There’s not many points during the season when I have 3 or 4 weeks at “home” so the period after Criterium International was a welcome chance to get a little rest after the first swing of the season and lay down some solid training in preparation for the next block of races. Racing is the “meat and potatoes” of a life as a professional in this sport, but I relish the chance to get some quiet time and back the the simplicity of just riding.
Yesterday it was back to business with my first belgian race of the season, the ardennes classic Flèche Wallone. This race wasn’t originally on my planned schedule for the season, but its always on honor to race these spring one-day classic races and I was excited to have the opportunity to line up as team mates with last years Flèche-Wallone champion, Philip.
It was a tough 200 km re entry into racing after a few weeks off. Belgium didn’t disappoint and dished us up an authentic serving of cold, wet and WINDY weather which made for an especially intense and nervous day. In the end we all did well to stay out of trouble and protect our leaders Greg and Phil, with the later delivering a fine uphill kick up the viciously steep Mur de Huy for a solid 3rd place.
Now we have a few low-key days of hotel living as we rest up from yesterday and get ready for Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I’ve only raced LBL once, but at 260 km long and with as much climbing as a BIG mountain stage of the Tour de France its no doubt one of the most demanding one day races on the calendar. It will be an honor to line up with Phil again as he is also the defending champion at this race. That brings an extra sense of pressure and responsibility but we are up for the challenge and looking forward to it.
Maybe someone could send us some sun, please?