. But I was isolated, distraught, I hated it, I hated everyone.
After a month of arguing my eligibility, on the day of entries closing I got the All Good ta race from the acting CEO of AusCycling via a mate of mine who is on the Board of directors.
I still had to get an international Licence (it’s a 3-5 week process and I had less than 2 weeks till racing) but I didn’t need to be on a National team.
So I get to nationals and as I’m preparing for my first race the Commissaire I had been chatting with walked up to me and said I hadn’t paid for my licence. I hadn’t, but I also didn’t know I could par for it. The email had gone to my junk folder (just like anything from CNSW over the last year. I think the universe is trying to tell me something). I once again argured that non-australian riders who are residents could compete on the AusCycling licence. Reg 2.01.03. She then said I was interrupting the rules incorrectly and I should be thankful for all the behind the scenes work she did so I could ride. I sarcastically thanked her for all her help and continued getting ready to race.
While I was getting into my race kit, she printed off a copy of the rules…
but omitted 2.01.03
when I went to look up the exact wording. I noticed that 10 days prior to racing the tech regs had been changed and the eligibility rule I was arguing had disappeared.
I wasn’t misinterpreting anything incorrectly. The rules were changed. December 16… days before Nationals were due to start
I lost it.
I was out, I was done. This happened just before my 500TT. I raced the week, but I didn’t race. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to.
Lets just say nationals sucked. I had hyped it to be my last race, I trained my ass off. I keep saying this, I don’t know why the rule was changed. I don’t know what I did, I don’t know what the end game is.
I left Brisbane. Christmas happened, I raced Tassie, I raced Rockhampton. It felt so good to be reminded of what I love. The grass roots community. Cheers from the crowd. Getting my ass kicked.
In the background, simmering, I put a report into Sport Integrity Australia outlining my situation. I wanted to know why there was a rule change. I wanted my money back (I still stand by me not needing an international licence to race a domestic event in the country I’m licenced to race in) I wanted an apology for the distress I’ve been in, and an avenue for non Australian citizens (but Australian residents and licenced members of AusCycling) to be able to race track nationals without paying an extra fee and having the requirement of being on a national team.
If you are a member of AusCycling, make the qualifying times, pay your club fees, you should be eligible for nationals. We are trying to grow the sport, not exclude riders.
Unfortunately, due to my UCI code being Canadian, I cannot race. I meet all the requirements; I shouldn’t have to change my UCI code. I don’t want selection to the Aussie Team, I just want to be able to race nationals in the country I call home.
I wasn’t ok.
A few weeks past. I was ‘training’ but really not enjoying it. I was going through the motions. Everything felt forced. But with the report in, I had hope that I could still get one more crack at nationals. I then got a phone call from sport integrity saying they got a response from AusCycling. Because of confidentiality they needed to ask if the response could be shared with me. I was looking forward to hearing the explanation of what happened to the eligibility clause. I wanted to get some closure, some insights, something other than this is personal, and I was being targeted.
Having reviewed your information, the issues raised fall outside the current remit of Sport Integrity Australia in StageOne. Unfortunately, we have no jurisdiction to act on this information or to investigate your claims further.
AusCycling did not give permission to share the response they gave to Sport Integrity. All I know is if I want to know the answers, I need to take this to court (and they need to agree to meet me there).
And now I’m done. This has been a roller coaster, mostly a down one, and I’ve run out of mental resilience to deal with this.
I entered the NSW state championships just to see what would happen.
We have received information from AusCycling who have advised that if you wish to ride as an Australian rider at the Australian Nationals, you must qualify to compete through your respective state team (if eligible). Otherwise you need to enter as an international rider, which would require you to have an international licence.
To be eligible
2.01.03 A rider can only represent the State or Territory they reside in and must be an Australian citizen. This may be varied in exceptional circumstances by application to AusCycling.
AusCycling State Selection Tech regs
3.1 The Selection Panel may consider the performance outcomes and standards indicated
The Selection Panel will base track selection on the Rider’s results/performances within the
performance time period at:
• State or Territory Track Championships
• Previous AusCycling National Track Championships
• other Open Events
Selectors may also consider results achieved in other major national and international level
within the performance period such as UCI sanctioned international events, and AusCycling
approved events including State Championships (for timed events only).
To ride for a state team, I need to be an
- Aussie Citizen. Yep.
- Preform at the state champs (1 gold- keirin 2x Silver- TT, TS 1 bronze- Sprint). If that doesn’t count as preforming at the state champs, I don’t know what does…
- Make time- I did 11.8 in the F200 and 37.3 Not my best times, but well and truly within the standards set out by AusCycling
To ride as an international
- I need to pay an extra fee to AusCycling to get an international licence.
- Meet the time standards. Yep
- Be a member of a National team. Nope. Cycling Canada won’t endorse me as a national rider. I’ve tried.
I had one of my best showings at the state champs this year. I finally cracked 12 seconds at Dunc and took the win in my favourite race (the keirin). I really thought I was in with a chance.
But Just to be certain, I booked in to race in Adelaide. It was nationals, but not nationals for the female sprinters. All the big names were there; Kaarle, Caitlin, Bree, Kristina, Lara, Me! This was my last major race. I was that pumped to get my ass kicked infront of the Adelaide Track League crowd (then get on the beers!).
Day 1- did a 12. F*<ken 0 but qualified 8th. Although outclassed in speed, I showed an enduro how to race like a sprinter.
Then in the 5-8 final I finished up 2nd. I’ll call that a 6th at not nationals nationals.
Day 2- Keirins- I had one more race left. Two if I made the finals. I really wanted to make it 2 races. I rode the Keirin heat like it was my last race. It was a doozy! I managed to box Caitlin in and keep up with the others (Lara and Ella) around the outside. The race was close, and I made the final. In the final I did not crash, then I did not give up. Finished 5th (at the not nationals nationals)
I knew that was my last race. I was still holding out hope for state team selection. But really that was my last race.
2 weeks later my track bike is still in the bike box. I have no intention of building it up any time soon. The NSW state team was announced, and I’m not on it.
I quit. This isn’t a retirement, that would be a choice. I’m quitting because I can’t do this anymore.
I’m going Camping