One of the great things about this job is the chance to travel and see parts of the world we normally wouldn’t if we weren’t cyclists and this weekend is no exception as I head over to the Isle of Man for the first time in my life.
It’s the National Road Race Champs on Sunday and it’s not often you have to take a ferry to race at the nationals!
I’m really looking forward to my first visit to “The Rock” as the local lads call it. Of course, for Mark Cavendish and Pete Kennaugh it’s a chance to race on their own, home island which, I’m guessing, they won’t have done since they were kids.
The form Pete is in, especially, it’s not difficult to imagine one of those two will win but I always enjoy the Nationals, it’s one of the highlights of our calendar, and I have a feeling this one will be that little bit extra special.
Talking of Cav, and more specifically the Madison event that he’s so good at, he’ll have noticed that it’s been announced that the Madison is coming back to the Olympics, for Tokyo in 2020.
As a fan, I think it’s really exciting news and I’m glad, for the sport and track cycling fans everywhere, that one of the most fascinating and thrilling events we have will be back on the big stage.
It’s something I wouldn’t mind putting my hand up for, although obviously it’s a long way in the distance. But I did a lot of Six Day races, with Chris Latham, last winter and really enjoyed them.
It’s certainly something worth thinking about although, as with everything at British Cycling, the competition will be strong and deep. In any case, I’m just going to dip my toe in the water over this summer, riding a couple of Madisons in Germany and Switzerland with Dan McLay, just out of interest.
That’s all for the future. For the next few weeks at least, I’m concentrating on road races with the boys at Team WIGGINS.
After a fun weekend at the London Nocturne, last weekend was the Beaumont Trophy up in the north-east which I enjoyed, despite the fact it was 29 degrees and I hate racing in the heat!
I didn’t feel great at the start and missed an early break. But I managed to get in a later one as we started chasing although, unfortunately, we didn’t get organised and got no closer than a couple of minutes behind the lead group.
I’d trained through and actually had quite a hard session the day before which, looking back, wasn’t the best preparation but young Joey Walker rode brilliantly and got fifth for us so, all in all, what could have been a disastrous turned out not so bad.
As I mentioned, this weekend we move onto the Nationals and then we’re back for the Tour of the Reservoir next weekend so it’s all go at the moment and at least it does feel like I’m getting my road legs back a little bit. We’ll see.
Aside from a busy racing diary, the most exciting thing that has happened to me was buying a Mitre saw and expanding my handyman skills, building a planter for the garden and putting in an extractor fan. It's not the most glamorous way of spending my down time but I find it relaxing and quite rewarding ... who knows, maybe a new career is waiting for me after cycling.
Before then, there are hopefully a few more good races left in me, starting on "The Rock" this weekend.