So it’s been a little while since my last blog. Busy, busy, excuses, excuses – sorry! What have I been up to? Since the end of HTC-Highroad I’ve been a little busy trying to sort things out for 2012. Eventually, after a few weeks of sitting on the phone 24/7, I’ve sorted myself out! Of course, I’m not going to tell you any more as I’m contractually obliged to keep stum until September 1 so I will say no more – other than I’m extremely happy with where I’ll be riding next year.
Apart from that, I’ve had a filthy-hard Eneco Tour and the Vattenfall Cyclassics race in Hamburg. Neither of them went too well. I did some good training and prepared well for Eneco Tour and expected too feel a little better. It started bad with a crash in the prologue and then I suffered through the rest of the race. I did a bit of pulling for the guys but generally it was a bad race for HTC. We got a couple of podiums in the time trials but, apart from that, we didn’t really feature much. The only good thing that came out of the race for me was a super-hard eight days racing. I managed to finish feeling pretty stuffed but not totally on my knees.
After Eneco I had a steady few days and then a small training block before Hamburg. I was feeling super-good on the bike and was motivated to ride well in Hamburg. I woke up Sunday morning with a thumping headache and feeling pretty rough. I was hoping a few paracetamol would do the trick but after 150kms I was feeling awful on the bike so decided I had to pull the pin and stop. I was pretty dissapointed but what could I do?
After a few days on the sofa shaking off a heavy virus I was back on the bike doing some pedaling.One of the worst parts of being a bike rider has to be when you’re sick. Even one day of missed training makes you feel so guilty. You just want to be out there riding, even though you have thousands of kilometres in your legs and a few easy days will more than likely benefit you rather that delay you – you still can’t relax and not stress.
Anyway, Hamburg blues out of the system and my health back and I’m finally feeling good again. I did a couple of good training rides this week with a lot of work on my TT bike so I’m expecting too feel a little better. I really want to focus on the time trial at the World Championships this year. It’s something I really used to excel at but since my run-in with the cement truck I haven’t quite managed to find my TT legs again. Riding in a low position really isolates my hip muscles and just doesn’t feel good. So this is definitely something I needed to work on and get my old TT legs back so I have decided to give myself a kick up the arse and put a little bit of pressure on myself at a major event.
The TT at the Olympic Games in London next year is, of course, something else on my mind. So I’ve been riding my TT bike more than I’ve ever ridden it – easy rides, long endurance rides, motor pacing and just using every opportunity I get to ride the bike. After such a long time feeling rubbish on my TT bike I’m all of a sudden starting too feel really comfortable on my Specialized Shiv. Riding for four hours alone at 38kph average feels pretty good!
At the moment I’m sat on a plane full of bike riders on the way to GP Plouay [eventually won by Lampre-ISD rider Grega Bole – ed.]. The race organisers have put on a charter flight for us – pretty cool. But if this plane goes down it will be a small peloton! Anyway I’m getting shouted at to turn off my phone so until next time, ciao ciao.