“I have been working with Houshang Amiri since 2003. During this time I have won nine National titles.”
- Brian Cowie
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Spencer Smitheman 3rd in Nationals U23

November 09, 2011

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PCC athlete Spencer Smitheman attained a podium finish at the U23 National Road Championships last month after 2nd place Arnaud Papillon failed a doping test. The race was a challenge for Spencer but just-reward after months of training. Here is his report of the race.

"The Nationals Road Race this year featured a brutal but short hill that we tackled 14 times. The race was 180 km long and proved to be pure attrition. It started fast and aggressive and the field soon began to split on the climb. I wasn't feeling amazing, but I knew where and when to make my effort count. On a decisive time up the climb the pack split towards the front end, and I threw everything at the climb and made the split of 19 riders, which had an impressive list of riders. There was soon a separation of four riders, three of them from Spidertech, as well as Rob Britton. The climbs continued to test the riders and towards the end of the race the split blew apart. In the U23 category there were only five of us to make the split, and in the last couple laps I started to cramp and was dropped. I settled into what was 4th place on the road and focused on essentially time trialing to the finish. First and second place U23 riders did a sprint finish while the 3rd rider was also dropped. In the aftermath of the race, only 42 riders of 170 finished.

After the race I heard that 2nd place U23 Arnaud Papillon, who lost by a bike throw, tested positive for EPO. His result was nullified and I was bumped to a podium place. While unfortunate, it is gratifying to receive this result after all the work and preparation I did leading up to Nationals. My main focus of the year had been this race and I spent many weeks and months training with Coach Houshang Amiri in Victoria, behind the motorbike, on climbs and working on my general fitness. It feels good to know it came together and helped me achieve a strong result.

Next year I will be heading back to Europe to race with a team out of Germany. I look forward to the challenge of European racing and adapting to a new environment. The opportunities that I am lucky to have will give me an avenue to continue my progression in the sport into the European professional ranks."



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