February 20, 2009
Last time I wrote I was still searching for a team and the outlook was somewhat bleak. Fortunately I was picked up by a new Australian team, Budget Forklifts. I will once again require a change of living arrangements as I will be based in Australia for most of the 2009 season.
I will certainly miss living in San Diego, I was just starting to get things in order there and really enjoying this stage of my career. With the Jittery Joe's team stopping and me being both on the wrong side of the UCI age limit, and a foreigner I was certainly a less prioritised commodity in a struggling market. A few decent wins wouldn't have hurt the cause....
Since returning to OZ I have done quite a few days of racing starting in the first week of January with the Bay Series and the Nationals and then on to Tour of Wellington in New Zealand. It has been quite a successful transition to my new team so far, with a stage win in the team time trial at Wellington and being on the podium three more times with a second, third and a day in the green jersey.
There is now a bit of a lull in the program for the Budget Forklifts team and I can put this time to good use to plan out the rest of my season. The team has allowed me to head back to the US for a few months so I can race and train in a warmer climate and get ready for the very full National Series, in the months of August, September, October and November back here in OZ.
As has been the model for this year, there have been a lot of changes. New team, different country, different opportunities and also a few changes off the bike, one of which is the direction of the diaries on the Cyclingnews website, as they are pairing down some of the older diarists to make way for new ones, and bring some fresh insight into the pro peloton.
I have been doing the diaries for a few years now and I thank Cyclingnews for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the website and I hope that the readers have enjoyed the occasional quirks of a non-Pro Tour riders' life on the road. Now you will be able to enjoy reading about the travels of Basso, Schleck et al as they tackle the Grand Tours, the Classics and the rest of the top level races that these riders experience on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading,