Season Over

06Oct08

Season over. Sometimes it felt like the season would never end but now I look back it feels like I was only in Europe for a week. I have been back in Australia for nearly a week now and most of that time has been spent catching up with family and friends. It’s strange because once you have seen your friends and family and chatted for about 10mins it starts to feel like you have never left. One of the most common questions I have gotten has been: “How was it?”

The answer is a lot longer than the three-word question. It was great fun and I was happier there than I have ever been yet at the same time it was the hardest thing I have done physically and mentally. The stress of living in a new country in a house with complete strangers and racing at a level that is more than a couple of steps above what you are used to marked the first month and a bit. This was replaced by the frustration of constant crashes and mechanical problem. All the while my fitness, strength and mind were improving and culminated in strong performances in Waver-Rijmenan, Keerbergen and Tour of Serbia. This should have been the launching pad for the rest of the season but instead illness and injury set me back and meant I found myself once again chewing my stem and grovelling at the rear of the peloton as I searched for form. Luckily my motivation had held out and I was rewarded with a really good last month. I had a great time during the whole time thanks to the people that were around me and the fact I was doing what I love to do.

Before I left Belgium I had great form and when the legs feel good all you want to do is keep racing and riding. I have forced myself to stop and have a rest because I have well and truly focused on next season and the challenges that I will face. With that in mind in need this time to recharge and then build up for the European summer. Unfortunately I have a massive itch to ride my bike and keep active.

I will start riding again in a week or so and will keep up the blog over the off season and take you through the trials and tribulations of the long rides that are to come and the few races that I will do while back in sunny Australia. I will also be starting to do some interviews with friends on various topics that hopefully will keep anyone who reads my ramblings interested over the off season.

Mitch

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