The first half of my season did not really go to plan, being plagued by illness, injury, with a sprinkling of bad luck. My season started in the last few days of February out here in the beautiful Basque country in Northern Spain. It started with a couple of slightly tamer races but quickly became the trips into the dark realms of pain on mountain sides I am currently experiencing now.
I began the season with reasonable legs which allowed me the occasional early break in an effort to put my name out there somewhere in a race report, these legs had faded and illness had set in by the end of March ultimately leaving me with wasted days spent with a box of tissues. It all came to head with a bout of tonsillitis and a three week break from the bike to recuperate.
I returned to training and slowly got fitter, faster, and started to feel like my old self and regained some faith from my team management and got to ride some races. The races are anywhere between 100km and 150km with numerous climbs. Even the ‘flat’ races feel like climbing Everest when you’re a Lincolnshire lad. Following the current trend of my season, I somehow pulled a muscle between my ribs in one of the first few races back, this made breathing about my least favourite activity for a good week! This also put me off the bike for 9 days.
I am now on the other side of the bad luck and have been training consistently and well for over two months and am starting to see glimmers of form with every week that passes. I have raced and had a few results which I am proud of considering my early season, including a 25th. I recently returned to the Basque country after a very easy week including three days off the bike at home to let the legs relax, before the intensity is piled back on in August. With body and mind refreshed, I am excited for the rest of the season which is tightly packed with one day ‘smash-fests’, and small stages races.