Well 2012 flew by!
What a crazy year, lots of travelling and racing early on, meeting a beautiful girl,working extra hard, moving in with girlfriend and generally being grown up!
Results and racing suffered after the cape epic, but life progressed alarmingly fast.
So now into 2013, settled with both feet on the ground and looking to do more of what I love (2nd!) most, racing bikes!
The big turning point was the Cape Epic. That week has had a big influence. We went into the race hoping to edge a top 30, I wasn't at my fittest but survived through diesel power chasing Ben around the African wilderness eventually finishing 23rd overall. If we had believed in ourselves a bit more we might have entered as a UCI team and I would then have a bagful of UCI points!
The race got me thinking, if I hadn't of cracked in the last hour of a few stages and had a bit more top end could we have made the top 15 of mountain biking's equivalent of the Tour de France? I'm not sure we could have done it in 2012 but I am sure it is possible, a huge mental boost in the long term.
The Cape Epic also introduced me to my new coach, Mark Fenner. Fenz lives in Australia but grew up around the Brighton area where I now live. He's ridden the races I want to succeed in, finishing 3rd at the World 24h champs and finishing the Cape Epic. He also coaches using power and more specifically Training Peaks to optimise training load. All in all a perfect match for me and what I want to achieve. So far so good, a new approach to training (specific efforts rather than monster rides!)is starting to pay off and I'm feeling stronger by the week.
Now for the big news...
For 2013 I will be riding for a new team, Juice Lubes Racing. The guys at Juice Lubes have been fantastically supportive to me over the past few years (even when I've been riding badly) so it was an easy decision to make when I was invited to be part of the team. It will be nice to be back in a team after doing my own thing last year.
The first big race of the year kicks of in 8 weeks time in Spain. I'll be racing the Andalucia Bike race along side team mate James Porter. The main aim is to have some fun and get a suntan, hopefully if we do those things then the results may come!