Most of you may know this already but I will be riding for Rapha-Condor-JLT for the 2013 season! :)
I signed the contract on the 31st of October In Condor bike shop in London. It was announced the very next day! here is the link to the team line up.
pretty exciting stuff! :D
First thing Rapha related was a training camp in Tenerife for 2 weeks , but guys from other teams came along too, but mainly it was a deal between us and a cycling holiday training camp called 'Neon-Velo'. link to there website: http://neon-velo.com/
My first time in Tenerife and was really looking forward to meeting all my new team mates. First ride and we went straight up mount Teide! It took 2 hours! at the time my longest ever climb! I was fine all the way up and stayed with the stronger guys with a couple of riders being dropped. the next few days I was flying! I felt great even on 5 hour rides with over 3000 metres climbing. After the rest day I had a couple of rough days where I was finding it hard, but felt great after that and finished on a high :) I'm sure this training camp is going to give me a good boost for the season, but we'll have to wait and see how things go.
Next thing related to Rapha was a team meeting up near Preston to collect bikes a bunch of the kit and meet a couple of the other riders on the team which I haven't met yet. One of those would be my room mate for the time I was up in Preston and it was the legend that is Ed Clancy! :) He was a really nice guy and thinking about it, not bad to call him a team mate!
The team bikes are so nice! you may have seen pics of the frames on the condor warehouse twitter page. We have Kask helmets and Fizik saddles and shoes. Strangely I'm the only rider on the team who got red Fizik shoes! everyone else got white..? not complaining as they're nice!!
Did a threshold test just before Christmas and I'm really pleased with the power that's there and hoping that after a couple more months I can be a bit stronger to have a real good crack at the season with Rapha-Condor-JLT.
Now, you may or may not know, that on Boxing day I flew out to Australia for a 7 week race/training camp! as I'm typing I have just got back from the 2nd ride here in Aus, just getting the legs feeling like normal from what was a really long flight. My first race here in Aus and first race of the 2013 season will be on the first day of the year. The Bay Crts, known for being very fast and having winners like Matt Goss and Robbie McEwen. Saying this we have 9 riders here in Aus and there is a team of 5 doing the Elite Men race with Greenedge and co. I'm doing the team support race against some strong Aussie teams like Jayco Skins. there're 3 Bay crits on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January after that the team of 5 in the Elite mens bay crits plus Mike Cumming will do the Herald and Sun Tour while I'll be just recovering from the crits then doing my own training.
After the Sun Tour the team will move slightly up north to stay in Bendigo for the rest of the time while we're here. They're be club style races and lots of team training to do, the club races will be still be pretty tough like the standard of an E/1/2 National B road race back in England maybe? guess I'll find out later on that too!
Training in Tenerife was great! hope to make it a regular thing every December!