It's the end of the season and what a season it's been! I feel like it's taken me to all four corners of the globe...well in reality the States and a good section of Europe. It’s been good. That's definitely been the highlight of my year, checking out and getting to see a bit more of the world. Seeing as it's October now though and my racing season is over, I can't wait to get back to NZ and see familiar faces and home again. I left home at the end of January, so it's definitely been a long spell overseas.
Thinking back on the year and picking out a few high points… Our trip to Utah back in August was awesome, aye. Really good. All of us in the team had a blast. From the hotels, to the food, to the race routes to the weather, it was all really cool. I think for a lot of us it was our first time in the U.S. which made it all the better. You gotta see the place and experience it first hand to believe it! I had heard that in the States everything was oversize…but it’s actually true! The streets are as wide as a football field and you’re doing well to finish a burger on your own… but back to the race. Yeah it was a blast. A stage win never goes amiss either! That for us made our trip over worthwhile, especially seeing as we kinda got our Utah start in front of other domestic teams who expected to be there and wound up getting the flick. Apparently they were not impressed when a Scottish outfit showed up instead!
Next stop was a week of pain up in La Molina, north Catalunya. We had a training camp up at altitude as a final prep for the Tour of Britain. I was hoping for ski resort holiday… not so. A week on the bike and a pair of bleeding lungs later and we were ready for the TOB hitout. What a race! This is the one where bikes get blown off roofs and stages get cancelled. Both firsts for me - ha ha! Not to mention the peloton nearly drowning on day one when we were welcomed to Endura’s homeland Scotland. To cut a long story short, it’s fair to say the stage was accompanied by more than your average amount of wind and rain. Now I have first hand experience into how Endura have developed such an extensive range or rain, wind and storm proof cycling kit! I knew there was a reason the catalogue contained so many jackets and gloves… If you ride in Scotland without them… I’m pretty sure You Die! [was just a bit drizzly... - ed.]
Post TOB took me to Copenhagen in Denmark for the World Champs. I had a fairly good run in the time trial, narrowly squeezing inside the top 20. NZ as a team were not so fortunate in the men's road race though, getting caught up in a crash towards the sharp end of the race. Still, Linda took a Silver in the women’s TT and James a Silver in the junior men’s TT. So it was a great week for NZ cycling.
Then to cap the season off, Voss managed to put the silver lining on our year with a stage win including the overall at Cinturo de L’Emporda last week. This race was a 3 dayer taking place just north of Girona. Man it made a difference not having to jump on a plane for a few hours to get to the race start! We just had to roll up the coast 30 minutes in the bus! It was also really cool to race on local roads that I’ve been training on around Girona all year. Local knowledge always helps!
Cheers everyone for the support and for following me this year, especially those of you back in NZ. I’m on the plane home now, bound for Christchurch , so I’ll catch you out and about over summer! Come and say hi… Hang on, before we land is there still a runway for us to set this thing down on??
Photos by Joolze Dymond / Andreas Otto