CX Chronicles… The life of a WAG


Posted by auscxmag

Posted in News

words: Fiona Morris     photography: (supplied by) Fiona Morris


I bet you are all dying to hear about the glitz and glamour as the girlfriend (soon to be wife) of one of Australia’s most awesome CX riders. So how about a little insight into a typical 24 hour day pre, during and post-race.
Day before Race Day
17.30: Give Boy Wonder a quick rub down, usually just legs but depends how sore he is. (He kindly bought me a massage training course last year…hmm who benefits from that I wonder?)
18.30: Start cooking dinner, always pasta.
19.00: Dinner time. This time it was flaked salmon, with mushroom, bacon, spinach and broccoli with some pesto. I like to make sure there is a good mix of carbs, protein, fats, omega 3’s and other nutrients. (I moonlight as his nutritionist too, although he tends to ignore me when possible)


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19.30: Clean up after dinner and tidy the campervan…it’s too small for it to be messy especially as tomorrow is race day.
21.00: Garry goes to bed, I stay up…I cant sleep for 12 hours like he can. This is usually when I write blog posts or articles (I also write for a health and fitness website…giving all my secrets away now)
22.30: bed time!
Race Day
8.00: I wake and lay there for 20 mins thinking I should get up…then I do get up and put the heater on so it’s warm when Garry gets out of bed.
8.30: Wake Garry if he isn’t already awake.  Make him breakfast, muesli, greek yogurt, banana and raspberries, maybe a slice of bread with butter and creamed honey. Served in bed of course!!


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9.00: Garry takes a nap. I tidy up the breakfast things and then lay out his kit ready for a practice lap.
10.00: Greg, who works in the pits for Garry, will drop past and pick up the bikes, give them a once over before dropping them back ready for practice.
10.15: Garry gets up, dressed and meets up with Redenbach for a quick spin and practice lap.
10.40: Make a snack and a bottle for when Garry gets back in 5 mins.
10.45: Garry is back, gets changed, I start laying his things out for his warm up. The boys sit about, and talk about the track/race…or just talk rubbish. Usually the latter!
11.55: Make Garrys pre-race meal, creamed rice with a banana, always the same. And another bottle. So it’s ready exactly 3 hours prior to the race. He isn’t pedantic or anything…
13.55: Garry gets into his warm up kit and jumps on the rollers while I lay out his race kit and all other essentials. I also get everything ready for when he comes back from the race. Recovery bar, recovery drink ready to be mixed, garbage bag out and ready to have muddy clothes dumped in it, bathroom ready, hot water on, clean clothes laid out for after the shower, towels ready. He doesn’t have to think about anything when he gets back…just a toasty warm shower! Which only last about 2 mins 45, before it turns cold #campervanlife


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14.30: Garry comes inside switches kit, I get all my waterproof clothes on, Greg checks which bike to take to the pit.
14.45: We walk out the door and head for the start line.
14.55 Garry is called onto the start line. I take his jacket and stripper pants, little kiss and good luck, aww cute aren’t we.
15.00: Race start. I head for the pits…usually I get lost finding them. Get there eventually, find Greg, and wait for Boy Wonder to come through. Usually feeling excited, stressed, nervous, anxious…you know, ALL the feelings you could possibly have at one time. When he comes through I grab the dirty bike as Greg hands over the clean bike. I then wait for Paul and hand over his bike and head to the pressure washers to clean the bike. A 14sqm space with 6 pressure washer hoses going full tilt flinging mud everywhere…hence my water proof outfit. The cycle continues for 40 mins – an hour depending how long they last without getting pulled (80% rule is in place).
16.00: head back to the camper, door is smeared in mud, pile of muddy shoes and clothes are outside, garbage bag sitting there ready and willing not obvious enough… Garry is sitting inside freshly showered and in clean clothes. I ask how he went and how he feels while I make the recovery drink.
16.10: the clean-up begins. Clothes in garbage bag. Pressure wash the shoes and the bike he did his last lap on (the other one is generally clean as we tend to clean it in the pits), start packing everything up…I did once put the bikes and wheels and rollers etc away…but I don’t do a good job, the spare wheels sitting on top of the bikes with the rollers kinda leaning against them is apparently not ideal. So now Garry packs them away! He is fussy sometimes 😉
17.00 – 17.30: We head to the next race or perhaps just into the nearest town for the night.
18.30: find a Laundromat…wash all the clothes, the joy of having a campervan…can wash clothes and cook him dinner at the same time…park up right out the front!
So I think what you can gather from that is, glitz is mud and glamour is a waterproof outfit…but don’t worry, I match it all in a monochrome shade of black, and just dress it up with a SRAM CX-1 Beanie and some Hunter gumboots. It’s all about the accessories, right?


