Back to Europe

Well if you didn’t already know Barcelona is a bloody long way from New Zealand, in fact if you did the old “dig a hole to China” in Nelson you would probably end up pretty close to my apartment in Girona! It's always hard to leave a New Zealand summer but Girona feels a bit more normal every time I come back, and after a few days of sorting out the normal Spanish issues – phone doesn’t work, no hot water, scooter won't start…I’m back in the rhythm and getting ready to leave to Paris tomorrow to race back to Nice.

My time in New Zealand after Australia was good, I mentioned the tooth infection I had in down under - that saga escalated and then resolved. There was still a good inflammation in the side of my face but no specialist really believed me and said it was normal after surgery to have the lump until one day it exploded a mass off puss - then the oral surgeon informed me that “oh yea, looks like you had a big stitch abscess” so now it's pretty much all gone. I finally started to step into so big riding which was really nice, until mid Feb I hadn’t ridden over 20hours in a week of training - I nearly racked that up in 3 days by the time the “hard blocks” started and so a few weeks of really hard training I think has set me up well for what’s ahead - I'm yet to do anything really high intensity but I’m guessing by the time I have raced Paris-Nice, Catylunya and a few more stage races I'll have more intensity than I can shake a stick at heading into the Giro.

It’s a little daunting heading into Paris-Nice as my introduction back to European racing, more so the weather conditions than the race itself but if I can get through the first few days unscathed, I think I'll enjoy myself once we hit the south.