October 9, 2008
The 2008 season is officially over, it's been a short and frustrating year for me. Before I could get back on track the season was done. When I last wrote I was training hard for the Tour of Utah. It didn't go according to plan; well actually it couldn't have gone any worse.
I suffered the first day from the altitude but after that I had no excuses; I was just plain old creepin'. My legs felt like I was back in the Giro with ten days to go. It mentally cracked me, riding in the gruppetto everyday and not being able to pull the skin off rice custard. I think I just didn't have the hard tour racing in my legs and that showed. Training is training and racing is racing. The last tour I did was back in April.
Once I was back from the five-day arse kicking that was dealt to me I took it easy for a week before heading to Chattanooga to do a local race and hang out with good mates Jamie and Desiree Pillsbury. I then got back into some hard training for the last two races of the season. My form was actually coming up well, just in time to rack the bike for the offy.
At the 100k Classic in Atlanta I made the major break of the day before getting caught with 20km to go. In Univest I was riding better but I certainly didn't shock anyone. I could feel my form coming up. Univest was an emotional race for the team as it was the last real team race for the year and the team is stopping after this season as a pro set-up. We are all such good mates on the team and it's sad to let that go. We all went out to dinner on the Saturday night and had a coupla beers.
For two weeks after Univest I was catching up with mates, riding a bit, enjoying the weather and spending time with Ali. I had one last real hit out to do so I was just ticking the legs over. I dusted the track bike off and headed to Atlanta for Hoppy's first Track meet directed by him.
The first night was the sprint night. No, not much to report on there but the second night was where I wanted to do some damage. A bad oyster put that theory to rest for at least the first part of the meet. I started to feel better and started to tick over a few podiums before Tim Henry and I combined to win the Madison. It was some redemption at least and some pocket money for my holiday coming up. It did feel good to win, too.
From Atlanta I flew to Miami to start my holiday. I have never had a proper holiday off-season without the bike. Due to Hoppy and Austin King's weddings being on the same time as the Sun tour I have shut the season down early and for the first time in nine years am not doing to Sun Tour. I met Ali in Miami and it was fantastic. Kickin' around on the beach, sippin' pina colada's around the pool and sun baking. That's what I called a holiday.
A few days later we headed to Vegas. I actually needed a holiday to recover from this place, it's outta control. Unfortunately I couldn't start the crit on the Thursday night due to a broken stem from the travel. I was pretty bummed...... note the sarcasm. To be honest the crit was an absolute dog's breakfast with more crashes in one race than I have seen all year. I was quite happy to drink beer with the sponsors than race in that smash up derby event. Ali and I did get an afternoon free to fly across the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, that was fantastic!
Vegas is one big circus and four nights was plenty. Some mates I just never saw, just because there are only so many people you can catch up with. Interbike was actually pretty cool and Hoppy's retirement party was a good way for him to say goodbye to the sport, well the pedalling side anyway.
After Vegas it was off to Orange County to kick back with Jono and Alana Cantwell before hitting Disneyland for a few days. Disneyland was cool, as I hadn't been there since I was seven years old. A mate of Jono's took us out on his boat while we were there and that was a great day. I am now on a plane flying back east to Nashie to pack bags, say farewells before heading to Atlanta for Hops wedding and to Phoenix for Kinga's.
Ali and I fly back to Oz for the summer a few days later, which is action packed with not too many open weekends in October and November. First weekend home we are off to Melbs for the last weekend of the Sunnie. We then have Noosa which is my favourite time of the year, followed by the new Townsville crit organised by Nick Gates. Gatesy's wedding is the following weekend and I will finish it off with my big 30th. It's going to be a busy offy before it all starts over again with a fresh season. Now all I need now is a job, hopefully I will know more soon.