As autumn passes and winter closes in I hope you are all coping well with the colder weather and the lack of cycling to watch! Now the off season is upon us I thought It might be nice to give you a few of my thoughts and feelings about the 2014 season and also have a little look forward to 2015.
Looking back my highlights from a personal point of view would have to be coming 3rd at Milan San Remo and my win on stage 5 of Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country). Although I did not win, Milan San Remo was perhaps the most special not just because the stature of the race but because I felt truly back at my best and able to not only compete but beat the majority of the top one day racers in the world on that day. MSR is my favourite race to ride also, so it was a good day all round apart from the weather! Although that worked in my favour as I really don’t mind riding in those conditions.
If MSR was my favorite race to ride, when the Tour came to Yorkshire was easily my favorite race to watch! It was an amazing day, the crowds and buzz around the place created such a fun atmosphere.
Sometimes when we are racing that fun element can get suppressed a little but one race sticks out in my in my mind this season, at the Coppi e Bartali race we had our fare share of laughs! There was 8 of us on the team and we had to slum it in a camper-van as we did not have the Team Sky bus (I know the horror!) So it was right back to basics but we definitely had a great time, it was like the old days travelling as a junior with all the lads crammed in a tiny bus, but the atmosphere was really positive and it showed in our results as we won most of the stages except one where I came second! With of course Pete (Kennaugh) winning the whole race, good times!
Pete had a good season but the rider who impressed me most this year on the team has been Seb Henao, our young Colombian rider. He’s always there when you ask him to be in a race and socially he’s fitted into the Team really well. He’s also had some fantastic individual performances on the bike all this from a 20-year-old neo pro is very impressive and shows he has so much potential.
In terms of my performance throughout the season I feel the main improvement has been in my climbing, I’ve focused on it again this year and I know some of my best results are aligned with my improved climbing ability. It’s confirmed to me that’s the direction I want to go in for next season, a rider who can race the lumpier stages with sprint finishes or big one day races like MSR.
Another positive was my stamina during the season and this correlates to my good results at the tail end of the season so all in all I’m very excited for 2015 in fact I just want to get racing again, I’m only taking a break because the seasons finished! I feel strong and at a good level already.
These fitness levels were tested recently at the team camp in Weymouth when we went sailing with the GB team, the new signings for 2015 also came along so it was good to meet them in a slightly different environment than say a training camp, that will come soon enough though when we all hook up in December for the first pre season camp.
This year I’ll have a proper injury free pre season so along with riding I’ll be able to do a lot more gym work with a focus on TRX training which uses your own body weight to drive the workout, I’ve found this training really effective as its helped me eradicate some recent muscle injuries
Before all that however, I am now in sunny South Africa for a spot of pre season riding that will include the Double Century race with the guys from HotChillee! Can’t wait! And here are a few tunes i’ll be listening to when I’m out there…
Keep safe people and thanks for all the support this season…I’ll update on my progress again soon!
Cheers for now