I'm close to the end of my season and it's nice to be back in Holland with my family, and also nice that I don't have to train so much anymore.
I only have one last race at the Japan Cup this weekend. It's a lot of travel for a one-day race but I've heard a lot of good stories about Japan and that it's a good race in a nice country, so I'm looking forward to going there.
It's been a long season – I did my first race in January and the last one will be on Sunday, in the middle of October. Even though it was a long season, in general, it's been a good season for me.
I just missed one really big win in a big race and that's what I'm personally disappointed about. For the rest, in general, I've had a lot of podium spots, top 10 places, and in the Tour de France I was seventh, and top 10 for a third consecutive year [seventh in 2015, tenth in 2014 and sixth in 2013].
When it comes to results you always hope to do better and I think there is still some space for improvement. For example, my Classics season in April was not so good this year but I think that was because of my crash at the Basque Country [Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco].
Of course, you always hope to have better results than what you had but I'm satisfied with the overall level I had this year.
It was a good year. I did a lot of training and I was competitive in most of the races I did. I had a lot of podium spots across the entire season, so I think that shows my base level was pretty high this year.
I was really close in some races, too.
In Tirreno-Adriatico, I was close with a second spot behind Nairo Quintana, especially with all the big favourites who were there. Most of the GC riders for the Tour de France along with a number of other GC riders were there, so that was a really good start of the season for me.
Of course winning a stage race at the Tour of Alberta was also nice.
I really like the Basque Country and I was second in the queen stage 4 but then the next day I had a really hard crash, which was disappointing but I was again close to a WorldTour victory there.
In fact, I've been second six times this year, so that is quite a lot, and hopefully I can turn a few of those second places into victories next year.
I've been a professional for many years and I'm not a rider that wins a lot, and I'll probably never be that kind of rider but I think I can get a few more victories a year.
My level is consistent now and I've been close to winning, so I have to make a few more good days and I think that is the most important thing. With the experience I gained this year, and having a good consistent season, I think I know what to do differently and what I can work on - maybe doing a little bit more specific work will help me get those victories next year.
First-things-first, when I get home from Japan, it's time for rest and to start my off-season. My family and I will spend a few weeks in the south of France on holiday and then I will start training again.
Normally I don't ride for two or three weeks, and in total maybe four weeks of not doing too much. After a month's break I'll start training again. I don't mind training in the winter, it's a nice change because I'm home a lot more. It's nice to be home with my family.
Then it will be three months, more or less, until the first race of 2016.
I'm already looking forward to next year.