Well, if you've seen the results from the final stage of the Sun Tour my name will appear well below the top standings. That's ok, I thought I could do something on the final stage to Arthurs Seat but to be honest I was completely dead before we even reached the climb. The pace was on, unsurprisingly, from the gun.
We began the first of two ascents of the climb and I was immediately out of contention. My position was terrible, the bunch was strung out and I was battling at the back of the bunch. I don't think I would have been able to follow the quick guys for long anyway. The effort of the first day were always going to catch up with me.
The first road stage was awesome and I would do exactly the same given the chance again. I don't mind bumping and fighting for wheels but the morale is never higher than when off the front. Knowing others are working hard behind to catch you is added incentive.
I entered the tour with a bit of uncertainty but I used that to my advantage. I wanted my day in the sun and I got it. The general classification didn't work out but that's ok, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It was suggested my New Year's resolution should be "no regrets". I like the sound of that.
It was fantastic to return to the Sun Tour after an initial experience in 2010 - when Bradley Wiggins won the title. I travelled in a media car for my first 'journo' assignment but I was there primarily to watch and learn. I would have rather been racing in the horrendous winds experienced that week. A number of years on and I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to race one of Australia's most iconic stage races.
Finally, huge thanks to all my family, friends and fellow riders for their kind words of support throughout the race. It really means a lot. My Sataylst-Giant squad gave me everything and I'll be sure to repay those efforts throughout the year. It's only January, bring on the rest of the season. Cheers, Alex.