Season finished, time to prepare for next year.
The 2010 season has finally come to a close as the last of the leaves fall off and the snow starts flying. I have to say I’m pretty happy to put an end to it though...after three crashes, three broken bones, three times off the bike, and three comebacks, I was looking forward to pressing the reset button and starting anew next year.
It has been unbelievably frustrating but at least I finish the season fit and healthy, ending the season on a good note with some solid rides. I travelled all the way to Japan at the end of October for the Japan Cup, where we put in a great effort and my team-mate Dan Martin took the win, perfectly capping my career with Garmin-Transitions in my final race in an argyle jersey.
Hmmm. No more argyle??? I’m not sure my dog will recognize me when I walk in the door after training each day. She will have to get used to my new lime green colours as I make the move to Liquigas-Cannondale for next season. Good thing she’s colourblind, right?
I've spent my entire professional career with the Slipstream program under Jonathan Vaughters, the point of it being to take someone from the ground up, give them the tools and opportunities to grow and develop in an ethical manner, and then let it rip at the highest level of the sport. I have definitely gone through the whole pipeline and epitomize what the Slipstream program was about since its inception.
Although everything at Garmin-Transitions has been great, after 6 years in the program I was ready for a change. An opportunity to move over to Liquigas-Cannondale came up and I jumped at the chance for a new and stimulating environment. After a tumultuous 2010, looking forward to new team-mates, directors, equipment, language, and opportunities motivates me like I could never have felt otherwise.
I will definitely continue to develop in my role as a domestique in the hillier stage races as well as taking advantage of any opportunities that come my way. With American sponsor Cannondale upping their commitment to the team, I'm aiming for team success at the Tour of California, which I’ve never raced before, as well as the Quiznos Tour of Colorado, where I will know every kilometre of the route.
My off-season will be a bit short, however. At the end of the month I join my new team-mates for a get-together in the snowy mountains of San Pellegrino, followed by a normal camp in the sunny Italian coast a week later. So December will be a busy month away from home but will be valuable integrating with the new team and laying down the foundation training required for a successful 2011.
For the next few weeks, I'll be enjoying the Colorado mountains with my wife and our dog and working on my Italian skills.
Thanks for checking in,
Garmin-Transitions Pro Cycling Team