A change of management was thought to bode well for Barloworld's chances to finally participate in one of the three Grand Tours in 2006. But that didn't happen, and as the door closes in on wildcard invitations at the rest of the ProTour races, Ryan Cox tells Anthony Tan he knows exactly what he needs to do to be exactly where he needs to be.
"The last two years, I've had two good years early on but maybe raced well too early in the season. I just said [to myself] I can't afford to have a good early season and do nothing the rest of the year, and that is what's pretty much happened."
These two sentences basically sum up how Ryan Cox was feeling at the end of the 2005 season. Second overall in 2004 then victory in last year's Tour de Langkawi made a name for himself, but after a number of years training to reach peak performance at the start of the year, he says it's time to move on.
"I've restructured the whole year [based] on what I want to do and I have plans in my mind on what I want to achieve," says Cox, as ominous-looking skies gather intensity in downtown Kuala Lumpur, threatening to disrupt the final stage of this year's Tour de Langkawi. "I won this race the year before and won the king of the mountains, so it's like a little tick [in the box]; it's ticked and now I've got to move on to something else. I'm not getting any younger and I've got to do something at the bigger races."