I've got to admit I was a bit scared of the winter, after running away from it the last 3 years, but although the weather wasn't great until now, it wasn't bad either. Nothing that appropriate clothing can't fix.
Unlike the weather I've had a very warm welcome in France. My little apartment is great (although a bit lonely) and all my teammates are very kind and friendly. As expected I do struggle a bit with the language as the French tend to word-vomit at you even though they know you have trouble understanding them, but many times I've been told my French is superb and I will be fluent in a few weeks (hah! I'd be a fool to believe that!)
In the search for better weather conditions we left the rainy Nantes for a weeks long training camp at the stunning Spanish east coast (Lloret De Mar). It was amazing! I had 7 wonderful days on and off the bike; getting to know my team colleagues better, finally riding some mountain passes again, first time riding with ice and snow on the road (yes the bad weather followed us), having a snowball-fight on top of a climb after a hard workout, a recovery day riding along the beach with a coffee stop on the promenade... I could go on. There's definitely a reason why so many pro cyclists live in and around that area.
Although I did miss being at Nam Champs this year (congratulations to all the winners), I still feel it was the right decision. My first race will be this Saturday and I can't wait to get the season started. The following 8 days I will have 5 more races, so it's really time to get the race-face on.
Also best of luck to the Namibian National Team that started the African Champs today. Once again sorry I can't be there with you guys and girls.
That's all for now.
|Climbs, you will be missed|
|Re-fuelling on top of a snowy climb|
|Un petit café|
|Going off the front in a friendly race on the last day|
|Let the season begin!|