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Golden Days in Melbourne

Having ridden for Belgian squad MrBookmaker for the last two seasons, Queenslander Ben Day is one of Australia's quiet achievers in Europe. In 2006 he's back in Portugal with the Boavista team, but this week it's all about Melbourne as he prepares for the Commonwealth Games time trial and road race. Cyclingnews' Mal Sawford spent a few minutes chatting with Day where he confirmed he'll start both the time trial and road race.

 

Ben Day
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

While many of the Commonwealth Games riders opted to include a local club criterium in their final preparations for the road and MTB events later in the week, Australian team member Ben Day preferred to watch from the sidelines. The Queenslander is a medal chance in both the time trial and road race, and is just happy to be in town for the big event and lapping up the atmosphere.

Cyclingnews: How long have you been in Melbourne?

Ben Day: Since Tuesday...we were flown back business class, so that was a nice treat!

CN: How does it feel to be back here for this type of event?

On the podium
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

BD: Since arriving in Melbourne last Tuesday, the vibe of the Commonwealth Games has slowly been seeping into me and I'm getting excited. Watching the outcomes unfold from the various sports, and with so many medals going Australia's way, it's hard not to.

It's always a joy to be apart of the Australian national team. The reason why Australia is one of the most successful countries in cycling is because of the support behind the scenes. The knowledge, dedication, passion and organisation of everyone behind the scenes is second to none. There are so many people with each and every one of us. I hope this week I can make them proud.

Riding the Tour de Langkawi
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

CN: What do you make of the support for the Games here in Melbourne?

BD: There are supporters out on the streets when we are training - where there is normally only abuse! I can just tell that it is going to be such a unique experience.

CN: Have you seen the time trial course?

BD: Yes, we had a good look at it yesterday - but with traffic lights! It looks like it's going to be really, really quick. It's not going to be so easy 'cause there's no actual let up. Normally if there are a few hills you have a few descents as well, but this one is going to be pretty solid.

There are a couple of little rises up around Black Rock there, which might slow things down, but apart from that it's going to be really, really quick, and we'll see what happens with the wind as well. It may also be a factor - it could be that one way will be a slog and the other way will be incredibly fast. Local support will certainly help though.

Riding on home turf
Photo ©: Michael Marston

CN: How is your form?

BD: Good, I think. I had a second in a tour last week [second on final GC at the Volta ao Santarem], so the signs are good - we'll see what happens.

CN: Who is your tip for the time trial?

Celebrating a stage win
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

BD: Nathan! [O'Neill] To tell you the truth, the way they've put the start lists for the countries they haven't nominated the time triallists. So looking through them it's really hard to see who's actually here to do the time trial. There might be a couple of [dangerous] guys. We can't be complacent at all here, you just never know. I'm hoping, and I'm pretty sure that we're both going to have a good show, and hopefully get some medals.

CN: Has Nathan arrived in Melbourne?

BD: Nathan arrived down here in Melbourne last night, and he's going to do a reccie of the course today.

CN: Since you've come out this morning, were you tempted to pin a number on and have a hit out with these guys [in the Carnegie Caulfield crit]?

BD: No, I did that yesterday out training. Today's my rest day

 
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