As much as seeing the entire city of London blanketed in white snow puts me in the holiday spirit, I must say that I'm glad to be in the 19 degree sunshine of Valencia this week! Seeing Victoria playing in the snow last week took me back to my childhood of building snowmen and having snowball fights in Izegem. I think as we get older the snow becomes more of a hassle and inconvenience. I try not to be cynical, but if you saw the mess at Gatwick Airport on Sunday, I'm sure you would understand my current feelings towards the white powdery stuff! But the main thing is that we are here now and we'll have a great holiday with Eva's family!
It's really hard to believe that another year has gone by. It seems the older I get, the faster the years go. If someone knows how to slow it all down, please let me know! The off-season was busy as usual. You would think that after 12 years of doing this, that the off-seasons would be a bit easier, but it seems to be just the opposite actually - Getting the family settled in London, speeches, planning for 2011, etc. The highlight of the off-season was our trip to Zambia with World Bicycle Relief. If you haven't had a chance to check-out my videos, blogs and pictures from this amazing experience, please take some time during the holidays. It will certainly remind you of how fortunate we all are … And how the bicycle has the power to significantly change lives. As much as I enjoy directing a cycling team, having the opportunity to help underprivileged people is just as rewarding.
Quick report on Team RadioShack. As many of you know, we had two training camps this year. One in the USA with our American riders and the other in Europe with everyone else. Though I prefer to have everyone together, it was just easier for the Americans to stay closer to home. We had a great camp in Europe - got in some quality training rides, had some fun team-building activities (hiking and go-carts) and met with the individual riders about schedules, goals, etc. It's always nice to see everyone again after the break and also give the new faces the chance to meet everyone and gel with the team. Though we won't be one of the favorites at the Tour de France this year, it hasn't taken away from the team's motivation to win races and make a statement … The energy is good and the morale is high! In the next few weeks, we'll be debuting the 2011 jerseys (yes, different than this year and different than what a lot of other teams are doing … I think you'll like it). I'll also post the first couple of months of the schedule. I don't want to post it all until I receive confirmation from race organizers. Our first race, like the last few years will be the Tour Down Under. It will be Lance's last international race, so it will be a good one to catch. We'll also have Manuel Cardoso, Ben Hermans, Markel Irizar, Jason McCartney, Gregory Rast and Sebastian Rosseler there. After that race, we'll be hosting our second training camp in Mallorca, which will lead up to the Mallorca Challenge.
Victoria is telling me to come outside and play with her. Sorry, but I need to soak up all this time, because once the season starts, I'm never home as much as I would like.
Have a great and safe holiday and a very healthy and happy 2011!
Thanks for your support this year and I'll write more in the new year!