Getting Ready for ToCA
- by Jani Brajkovic

So just who the heck is "JB Junior?" Team Astana fans have no problem quickly shouting out that 'JB' would of course be Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. But who does the team call 'JB Junior'? A correct guess would be former Slovenian and U23 World Time Trial Champion (2004) Jani Brajkovic.

A pro since 2005, Jani wore the gold jersey for two stages in the 2006 Vuelta a Espana. He was also the overall winner in the 2007 Tour de Georgia and Best Young Rider at that same race in 2006. Jani has agreed to write a personal blog for Team Astana fans reading enjoyment. He will share with us what goes on behind the scenes, his thoughts about racing and teammates, and in general let you take a peek into the life of a professional cyclist. And Jani speaks perfect English so when you run into him at a race this season, be sure to say "Hi!" and thanks for sharing his world.

Feb 15 - After three weeks of staying in Albuquerque, we finally flew to Palo Alto on Thursday to get ready for the start of the Amgen Tour of California. Not that I didn't like ABQ; in my eyes it was great; I had some really quality training, I've experienced training in sub zero temperatures (ed. Centigrade), snow and wind. But overall, I think it was good idea to stay there instead of going home to Europe and coming back again. We got the benefit of training at high altitude, good training roads and especially sunshine. I love when I wake up and the skies are blue and the sun is shining. It gives me some extra motivation!

Anyway, we arrived in Palo Alto yesterday afternoon. Right after we got here we did some light training. I was really happy to see my teammates again, have a chat with them, and share some thoughts. They didn't believe me that we were training in the snowy conditions in ABQ, so when I show them a picture of Sandia Crest with me and Levi on the top , they were stunned.

We actually climbed that 14 mile climb of which last 7miles the road was completely covered with snow. We still have couple of days until the race starts and a lot of things to do: team presentation, some interviews...and of course every day's massage from our great guy Ritchie.

More about him and the race next time. Thanks for reading, I hope it wasn't too boring - Jani.