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Tour Down Under 2017

19th January 2017

There must be something about my birthday! Or is it Adelaide? 

“Brendan, this is it. It’s the big moment, you’re on the World Tour” – Phil Liggett

That big moment will have to wait, just a little bit.

Last year for my 24th birthday I was in Argentina, crashing my bike in the Tour of San Luis, and falling sick with a cold. This year, on the eve of my World Tour debut in the Tour Down Under, which also happened to be my 25th birthday, I was hit with some sort of virus or bug and had to withdraw. I started to suffer from flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills. I was seen by both the race doctor and then by the team doctor Peter Fuller, who determined I shouldn’t race.

The decision was made on the 16th, just after breakfast. It was probably a pretty good decision, because during the rest of the day I didn’t eat lunch, and only managed to eat a small bowl of dried muesli for dinner. The next day, I struggled to eat breakfast. It was my birthday, and my mum and dad were in town. They had driven all the way up from Melbourne to come and watch me race. So we went out for breakfast. I had two poached eggs on toast with avocado, which I usually love eating but this time had to make extra effort. I was wearing my team’s New Balance casual clothing. Whilst eating, someone from the public had recognised me and wished me luck for the day, and told me not to be late to the start…

For the rest of the day, I was sitting on a couch watching the race on TV, waiting for my flight home at 6pm to Melbourne. At least we had the comfort of some nice air conditioning in what was a very hot day.

“Let go of the past 9 days ……you have a big and exciting year ahead”

It was a sad way to depart Adelaide, but I’ll be back. I’ve had lots of support from those around me saying I’ve had a rough couple of weeks, but I am more than fine. If anything, I am just more motivated. I enjoy racing my bike, and I enjoy training my bike. Ed Green highlighted this fact for me a little while ago, and pointed out that most scenarios make me motivated to train and race. If I have a really good race for example, it makes me very excited and motivated for the next one, which is normal I guess. But if I have a really bad race, it drives me to improve for next time. I want to go home, develop a really good training block with my coach, execute on the training, and come back better for the next race. Getting sick is a little bit different, and it can be frustrating seeing three months of good training go to waste, but what I saw from those three months of training was really pleasing.

There’s a little bit of time for me now to get healthy and complete a little training block before Cadel’s race. Sure I’ll be lacking a little bit of racing in the legs that the guys from TDU will have, but I won’t be lacking in motivation and support!



  1. Really bad luck. I’m sure you will be in cracking form for Cadel’s race. Speaking of Cadel, I’ve just started reading his new book. He talks a lot about riding around Arthurs Creek, Nutfield and St Andrews.

    1. bman11476@gmail.com

      Thanks Jon,
      Yeah I just finished reading Cadel’s book myself… I thought it was nice to read, plenty of insight and interesting to see the roads and names of people he used to train with locally, some of whom still ride on the Peak Cycles bunch today!



    1. bman11476@gmail.com

      Thanks Chris and Julie 🙂

  3. Wendy (Superfan) Abbott

    I was sorry to see you leaving due to illness Brendan. You walked past me when being picked up to leave the hotel and I felt like going up to you and giving you a big hug. Hope to see you in Geelong!!

  4. Just too bad Brendan. It happens. There’s an irony that the fitter you are the more vulnerable you are to infection. And the more precautions you have to take to avoid possible exposure to sickness. Well done on bowing out gracefully.

  5. Hey Brendan remember your past 3 months of training hasn’t gone to waste. You can build on it for Cadels race and the rest of the season. And you met some great people at rise health group…lol…your favourite training buddy Jenni

    1. bman11476@gmail.com

      Thanks Jenni, hopefully can pop down for a session before flying to Europe 🙂

  6. Love the growth mindset mate. Sorry you got sick but such is the life of a bike racer eh? Looking forward to watching your whole season and beyond. Keep it up!

  7. Great Mindset Brendan…looking forward to watching you race in Geelong!

  8. Another insightful and concise read Brendan, despite the subject. I was really sorry for you when heard about that illness but I’m sure you’ll bounce back really soon. Take it easy!

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