In this short blog post, I will detail some of my experiences in my first preseason as a full-time rider (after finishing exams mid-December). This involved the racing cyclists yearly pilgrimage to Spain as well as a move to Paris’ northern suburbs, a place I will make my home for the next year.
First to Spain, or Velez de Benaudalla to be more precise. This year I decided to forsake the ever-popular Calpe for a more challenging experience in the hills of Sierra Nevada. Home to some of Europe’s biggest mountains, this area was a deciding factor in the 2017 Vuelta GC battle. Suffice is to say it offered more than enough elevation for my weary January legs. I managed to get 60 hours of quality training done over the two weeks which saw me in good stead as I headed straight over to meet my new French DN1 team CC Nogent-sur-Oise.
Parisian temperatures were closer to those of Rockchapel than Spain’s southern coast. I’m told they get their seasons here in the north of France and things are set to improve over the spring. I won’t hold my breath. It was straight into a mini team training camp upon arrival in Paris so fellow Paddy, Ryan Reilly and I got to meet all the staff and riders straight away. A sound bunch of lads who found it in themselves to look past our distinct lack of French and bogger accents.
The ensuing weeks have seen Ryan and I trying to make sense of the plethora of roads that surround us, leading to us getting lost or ending up heading for motorways on more than one occasion. Even still, we have managed to get training done without getting hit by cars or arrested in the process. We head to the south of France next Saturday for our first races of the season, beginning in Brignolles on the 10th of February.
Watch this space.