July 18, 2005
Various Italian towns, July, 2005
After an action packed May, June was pretty uneventful, especially in the way of training. The first eight days after the Giro my legs were completely thrashed. I have never felt my legs like that; every pedal stroke hurt and every kilometre was felt. I would head out for a two hour ride and would go hunger flat by the hour and a half mark. It was ridiculous!
Once the legs did come good though, it was incredible, the form was great. Where to use it though? I didn't have one race in the first five weeks after the Giro. What a waste of form! At the end of the second week I had a wedding in Belgium - I was looking forward to this trip since the end of the Giro, and the bike stayed at home for the weekend. The wedding was for my good mate Karl Becker and his newly-crowned lovely wife Katrien. The four days went way too quickly and before I knew it I was back in Italy, wishing I was back in Belge. It's the usual story; a big build up and then once it's over, what's next. As soon as I stepped off the plane in Brussels, and went straight to the bucks night, the weekend was off and running. Luckily the wedding was two days later.
The wedding was a great day, starting with the ceremony in the morning and the reception in the evening. In between the two I managed to squeeze a short ride in, on a semi road bike/town bike. I wasn't too keen on the idea but Russ, Harro and Millsy were heading out for a brew shop ride and how could I miss that? The wedding reception was a great night and the desert bar was incredible, too big to even try and describe. I had to say a speech for the groom, and I hope Karl's mum has come to terms with a few of the stories I told!
It was good to catch up with other mates from Belge too. There wasn't too much time to kick back on the lounge, the whole time I was on the go. So once I got back home to Italy, it was good to just train, sleep and get back into the routine of things. After two weeks of cruising around I was back into the training.
After a week at home without my side kick Russ, who was in Holland for the Dutch nationals, I went down south to Pescara where my team mate Moreno Di Biase lives. Pescara is on the south east coast of Italy and it was great to kick back on the beach after training every day.
A few days later I headed back north to do another post Giro crit, before heading over to the Veneto region for 10 days. I stayed at my old team house where I used to race as an amateur in 2000/01. This year Johnny Clarke and Johnny Cantwell are staying there, and they provided some good entertainment while I was there. Also, just up the road is Dave McPartland and Dave Betts, so there's a bit of a 'Little Australia' going on there. It was good to head out training with four other Aussies; not only to get good training in but to come home from a six hour ride with a sore stomach from laughing so much! Hey MAAAACCCAAAA! I got some great training in, and the second part of the season is now well and truly underway.
Five weeks went quickly and before I knew it I was lining up for my first race back, Tropheo Mattioti. I was travelling ok, and actually surprised myself, because I haven't done too much intensity; the wheels eventually fell off, however, and I got dropped after 120km. I didn't finish but neither did the other 120 riders, so I wasn't too fussed. I should be going a lot better for Brexia tour at the end of July.
Back home now, again, for another three week training block before Brexia tour. The sun is out and the training bunch is growing. My mum and her husband have been here for a few days and I have a few epic rides planned in the next week to holiday destinations where they are staying. So there will be a few 200km+ rides in the next week.