I'm not quite the rider I was in 2009

This time last year I was in the same hotel, on the eve of the same race and telling you that I had to pull out the Classics. It was a really hard time for me as a rider and a person. Missing out on one of the main goals of my season because of injury was a hard pill to swallow.

Well, 12 months on and the news is a lot better. I'm fit and healthy and ready to get out there and race at the Tour of Flanders and then at Paris Roubaix the week after. I'll be honest though, I'm not 100 per cent. I'm still missing that extra bit and I'm man enough to admit that I'm not quite the rider I was in 2009.

Okay, so I feel good. In fact I felt really strong in Paris-Nice a few weeks ago but I had some crashes and felt like something was missing after that. Last weekend in Harelbeke I could follow up the pace and the break but I couldn't extend it but in the last few days I've been better.

So can I win on Sunday? That's a tough question. If any of you saw what Fabian Cancellara did last week in Harelbeke you'll know he's the clear favourite for the race. So even if I have the best day I would not have beaten him then.

Sunday's another race and I'll need a little bit of luck to compensate for that little bit of form that's missing. But what I'll say now is that all depends on how your form is on the day. My confidence is still there. I've done recon and I've felt better than last week and you also go into the race mentally prepared.

In fact I've come a long way in the last few weeks. I was devastated after San Remo. I came onto the bus crying because of my performance there. It was so bad. My confidence started to dip a little but it's getting back on track now.

I know I'll be up there on Sunday, I know I have good legs. I just have to hope for a bit of good luck.

As for the team we're really strong. Tyler and Thor are both in good spirits and we'll certainly be giving it everything out there. We won't be holding anything back for Roubaix. Flanders is such a tough race, it's is so hard - it's just pure stress. The small roads, the winds, the cobbles, the hills, you've got to be focussed and on top if it the entire time. If it rains then we'll have less than 12 guys after the Koppenberg. It's going to be a really hard day.

I'd better head downstairs, our press conference starts in a few minutes.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1