Well 2010 has been a great year for me. It’s now my 4th year as a professional cyclist but it felt as though I was starting again because I was with Team Sky, a new British professional team. The expectation and therefore pressure around the team was huge. There was just as much fuss over the bus as there was over the actual racing!!
It all started with a win at the start February in Qatar, which was great for me as it was my first pro win. Once the season begins the races just seem to fly by. It feels as though you are constantly on the road from race to race. The obvious highlight was the Tour de France, the whole of my year was geared towards this. To be honest for the team we were disappointed but personally it went really well. From the start in the prologue , to my 2nd place and stint in the white jersey to the final TT. Even in the mountains I had a couple of good days when I was climbing with the likes of Gesink and Cadel Evans, which I never would have expected!!
But the final part of the season feels like it has just fizzled out. I pulled out of the world championships in Australia, which take place in a weeks time. My main reason being that I didn’t feel that I would be at my best for the race. The world championships is one of the hardest one day races on the calendar, so to go all the way to Melbourne knowing I was only at 75% just didn’t seem right. Also the GB team will only have 3 riders in the race which would put added responsibility on the guys riding to perform at there best.
Once I made this decision all my attention turned to the Commonwealth Games. These games, in cycling terms, may not be held as highly as the Olympics or world champs, but to me they still mean a lot. It’s the only chance I get to put on a Welsh jersey and race for my country. For the last year they have been in the back of my mind. When the news about the hygiene and safety in Dehli came out, it was a massive disappointment. I spoke to the guys on the GB and Sky team about the risks of getting ill out there. The fact that I had my spleen (which helps fight infections) removed means the chances of catching something would be greater and recovering from it, longer. It maybe different if I was doing just the one event, where I could ‘drop in’ race and fly out. But I’d be there for a good 2 weeks for the track and road events. Eventually I made the decision not to go.
I still wish I was traveling to Dehli on Wednesday to try and better my Bronze from Melbourne. But at the end of the day my health is the most important thing. If I did get ill and missed my winter training it would have a massive knock on effect to next year and the London Olympics.
I have now finished racing for the year and going to take a good break, I’ll still ride my bike because I enjoy it too much not to. I also have some commentary work to look forward to next Thursday on Radio 5 Live as well as a column in Cycling Weekly talking about the Commonwealth Games results. But I won’t start training seriously until November. I’d like to wish the guys in Melbourne and the Welsh Team in Dehli a massive Pob lwc (good luck) I’ll be watching!!