Hi all, last time I wrote we had ten centimetres of snow, but now it´s all gone. The winter changed to autumn again and that is more what I like…it is a lot easier to do sessions then. I have started training again and this first week has been very hard….my form is gone! I don’t last too long [in terms of endurance] but with a few weeks of digging in, I will get back pretty quickly.
The off-season was very important for me….I have to work to get back into shape now, but I’m more motivated than ever.
Last time I wrote about my season and finished off talking about the Rás in Ireland, a stage race which was a great success. After the finish team-mate Niklas Gustavsson and myself spent a day in Dublin. The plan was to catch the flight to Norway the day after to start a new stage race, the Ringerike Grand Prix (2.2), this time with the National squad.
So, two days after the finish of the Rás, we started that five day stage race. Given the small gap between the two, I was a bit unsure about my shape. I knew my form was good but these guys were fresh while myself and Niklas had eight days in our legs. Not ideal!
Anyway, my condition was good and I felt great during the first stage. With 13 kilometres to go I was on the attack. I was aiming for the KOM which was five kilometres from the finish, but I managed to build up a big gap and had forty seconds to the bunch at the top of the climb. I dug deep and did my best to get to the finish first. I did it and crossed the line solo, 19seconds ahead of the bunch…amazing!
We had the yellow jersey for three more stages, with Niklas taking the green on stage two, but on stage four the fun was over. Both I and the team were tired and I just couldn’t keep up with the fastest guys up the hills.
The next race was one I had been thinking about a lot, the National championship time trial After my big win in the event last year, I wanted to do well this time round. Myself and Steve Benton put a hard program together to get me fit for the race. This was also the first time I heard from Cervélo TestTeam that they were interested, and that put even more pressure on.
I did the training and I felt very fast and in the right mode. I wanted to win. But when the day came closer I just got too nervous, I found it hard to get my sleep and on the race day, I just couldn’t get my power out right. I blew my biscuits too early.
That’s life, sometimes. Two days we had the road race. I was in the morning break with two others, a suicide move. We lasted for more than the half race and when the bunch caught us, it was small. Niklas Gustavsson was there and we were trying to get him the U23 jersey but he was too tired. I did try one more time and finished off ninth.
After the Nationals I had a few days off and spend some valuable time with my girlfriend and family before I headed to Belgium for more racing and training. Belgium is a special country when it comes to cycling, everybody helps cyclists if there are any problems. A big difference to Sweden…
I waited for Cervélo to get back to me but things were quiet for a long time. We did a big Pro kermesse in Melle and I had a good day there. I went on the attack with 40km to go, a solo one again. I had a good gap for a long time and felt strong but three guys caught me on the final lap and they out-sprinted me, leaving me in fourth place. Then just two days after the race I got the e-mail from Cervélo TestTeam saying that they wanted me as a stagiare and the first race would be Tour of Denmark (2.HC), with a TT stage included. That was quality reading!
Anyway, I’ll talk more about my trail with Cervélo TestTeam in the next entry.
As you know, the Cervélo TestTeam is finished at the end of 2010, and my hunt for a new team has been hard. I have been searching for big teams without success but one day I got a call from the British Team Endura Racing who gave me a good offer. They will have a European race program, have great ambitions for the future with a good structure, riders and staff. I signed and now it’s official.
I’m very happy and am really looking forward to the upcoming season. With 2010 boosting my motivation, I want to do even better again in 2011…
Thanks for reading!