After spending the whole road season and much of the winter in Oudenaarde, Belgium it was finally time to come home for Christmas to see friends and family. I cant believe how quickly a year has gone and its nice to look back and reflect on 2009 as 2010 is so close!
With the help of The Dave Rayner Fund I was able to race and stay for the full season in Belgium. I have been racing with a fantastic Belgium team called The Sprinters Malderen that look after me very well, and its a bonus that they dont speak much English so I can practice my Flemish :) I will be staying with them for the 2010 season and look forward to doing bigger and better races with our new and improved racing calender! After a year in Oudenaarde I have settled in well and attend Dutch lessons every Monday and Wednesday to try and make myself a little less of an 'outsider', and fit into the Belgium way of life; this includes many hot chocolates! I had a good 2009 season with a win in Belgium and many top 10 places however, next year I am looking to build on these results and try and get as many wins and podium places as possible!
I am currently training hard for the next season because they do say all is won and lost in winter. I have been doing swimming and running as well as cycling, which has been a bonus as the weather is pretty tough with all the snow and ice. Although it didnt stop me yesterday Mountain Biking in the snow for 3 hours. I have been doing track training too, and did my first race in over 2 years last month at the Gent track, and was 4th in the Scratch race. I really enjoyed it so I will be going back for more in January!
I attended the Dave Rayner Dinner in November which was an amazing evening, meeting our inspirations; Bradley Wiggins, Russel Downing, and all the fantastic people supporting us to follow our dreams in racing full time abroad. So much was donated that night and I have to say a big thank you to everyone who gave a donation as without you, I could not be fulfilling my ambition to become a professional cyclist. I am lucky enough to have Dave Rayner's support next year and am hugely grateful.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I look forward to telling you all my experiences and results in 2010!