Today the cannondale pro cycling hit the Tarmac for it's 1st race ever as a team. It's is an extra special moment for me as it marked my return to the team I have dreamed since beginning my cycling adventure to be apart of. Despite my year away I have seemed to slot straight back into to the fold and today was a great reminder of what a special team cannondale pro cycling really is. I still have to pinch myself everytime i pull on the cannondale jersey to remind myself that being part of the team is more than just a dream. The name is new but the staff and riders that made liquigas and the bright green jersey so famous still remain and have ensured the family atmosphere has continued.
The city critirium raced tonight is not officially part of the tour down under, but serves as a great warmup for the European riders to blowout some cobwebs and that lingering jet lag following there journey from the euro winter to our scorching summer. Without a designated sprinter the objective for myself and my 6 teammates was simply to role around in the bunch and give the legs the opportunity to feel some of that all important race rhythm.
Not surprisingly the culture so instilled in the team was immediately evident with us all moving as one though out the peleton. This is somthing that comes naturally for the team and with the all important tour down under beginning on Tuesday, this team work was an important box to tick to set us up for the challenge that lays ahead next week in the Adelaide hills. It's a special feeling for me moving in the peleton with this team. Not only is it easier to move as a group compared to alone but for me it also makes me feel save. That feeling that you can trust your team mate in front of you to guide you where you need to be and knowing that there will also be a team mate behind placing equal trust in you and ensuring your safety aswell.
The race itself went to it's usual script. A small breakaway which the peleton let dangle of the front for 3/4 of the race before slowing cranking up the pace to warp speed giving the fast men a chance to flex there muscles in a bunch gallop. The big German bull Andre grieple duly won the stage he was odds on favorite to win and the rest of us were treated to 1hr of speed and agility training while his lotto team and all the other sprinting teams did all the hard yards cranking out the pace on the front. The speed was pretty impressive tonight and consequently gave me a great opportunity to test out my cannondale evo at race tempo in and out of corners and through the bunch. Having sent plenty of time on the training track I was aware of how responsive and agile the bike was under those conditions but to feel how comfortably it moves you around the peleton at speed was something else! The evo is as comfortable as sitting in a lounge chair and I quickly realized that I was saving a huge amount of energy compared to normal simply by being aboard such a well designed bicycle. In and out of corners, in and out of the saddle, on the brakes , accelerating, you name it this bike seems to just move as one with you. So I must take this opportunity to compliment the cannondale tech gurus for building such a magnificent office for us riders.
So the season is now underway. The atmosphere within the cannondale camp is one of excitement and great anticipation for what the season will bring. The name has changed but the soul well and truly remains. This team is a family and we all can't wait to get our teeth suck into the 2013 season.
Sent from my iPad