Friday, 15 February 2013

My first time

Well the day is finally here.

Today marks the ever-exciting first race of the new season.  Right now we’re set up in the start hotel in Trans – en-Provence, France. The big event? Tour du Haut Var. This is classed as a UCI 2.1. Basically means it’s a level that all teams can enter. Form Continental (Raleigh) all the way up to the big dogs in the World tour (tour winners, world champs, that sort of thing). The past few years my seasons have had a much different lead in. I would usually spend a few weeks down in Santa Cruz California training on the amazing roads made available right out the front door, from there the first stop has been San Dimas stage race in the outer burbs of LA. Last year I was 3rd in this race, pretty much the best start to any season I’ve ever had….but, Andy Schlek and Thor Hushdov weren’t pinning up either…So, ya it’s a little different this year.

The week or so between the camp and the trip down here has been full of its fair share of ups and downs. Things have really come along and I’m feeling a lot more at home in our new place. My knowledge of the roads is improving by the day so I’m no longer risking life and limb staring at my Garmin whilst weaving through roundabouts, in rush hour traffic, in the rain. I’ve found so amazing roads out there and I don’t think I’ve even cracked the surface , So that’s encouraging. On the flip side, The weather had yet to go above 5C and for a few of those days it was accompanied by gale force winds, rain and then snow. That in combination with still trying to fit in some quality hard training meant the risk for getting sick was certainly there…And wouldn’t you know it, walking 30 minutes in the windy, cold and rain at night after a solid days riding (in similar conditions) and I began to succumb to the usual suspects, throat tickle, energy drops, appetite disappears. F***! Perfect timing! At this point I kicked it into ful on damage control, I’d done the training, now the trick was to dodge this viral bullet and get back on the straight and narrow.  I’ll save you all the delicious details but 3 days, about a bottle and a half of Oregano oil and at least 30,000mg of Vitamin C later I’m back on track! I don’t think I’ve ever come so close to getting sick and actually not. Lesson learned. If raining. Order in!

24hrs.. apparently not. Thanks Tesco. I needed the exercise anyways.
I’m really excited for the race today not only because it’s the start of the season but more so because it’s my first race on this side of the Atlantic. I think we have a great team down here for these 2 weekends of racing and I’m sure we will leave our mark on the races. I’m particularly curious to see what my Aussie mates (Mark O'Brien and Lachlan Norris) are capable of throwing down. These guys have been training like demons in Derby (and not getting sick) and from what I saw at the camp they are more then ready to toe the line and get this while thing going.

Mr. Lachlan Norris

Mr. Mark O'Brien

I hope to get another update tomorrow after the race but we’ll see, I’m slowly learning that universal free WiFi is not the norm in Europe…even getting wifi in your home is a bit of a process. I signed up for it pre Mallorca camp, received an email yesterday that it should be up and running within the next 10 business days. 1Month turn around to flip a switch and mail a router out. Seems reasonable?

I'm growing this beard in protest of EE(tmobile) and their complete lack of efficiency in broadband services.
Alright, now for the fun stuff. A few things I’ve seen over the last week, in other words a few pictures to help make sense of the phonetic graffiti above.

John has become a common site between our house and the Aussies...LOTS of online line shopping! I'm just kidding...I have no idea what his name is.

good morning.

GOOD morning

I think Vancouver island should explore this option more seriously.  Cars on trains underwater...what could possibly go wrong?!?

Least feast before our grand depart to France, Beet Risotto in the works.

No Filter,photoshop or other alterations. This was one of our rooms on the journey down.

Team bonding

Found the beach.

It's not all hard work though, still have time for the little things.

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