Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:50 PM

Diary #1: My new home for the next 6 months.

Hello everyone,
I’m about to leave for a 10 day racing stint, so I thought that I should do and “official” diary before I leave. On Monday I left Bordeaux, where I was for the Track World Championships, and headed to my new home in Italy. We left at 7am and made pretty good time only stopping for petrol and arrived at our destination by 6pm 11hours later.

The place where we are living is in the city of Varese and our town is called Castronno. It is about 15-20min drive north of Milan. The place where I am living is just like a big 3 storey house but with 12 mini apartments inside, all with external doors. My apartment is probably the smallest out of the 12 so I have some fun trying to figure out ways to best utilise the space. At the moment I am rooming with a mountain biker Chris Jongewaard but he is only here for another 2 weeks and then I might be on my own for a while.

As you can see from the photo below the apartment is just one room with kitchen, dining and sleeping all in together. At first I was really disappointed but it’s starting to grow on me. The main feature of me room is I have quite a nice patio out the front which none of the other rooms have. We spend a fair bit of time our there on the nice days and usually eat most meals on the outdoor setting I scored from our storage warehouse.


The training around here is absolutely amazing. I have only been here a week so I haven’t see the best yet. Some of our shorter rides include just cruising around Lake Varese and stopping at one of the many coffee shops. Our longer rides always involve a lot of climbing, and because of where we are living this provides us with a number of 10+km climbs, which reach right up to the snow line. Our closest main climb is 8km away and it is 10km long. We often head over towards Lake Como or up north into Switzerland where there are also many nice climbs.  A lot of professional riders also live around here like, Michael Rogers, Ivan Basso, Scott Davis, Luca Paolini and a lot of other riders from Lampre and Quickstep squads.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a 9day racing period for me in 10days. I start with a one day race near Venice and then have a travel day down to Rome on Monday, and then on Tuesday I have another one day race in Rome. Straight after this race we have a 3hr drive to the prologue of a 6 day tour which starts that same afternoon. The tour then runs from Wednesday to Monday. Following this on the Tuesday we have another one day race before heading back home for a well earned rest.

Until then hope all is well and maybe I’ll hear from you.

 I have also just updated my calender with all my races right through until October.