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There have been some fears (mainly from the male population) that I was not looking after him sufficiently after that photo of him washing his own bike in the pits went viral, so I hope I have allayed all your concerns?? Please leave a comment either here or on the FB link on a scale of 1 to 10 how spoilt Boy Wonder is…would your misses do all that for you? And girls when your beloved says, “babe im going to take you on a 2 month Summer vacation, and we are staying in the Hilton” make sure he means this…and not this!




Enough about my lavish lifestyle and onto some of the actual racing!

Baal Bpost Bank Trofee Sven Nys GP was where I last left off…Sun shining, thousands upon thousands of spectators streaming in. Garry had a great start and was sitting well ahead of some of his usual competitors in about 26th after a few laps. Paul was a little further back but still ahead of some of the guys that had beaten him in previous races. About 30 minutes in and Garry doesn’t come through as expected. He was riding with a German guy, Yannick, he comes through and then about 8 other riders come through. No sign of Garry….Im not sure how my heart does it but it manages to sink to the depths of my stomach and sit right in my throat all at the same time. Paul comes through still pushing hard. We wait. Some of the riders who are coming last pull out before they are pulled from the race. As the race continues others pull out just because they aren’t doing as well as they hoped, this is a usual sighting*. Garry is back at the campervan, a metal fence jumped out and attacked him!! He has a huge bruise on both knees, scrapes and cuts. He looks in pain, might have something to do with having to stop when he was riding so well. Paul finished in 34th position*.


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Despite my worry about backing up to race the next day, Garry was keen as mustard to head to the Netherlands. We pack up the camper and hit the road…straight for the nearest pharmacy. Nothing neurofen and a little bit of Voltaren cream can’t remedy. The next day we wake in surhuisterveen, and to my delight we find coffee…that almost tastes like coffee! As Garry warms up on the rollers I can hear a lady chatting with him, she is Australian having moved to the Netherlands some time ago and has a 16 year old son who races as a junior. They were coming to the race to watch, however she knew Garry was racing here and had wanted to stop by and say hi. As it turns out people all over the world have been reading this little blog (Hi Marita!). She offers their assistance at the start and finish, and in the pits. Turns out Maritas son is Jens Dekker, a junior who rides for BK CP and finished 2nd at the Namur World Cup (Im tipping him to be the next Lars Van der Haar, you heard it here first!). The only time Jens has been in the pit is when he has ridden through it, so I put him through the paces, handing bikes up, catching bikes, washing bikes. Funnily enough he said he definitely prefers riding his bike over cleaning them. Big thanks to Marita and Jens for their help…can we lock you in for next year…same time, same place? Haha. Millburn finished 19th on the lead lap, a good solid ride. And Redenbach finished 25th*.


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We stopped for dinner in Almere, Paul was hunger flatting so grabbed a kebab while we decided where to go for dinner, which was only half eaten by the time we decided. He proceeded to hide the kebab as we were seated at the restaurant…luckily it was dark inside…here he is sneakily eating a kebab. Can take the boy outta the hood but cant take the hood outta the boy.


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SOUDAL Classic Leuven, the first race where I was really put to the test. I had to work the pits for Millburn and Redenbach as well as being at the start to take jackets. I like to keep fit, go to the gym, run, ride…people often ask what i am training for…well i have figured it out, its for that moment 10 mins before the start when Garry says “actually i need my head warmer and oakleys”…and i have to sprint back to the camper (while wearing gumboots), grab them and sprint back as to not miss the start. Made it, got the jackets, watched the start, headed straight to the pits. Then proceeded to hand bikes and wash bikes. Then washed the bikes they finished on and carried them back from the pits. Thats what I’m training for!!


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I think both guys are looking forward to a week off, Garry having raced 6 races in 10 days and Paul 5 races in 8 days. Leuven was definitely a race on tired legs, they fought to the end though! Garry finished 30th and Paul 32nd!

Also a big thanks to Björn and Britt at Archter de Weredt, for their hospitality.

*A little observation I would like to note about the results sheets: They do not reflect how many people actually started as they do not show who DNF’s. So you may see Paul or Garry at the bottom of the result, when in fact many of the races there are 10 -20 additional people who have DNF’d. Many of them pull themselves out as perhaps they would rather record no result than a result that lists them as 5 laps down.