Saturday, 11 October 2014

Planning ahead

Have you ever experienced that wonderful feeling of everything working out exactly the way you planned it? Me neither. I've been home for exactly 4 weeks now and a lot of plans have been thrown overboard or changed since then.
Let me take you through the news and changes:

As I gave up the hope of becoming professional at the end of this year due to my terrible second half of the season (terrible merely because I had troubles keeping the rubber side down and shiny side up), I was on the look-out for a French amateur team. Team U Nantes Atlantique was very interested in signing me and I would have been stupid to turn down an offer from such a well-known team. Although I was aiming for something higher at the beginning of the year, I'm very excited to spend my 2015 season in Nantes, France and can't wait for it all to start! It's a team with a good reputation and I can count myself lucky to have made it onto a DN1 (first division) team as a foreigner.

After the unfortunate crash in Stage 4 of Tour de l'Avenir I planned to not race again this year. It wouldn't make any sense as taking up with training as soon as possible would get me ready for the last race of the year and then I would be stuck with good shape at the wrong time. So a nice and slow start back to training was planned at home, with a lot of exercising off the bike (running, swimming, gym etc.).

However it all looks a bit different now. On the 13th of October I will return to South Africa to my beloved African teammates, will do a training camp and then we will see if it makes sense to do 1 or 2 races in November. Might be that I won't race though. Then I will try to make the National Team for the Sharjah Tour (UCI 2.2 in the Emirates) which takes place mid-November and use it as a preparation race for the African Champs that will be hosted in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in February 2015.

After the Sharjah Tour I'll return to the motherland, kick up my legs at the coast for a little bit (not stopping training though) and fly to Nantes in the first week of January (since I've been skipping winter for the last 3 years due to smart traveling, this one will be hard on me). If money will start to grow on a tree outside my apartment in Nantes I will fly back to South Africa in February (or if the federation/a sponsor is willing to pay). Now you might ask yourself why I don't stay in Namibia/South Africa until African Champs and only start my European season after that.. Unfortunately I have a lot of paperwork and medical tests to attend to for a French racing license which has a deadline early in the year.

What happens after that no one knows. Hopefully less broken helmets than this year. 
Tomorrow I'm racing the Namibian Cycle Classic and many people expect me to win. Not sure that's going to happen after 2 weeks back on the bike. Plus I've skipped a few training days as I was working at Cycletec, a local bike shop, experiencing if I would survive a regular work week when my cycling career is over. I did survive and it was actually a lot of fun and I've learned a lot of new things about retail and sales. Thanks Cycletec for the support!

Exciting times ahead,
Ciao until next time

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