California, USA, March 22, 2007
After six or seven weeks of solid base miles in Australia after the Bay crits and Nationals I am finally back in the States. The last few weeks in Oz was pretty flat out doing a lot of training, catching up with family and friends and getting stuff organised. At least this year I didn't have the same dramas with my visa as last year, so my trip to the states was uneventful and less stressful.
Before I left I managed to get two races in, one crit and one track open. I finally thought I was going to win the Joseph Sunde Memorial criterium but came up one short, getting done by Shaun Higgerson on the last lap. On the track I polished my track bike up and threw myself in the deep end by doing the Sydney Cup on Wheels. Not only did I have a ball racing, I got a couple of minor placings.
Apart from putting in the hours in the saddle and doing the odd race, I was getting a fair bit of golf time in, though my game didn't improve and some think it has actually gotten worse since getting that massive driver for Christmas.
I arrived in the States last week and went straight into a training camp in San Diego. This was great for the travel, I saved six hours on the flight by flying straight to the west coast instead of making the trek across America. Although that didn't stop the jet lag and getting smashed out training for the first few days. There was no warming into the training camp and we were straight into the miles, doing seven hours the third day I was here. I wasn't exactly jumping out of my skin but I got through it and feel great now.
The team bikes look pretty hot, and I have already gotten used to the SRAM components. The TT bikes are even better then last year. The kit looks and feels great too, with a bit less orange then last year and a lot more black.
The team has bonded really well together and it seems like a good mix of blokes. So far there has been a lot of piss taking, so hat's a good thing. With four Aussies on the team, a lot of that has come from us but the Americans haven't let us have it all our own way. Although the new guys struggle to understand us when we get wound up and have no idea when we start the slang. Every new team member has a new nickname and they think every Aussie nickname has to finish with an 'O', a 'Y' or an 'ie'.
Tomorrow is our first race of the year, the Central Valley Classic in Fresno. I don't have pleasant memories of last year with some unusual California weather but this year seems a lot better along with a better circuit race. A few of the guys seem to be going okay and I feel fine so we'll see what happens.
After that we have San Dimas, Redlands and then back to Nashville to settle back in for a while. This has probably been one of my more boring diaries but at this time of the season the antics are limited so bare with me on that one.