It seems so long ago now, sitting in my room on the second last day of the TDF. On thi particular evening I was in a trance filling out my new job aplication for McDonals simultaniously watching an Animal Planet program about black leopards in Malaysia. when the general feelings suggest that its time for the race to finish, i couldnt help but take mental note. While regular team process, and thankfully stress free environment blessed the OmegaPharma-lotto crew with an ensemble of depth and quality, the long tour days have a tendency to drag into a mega blur, leaving all colour and excitement somehow dwindling as the end draws near.
I was blessed to have my Mother and brother returninig to Italy aftrwards. This experience with ’Buddha’ delivered a prime opportunity to take a brief hiatus from the cycling progam whch had been quite loaded, if we can call it such! What insued shortly afterwards can olny be described as a quality replenishment of resources. Giving the prior working months had generally left me feeling somewhat subsiduary to normal.
Sadly I must digress from revealing the full extent of our involvement here, yet it was marvellous to be with my family and freinds in this part of the world I love. however, a simple example is only to describe a short game of (attempted) golf, played shorlt before my kinsmens departure. Although we had taken 100% precaution through a long warm up session at the driving range previously, the game of nine holes (cut short due to bad light) eventuated in all balls illuding us by the 7th green. Golf is not the easiest sport in perfect light, but the darkness provided additional challenges to the topography, obviously. As the darkness krept in and rain fell violently it was time for the ball-less crew to call it a night. The surrounding hinterland was being peppered by lightning, so in reality just wanted to get away from metalic objects.. Sadly, we were so late to get back to the club-shouse the place was locked, along with the gates to exit the venue. Like a scene from a badly produced war film, we drove through previously un-touched forest (front wheen drive Audi) to eventually come across a road tha seemed functional.. The brilliant lights of Varese were then in front of us, leading our commando unit directly to McDonals. Ronald cannot stop smiling, but I wasnt on his wavelength by that stage..
Im off to GP Ouest France this Sunday to kick in the new portion of the year.. Followed by two interesting races on the 10th & 12th(Sep) in Quebec and Montreal Canada.. All of which lead directly into an exciting set of races in italy during October, where I plan on finishing the season with great expectations..
Hope everyone is very well out there! Matty Lloyd