Lauren Hall

Professional cyclist from the state of Mississippi

Australia

The whole trip to Adelaide and Melbourne was amazing, the racing, the team, the adventures, it was all such a wonderful experience.

Before the first race in Adelaide, we were offered a trip to a wildlife park to see some of the local creatures and if we were lucky, hopefully hold a koala.  The race organization also had a BBQ for the entire peloton and staff, just to welcome us to the race and enjoy the warm weather and post racing, they had us out for yoga and invited us to the velodrome for a track event.  We were well looked after.

Opposite side of the road and new road signs.

At the wildlife park, since it was too hot to hold the koalas, here's a snake, same right? 

Then we had the chance to feed these guys, they are living the dream.  Just hang out and people come and feed you and scratch behind your ears - everyday! 

Hedgehog, I think. 

Adrian, our mechanic, getting cozy.  Look at their cute paws!

Nahhhh, not my favorite. 

And here they are! The cute koalas, sleeping in their tree.

A couple of dingos. 

This was behind stage, before we went up for presentation. 

These were the performers about to go on stage before us, I couldn't resist asking for a photo.  

And of course, once the racing was finished we hit the beach BUT only for a short time.  Even with all the sunscreen, we still got a little burned.  Tayler was enjoying making a sand angel and I think the patrol had a good time keeping us safe as well. 

The night at the velodrome was a lot of fun and I even ran into one of the guys from the Perth track when I was in Perth in 2011! That was a lot of fun to say hello and check in, real life, not FB check in:)

But what about the racing????? It was a 4 day stage race. 

Katie was 3rd the first day, then we worked hard to get Ruth in the young riders' jersey(success) the following day.  She kept the jersey till the last day but lost it in the end.  The racing was a success by our goals we set and we had a great time getting to know each other on the bikes and in race situations. 

Onward to Melbourne, I think most of our peloton was on the flight, then we bused to the hotel.

Again, we were treated to some wonderful experiences by the race organization.  They held a dinner just for the women's peloton to recognize leadership qualities sports can have for women and how those individuals can give back to their communities in a productive, meaningful way.  

We also had the opportunity to go into the city to watch the Tony Award winning, Kinky Boots Musical.  It was such an amazing production, it's been a long time since I've seen a live performance - how nice of them! Plus we were allowed backstage to meet the two main performers.  Fast forward to the Australian Open final between Serena and Venice and guess who sang the national anthem? The actor we met at Kinky Boots! 

Exploring new coffee stops is always fun. 

Enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures while we can.

Heading into the theatre.  

One of our races was in Melbourne on the Formula 1 track and one was held in the Geelong and surrounding areas, both were put on by Cadel Evans.  Thank you Cadel for supporting women's cycling in a HUGE way!!!! 

Thank you Cadel!!

Pit lane for Formula 1! How cool!

Pre race for the road stage in Geelong.  

We saved the best for last, Ruth was second and won queen of the mountains jersey in our last race there.  It was a one day race, 113k along the coast and then inward before looping back to the start line.  I was so excited as I crossed the line, pretty far back, to hear that our work paid off.  Adrian was reaching across the barriers telling us Ruth was second! For me I could not win another race to see the happiness on my teammates' faces like that again. 

Enjoying racing with this great group!

We finished the trip with a post race meeting near the waterfront, some gelato and a lot of laughs.  What a great team of women and I'm so thankful to be a part of it.

Lauretta, Ruth, Tayler, Rushlee, Katie, myself and Rachel.

These cars are everywhere here! 

Now I'm back in Tucson, with Bradley and we head home to Cortez in a week.  Winter training has come to an end and I look forward to seeing my teammates again real soon. 

Training with my best friend in life. 

Riding with Kathryn and enjoying hanging with my friend. 

How I feel about my life, my family, my team. 

Reading: Black Cross by Greg Iles

Watching: the Grammys

Listening: folk radio on Spotify

Eating: oatmeal and bacon

Website: www.jakroo.com They are making me a custom kit, you can do the same! Whatever your heart's desire. 



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