What next?

I’m meeting with my coach tomorrow to discuss the results of my most recent VO2max test and to formulate my objectives for the next 6 months. I really do feel I should concentrate on improving my technique and speed, plus losing weight. Sadly, post London-Paris, a few kilos have slipped back on, although the progression is still downwards. Thereafter, I can contemplate the forthcoming season of brevets, cyclosportifs and the odd race with a view to improving on this year’s performances.

The outlook for the next two days is wet, so I might well have to resort to the hometrainer. With this in mind, I rode this morning, in a fasted state, in lieu of a rest day. I didn’t ride yesterday as I was “on duty” with M le President, at the annual Sports Festival, trying to recruit members for the new cycling school. Gratifyingly large numbers of children (and their parents) expressed an interest. I also tried to encourage a few more lady members. 

Saturday, was a beautiful, warm, sunny day where you could see for miles, I rode with my beloved. We had opted for a fairly strenuous ride which combined my programmed hours and exercises for both Saturday and Sunday. He had returned home on Friday afternoon after a frustrating day spent in Basle’s airport lounge thanks to an initially delayed, and subsequently cancelled, flight. He departed again this afternoon, this time for Montreal: peace and quiet until midday on Friday.  

With M le President on a training course for the next two months, I’m going to be busy ahead of my departure for Australia, when the entire burden of the club will rest on the tiny shoulders of the Treasurer. I’m very keen that she should not feel overburdened. I am documenting everything (for the first time) so that she can specifically look after the licence renewals and the club website in my absence. 

Unsurprisingly, I have found time to dip in and out of the Vuelta which is proving to be engrossing. Nine stages where 9 different teams, and riders, have triumphed over the largely lumpy stages in soaring temperatures. Three riders on GC are divided by 2 seconds  while the next two are within a minute of those leaders. Other fancied riders have fallen further behind but the podium’s still within grasp given the profiles of the remaining stages. Team Sky, whose team members were suffering from a virus, have withdrawn following the tragic death of one of their staff members from septicaemia.

Mark Cavendish, despite not yet winning a stage, is gracing the points jersey. Yesterday, David Moncoutie, having won a stage on Saturday, was  in again in the breakaway seizing more KOM points to snatch the blue spotted jersey from Serafin Martinez’s shoulders. Philippe Gilbert, having done the red jersey proud for a few days,  surrendered it on Saturday to Igor Anton who, having crossed the line behind Joaquin Rodriguez, thought the latter would be wearing it. Not so, they were both given the same time and Anton has it on account of his better placings. On today’s rest day, this is how they stand on GC:-

General classification after stage 9
1 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 37:56:42  
2 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha    
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:02  
4 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo Test Team 0:00:42  
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:52  
6 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:15  
7 Ezequiel Mosquera (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia 0:01:18  
8 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R-La Mondiale 0:01:19  
9 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:22  
10 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia 0:01:26  
11 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia