By Peter Hymas
Tom Danielson has wrapped up the Garmin-Slipstream camp in the team's home base of Boulder, Colorado, and now the 30-year-old will set to work on executing the plan for his 2009 season with the intent to ride the Tour de France. An integral part of Danielson's training regime for the upcoming season is the guidance of Garmin-Slipstream Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters.
"I'm working closely with Jonathan Vaughters on my training schedule," said Danielson to Cyclingnews. "Basically we sat down and looked at all my weaknesses from last year and from years past, even the years that I had great years, and put together a program that's really thorough. Right now I'm doing typical things like weights, some cross training and I've gotten back on the bike. I'm also incorporating a few changes regarding my diet and my fat-burning capabilities. Genetically I'm really efficient with sugars and glycogen but I'm not very efficient at burning fats. It's been good because Jonathan and I are similar riders. He also had the efficiency with glycogen and the inefficiency with fat-burning so he has some motivation and interest to research that. He's sharing a lot of things, problems that he had when he was racing, so it works out well."
Danielson commented on the pressure he feels regarding Garmin-Slipstream's greater expectations for the 2009 season. "I'm definitely putting a lot of pressure on myself. Good pressure. Last year I felt a pressure where I was forced to play catch-up and I was uncomfortable in that role. Now I have a different kind of pressure where things are all coming together and I feel very confident. I'm having a normal off season and I'm glad that I have a great infrastructure around me."
Danielson's 2009 season will start off domestically at the Tour of California before making the transition to Europe. "I'm looking forward to the Tour of California, particularly Mt. Palomar," said Danielson. "During college I used to go on spring break in San Diego with my friends and ride Mt. Palomar so I'm really excited to see that's the critical day in the Tour of California. It's really the emphasis of the race."
"After the Tour of California I'll head over to Europe for the long haul," continued Danielson. "I will start with the Tour of Murcia, the Vuelta a Castilla y León and then the Vuelta al País Vasco. Then I'll most likely do a training camp with Christian [Vande Velde] at altitude and do the Giro d'Italia.
"I've done the Vuelta al País Vasco three years ago and it's a really hard race," said Danielson. "You come out with good form which will help me in the Giro. The key to the Giro is to just finish the race, to become stronger throughout the race and really make sure that I'm ready for the Tour de France. It's a good schedule, almost the same as Christian. I really enjoy racing with him and I think we work well together."