“The start of May.” My answer to a question I was asked numerous times since January, “When are you heading off overseas again?” Before I knew it, it was the 1st of May and I was flying out in a week to live overseas for 5 months. I thought I had everything under control although anyone who has ever travelled knows very well this is never the case and something ALWAYS pops up. In my case a ‘quick’ check-up visit to the dentist at home in Bowral turned into another visit to get a hole in my tooth filled! My dentist did a huge favour squeezing me in the day before I left to reduce the risk of me having to visit a foreign dentist and I was very grateful although I still do not get how he thinks I can have a conversation with him and answer questions when I have his hand and a few tools in my mouth!
That afternoon all of us who are looked after by Giant Australia and Spearman Cycles had a little gathering to thank the crew at the bike shop and bid farewell for a few months. We had the opportunity to test out some new bikes as well as some tasty treats, which my dentist would have loved to see post his hard work that morning!
The first few days were taken up by recovering from the travel, adjusting to the time zone and setting ourselves up in our apartments we are calling home. Last year I arrived in Vitoria-Gasteiz and was overwhelmed for a while with everything from the enormous supermarket to sunlight at 9pm although this year nothing came as a surprise and I settled in pretty quickly.
The rest of our squad arrived a few days later after racing the World Series race in Yokohama, Japan where Gwen Jorgensen came away with another win! With everyone settled in and before people are off every weekend to race around Europe, Jamie took the opportunity to organise a ‘Menu Del Dia’ aka ‘Menu of the Day’, this is very popular in restaurants all over Spain. Basically, you are given a selection of entrees, mains and desserts and you pick one from each for a set price. It is a great and cheap way to try different dishes. In our case we didn’t have to choose just one dish, instead we all cooked something different and tried a bit of everything. All the plates were licked clean which is always a good sign!
Apart from the wet and cold weather, training has been going well and the running trails and riding routes are endless. I raced my first French Grand Prix of the season as well as my first WTS race in Madrid. I won’t go into details as I think my race reports do a pretty good job of describing how I felt about those.
It has been a fun start to the European season and I am looking forward to some more racing and good results!