It's the prova de Abertura, the season opening race in Portugal. This used to be two races, an U-23 and a professional race. But this year, because of lack of funds it's one race. I came second in this race in 2006, and won the metas volantes last year, so I tend to go well there.
This year I don't know. I presume my team will want to bring it down to a sprint. Which is fair enough, I think we have the legs for a result here. That said I wouldn't discount completly a break arriving. We are racing with under-23's, there will be no radios... so it is quite likely. Infact attacking the race to force the others to chase might be more economical than burning up 7 in a chase for the line.
I'm a bit sick, usual plight of head colds and another virus thing. I should be better by the weekend. I've been stressed recently, moved house, living with my girlfriend. And with all the credit crunching going on, this wasn't as smooth as I had hoped. Although all is well now. It's amazing how hard it is to train, rest, feed, tidy and clean... I'll get on top of this though.
This year I am going to start to think about my post racing career. I want to have something there, to take the stress. I do of course want to take this to another level. I know I've got the fundamentals of an excelent cyclist. But that's just it. It's my tough luck should nothing more come of it. Suck it up and move on. I have enjoyed every moment of it.
I wish I was flying, I've got the "Volta ao Algarve" next week. This was the first race I ever watched. In 2004, while my mum was dying of cancer, I went to watch the Volta and gain inspiration from a certain Lance Armstrong. Inspiration was found. Six years latter there I am racing it myself. I have an autograph of Lance's from that race.
I started read "Minho and North Portugal", a book by my grandfather, Patrick Swift and David Wright. My girlfriend is from the Minho, which kind of brought me to picking the book up. I wonder if my grand father ever thought that 50 years into the future his grand son would be racing round those same montes? Amazing really. I won my one and only race in amateur on a cobble stone climb in the Minho!