Not the typical Monday for me this week, I’m currently taking a quick refreshment break in a German hotel full of members of the British Cycling team. It’s European Track Championship week and Berlin is very lively … not that I am!
I’ll give you an example of life on the road for a rider at a Championships. Sunday was a travel day, I left Manchester at 10am and arrived at the hotel at 5pm. I was in Bed at 9pm who knew Traveling was so exhausting!.
Monday was NOT a lie-in day with an early start on the turbo at 8:30 am which obviously felt like 7:30 as we have just got in from the UK, an hour behind. The track session then consisted of just some flying efforts, some under-pace and some at what we think race pace will be, to get a feel for the track. This is so we can practise line and changes which have to be altered to each track depening on its geometry and peculiarities. A 40 minute meeting in the evening, is the norm which is were we look over the effort demographics to see where we can improve as a team, then later on after the evening it was of to dinner and rest and repair for the next day.
Tuesday will almost be more of the same – as I said, these Track Championships aren’t always thrilling to start with, or at least not to read about anyway.
This trip has also seen me celebrate my first wedding anniversary on Sunday, not only not in the same town as my better half, but not even in the same country. To be honest, that’s an example of the odd small sacrifice that you have to make if you’re a pro sportsman and it’s a small price to pay … not that that makes the anniversary any less special of course!
So for the next couple of days, I’ll be keeping myself busy on the indoor trainer or maybe even a quick road ride to discover Berlin that little bit more and maybe have the chance to take in the odd coffee shop that my mate Phil Hindes has recommended.
But we don’t really get time during Championships to focus on anything else bar cycling, I might have to put Berlin on the list to visit when I’m not competing because I hear great things about it and it looks an interesting place.
But that’s for the future. Now it’s about the Euros and the thrill I always feel when I zip up a GB skinsuit – doesn’t matter how many times I do that I competition, it’ll never get old.
Wednesday is when it starts, competition time. Eurosport are covering the event so make sure you keep an eye out. If you get chance to watch us and cheer us on, the plan is for the team pursuit on Wednesday and Thursday with the individual pursuit and Madison to come over the weekend.
This is the start of a busy winter which, of course, ends in April with the Commonwealth Games in Australia, if I’m lucky enough to be selected to ride for England in that. But for now, and without wanting to sound like a football manager, we’re just taking each “game” as it comes and, hopefully, we’ll be able to come back from Berlin with some silverware.
I’ll try and post again when I’m back in the UK hopefully I’ll have some stories to tell. But for now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with my old friend Netflix …