2010 Irish national road champion Matt Brammeier
“If our season was a house, this would be the foundations.” That was the quote of the day from my good friend Mark Mcnally, a fellow scouser; he loves a cheesy comment every now and then.
I’ve come to Alicante for 10 days to start my preparations for my first season as a professional with Team HTC Highroad. I’m here with a few friends of mine – Mark Mcnally, a former team mate from the Anpost Sean Kelly team, Jonny Mcavoy and Ian Bibby. We are staying with a friend of a friend of mine from Belgium in what I can only describe as a bit of a playboy mansion! Swimming pools, saunas, and more rooms than you could imagine. It’s a beautiful house and so far the owners have been awesome hosts and are looking after us well!
So I started training about 10 days ago now after a well-earned four-week rest off the bike. That’s the longest break (excuse the pun) I’ve had since I bust my legs three years ago and it felt sooooooo good. I didn’t really get up to anything special, just enjoyed some time at home for once, drank some wine and did “normal people” stuff for a change.
After a brief chat with the team trainer Sebastian Webber, I started my training with a few steady rides of two to three hours with a few little exercises and efforts to get my body feeling like a bike rider’s again. After a week or so of this I left for Spain for my first training camp of the year. I’m sat here now looking at the weather forecast in Belgium and it looks like I timed things well with a load of snow and rain at home.
The weather here is pretty good for training, dry and about 15 degrees which makes it easier to pick up my training and get some longer rides of around five hours in the bag.
I’m hoping to come out of this camp feeling fit and ready to go for my first meeting with my new team on the 5th December. I fly out of here on the 3rd, have a quick day in Belgium on the 4th to unpack and re pack then I’m off to sunny California for about three weeks on the 5th . According to Cav [Mark Cavendish], it’s “the best place ever in the world”, so I’m feeling pretty excited and keen to get out there, get started with the new team and enjoy some riding in the sun!
First stop is Morgan Hill at the Specialized base in California, where we’ll be fitted up with our new bikes and kit for a couple of days. Then we head south to Westlake Village in the Agoura Hills where we will start the serious training and preparations for the 2011 season. I can’t quite decide whether I’m really nervous or just really excited to meet the team and get things going for next year! I’ll soon find out!
Fingers crossed this next block of training will go to plan with no serious drama and I’m sure I’ll have some stories to tell over the coming days.