March 4, 2005: The early season
Hi you guys on Cyclingnews! Thanks for inviting me to write a diary for Cyclingnews and I think that’s pretty cool to be able to keep in touch with my English speaking fans.
I started my season at the G.P. Costa degli Etruschi in Donoratico, down in Tuscany. The best sprinter won that day; of course it was Petacchi. For me and my Quick Step teammates we had a good day to start the season in Italy. We tried to make the race fast and in the finale I was even thinking of sprinting, but when I saw the kind of chances I might have to take, I backed off. I just didn't think it was a smart idea to compromise my season by crashing in the first race.
But I started out with good feelings in the race and have worked hard this winter on my agility and my endurance this winter and I'm just missing the change of speed I need for the races. This season, one of my goals is to have a solid performance all season unlike the last few seasons. So even if I don't get off to the best start, I'm not worried because I've done a lot of good work to prepare this season.
Last weekend, I rode in the G.P. di Chiasso and G.P. di Lugano in Switzerland. I had a bad case of the flu which knocked me back in my preparation, and the races were not easy for me. Well, I have to say I was suffering. Both Saturday and Sunday, I raced about 130km, and abandoned both days. It’s normal that when you are coming back from being sick, it’s hard to race up front. I didn't want to push too hard and then have a relapse with my bad sore throat. But I was pretty satisfied with my condition, since I knew the first races after being sick would not be easy, but my morale is still good. I've put in the work to have a good base training over the winter and last week even put in a five hour ride.
My goal this week was to put in some good training for Tirreno Adriatico, but we had a huge snowstorm in my Veneto region on Thursday with like 20cm of snow! And bitter cold… so I'm really hoping that this is “ IT”!
I'm sick of this cold, long winter and want to show up at Tirreno Adriatico in decent condition. I'm tired of training with enough clothes for an Eskimo! After you've had flu and a bad sore throat, the last thing you want is for it to come back. When the sun comes, when spring finally arrives, I'll be really happy! I'll get better, ride better and finally have some fun on my bike!
Ciao a tutti!