August 12, 2005 – Since the Tour of Austria over a month ago I have been at home in Spain. It has been the most memorable month of my life. Dede and I were able to spend the last month of her pregnancy together and also get everything ready for the arrival of Liam, our baby boy.
I trained consistently and well with teammate Tom Danielson and was able to build on my fitness after a good rest. Tom is flying right now as he is fine tuning his form for the Vuelta. He is a climber, perhaps one of the best in the world, and it was motivating and tough training with him. I think we were both able to improve as we pushed each other physically each day.
Tomorrow I am racing at the Classica San Sebastian. I am unsure how I will perform as I haven’t raced in quite some time but I know my fitness is good as is my morale. My dad, who is visiting us in Girona, took me out behind the scooter the other day and I was able to get in a solid workload to simulate the San Sebastion race.
San Sebastion is a tough race but one that is easy to read – the final winning break is formed on the Jaizkabel climb. To be in the front group you have to be well-positioned at the bottom of the ascent and then be strong enough to make the selection over the climb. It is a race that can be won by a rider with great fitness from the Tour, or a rider that has trained specifically for the end of the season races.CSC’s Ivan Basso will be the odds on favorite for the win.
In the coming weeks, I will either race at the Vuelta Espana or the Tour of Poland and at the fall Classics. Either way I am motivated to race again.