Last time I wrote was just before I entered the second part of the season. A lot has happened since then and we have done two very hard races. It feels like the break I had has done me good and I got some form and motivation out of it.
We have had some good results in the team as well out of the past two races. First up was Tour Alcase (UCI 2.2) in France, a race for the climbers more or less. I managed to get through with better legs than I started up the week with and Alexandre Blain got the team's best result with a second at stage four. Behind that result was some great teamwork and that was what we did the complete week – We're starting to get going very well together. Another good team effort was our 4th place at the TTT opener of the race.
After the week in France I returned to Sweden, more or less repacking the bag, kissing my family good bye and then off to Tour of Utah (UCI 2.1) in USA. We had a few days there before the start of the race and that helped us a lot to get to know the warm weather and the high altitude. They say that Tour of Utah is the hardest stage race in America and that could be true. 10000m of climbing in the warm weather, avgerage around 36C, and then add the altitude up to it!
We had a good tour and surprised a lot of people and teams. And we, Endura Racing, flew home again with the highlights as Jack Bauer's stage win at stage 2 after a solid team effort, we all celebrated in the last 300m, (will never forget the gap Jack Bauer got after my kind of lead-out before the crucial corner with 700m to go or his face when he looked over his shoulder before he hits the throttle, nice memories!). Jack Anderson's Most Aggressive Rider Jersey, also Stage 2. A lot of top 15 finishers and my highlight, the Stage 3 Time Trial.
I was going out there aiming high - to get up on the podium. I knew it would be very hard and it was a lot of great time trialers to start at Miller Motorsports Park where the 15.5km time trail was held. I felt good before the start and I made it all-in and was not afraid of blowing up to early. I raced as if it wasn't a race day tomorrow and emptied myself totally. Died a bit with 5km to go but managed to maintain the pace over the finish-line and the clock stopped at 17.51. I held on for the podium for long but Levi Leipheimer (Team Radioshack) crossed the line, as second last rider out, and knocked me down to 4th. This is a very good result and I'm very proud of the performance, beating many great World Tour riders, but I was so close to that big goal.
A great bonus of this effort was that I finally got selected to do the World Championships TT in Copenhagen the 21st of September, representing Sweden. I wasn't selected 2009 when I won the Swedish National title but now I'm up for it. Hope that my preparation and training will be good enough and that I'm having a very good day in Denmark, I really looking forward to it!
Until that day, there's a lot of hard work to do and hopefully a big race to enter and get the best out of - Tour of Britain (UCI 2.1) - if the team selects me. Next week I'm off to high altitude again, this time to Andorra for a training camp with the team
Take care and all-in!