Right! I’m finally going to say something. I’ve had all these good intentions to start putting my thoughts out there then I think, who cares! So I’m going to pretend someone is reading this.
I’m typing this from a slightly damp Mallorca and i’m just off the back of training block and I’m not panicking about doing nothing today. I’m going to keep this blog pretty self centered but its hard to as there is a lot of exciting stuff happening for Irish cycling out here. I’m saying nothing though, don’t want to step on any toes.
A shed load has happened since I last said something on this blog so I’m going to pick the bigger bumps in the road to talk about. This year for Grace and myself was a chance to taste the American lifestyle. At the end of last year things just happened, it seemed like we barely had to try and we were in Denver. The main reasons for the move to Colorado were the altitude, a contract to race with US based team United HealthCare and the opportunity to relive history and train with Andy Sparks on the Colorado Springs track. Grace managed to get a secondment from her firm Grant Thornton in Dublin to their office in Denver Colorado which was perfect. I’ll not lie though, we had a few obstacles to get over to get ourselves established in the states but it only took a couple of weeks and we were in the groove.
Grace didn't have much time to settle in, she was working flat out from day 1 but as we came to see, thats just the American way. In my case though it was all self motivation. I was in Denver in January and snow was normal at this time of year, lots of snow! With the help of Andy Sparks we got a car sorted for us to get around and he sorted me out with a turbo trainer. The funny bit, other than 1 week on the LA velodrome I did most of my prep for the 2014 World Championships on a turbo trainer, thank God for external hard drives, I watched a serious amount of movies mid interval!
An awesome view from our apartment balcony in downtown Denver.
The 2014 World championships are weird in my memory. Its pretty cool that I almost arrived at the same place on the podium but doing a totally different thing. It was sad to be standing on the second step as opposed to the top one but my prep was far from perfect so I had to be content. This might seem like cheesy plugs but at the races all I have to do is think about doing the best race. Grace gives me the positive mental state, Cycling Ireland get the best staff and support in place and my equipment sponsors are the best. Felt, Bont, Giro, USE and Oakley give me all the best kit, my job is simple really! One thing that does stick in my mind is the lack of buzz after I won the Silver. The Gold the previous year was huge and my phone barely stopped ringing for a month. It’s funny the difference one place makes.
This photo was taken just before I went solo and gained a lap on the field
This one, taken 15 minutes later.
I’ll leave it there for now, call back soon to find out my take on criterium racing state side, Commonwealth Games and what I'm doing right now.