February 29, 2008
I just finished reading Rory Sutherland's diary (Rory you can add me to your growing list of reader's) and the Tour Of California results; geez it looked cold and wet over there! Although in saying that Sydney, and Australia for that matter, has not really had a summer this year. I can't remember not getting wet on any of my six-hour rides in the past month. I have grim and barred it until today, today just took the piss. I was out with my three FRF training partners -- Bennett, Brooksy and Jory -- and it all became too much when you pretty much can't see half your front wheel through the water on the road. Although, we still got four hours in. I am now defrosting on the lounge with a cup of coffee and catching up on internet time.
That may have sounded like a complaint, but far from it, I'd much prefer to do that than anything else in the world at the moment. I was just thinking how hard that stage win must have been for Dominque Rollin in Cali; it looked terrible. Maybe I should just harden up?
The last six or so weeks have been spent setting what I think is my best ever pre-season base. I have enjoyed riding more than ever this year and, as I put it, "going to the office" has been a pleasure. This pre-season has been my biggest ever as far as I can remember and I put it down to just loving my job. I can't wait to head into the office and sometimes not that keen to get home. A 6.5-hour day in the saddle and the occasional smoko break and you've got yourself a nice little day in the office.
Who knows what has brought this new release of motivation this pre-season; well, I have an idea, but hopefully the hours I have put in this pre-season will pay off during the year, which I think they will.
Between doing 900-1000km weeks I have managed to win four races from four starts, but two wins that really count. I finally won the Joseph Sunde Memorial after coming close a few times and leading Hoppy out two years ago for his win. Damn, it felt good to finally get that win, and it meant more when people approached me afterwards to tell me how happy they were that I'd finally won it. The other win was last weekend at the Macather Open criterium. There was quite a handy field with a mix of young hitters and older sparring partners that brought me back to the late 1990's.
I normally talk about more off-the-bike stuff than on-the-bike stuff, but to be honest there hasn't been much of the former. The golf sticks have been getting dusty, though they are coming out on Monday at my annual going away golf day. The weather hasn't been beach weather or Barbie weather. I did however get a chance to head up to the Hunter Valley to stock up on the wine collection.
I am off to the United States next week and straight into the teams training camp. From there we're off to California for the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands Stage Race. I am ready to come out swinging, if I don't, well the next diary entry will be a bit more morbid.
Life, how good is it?