It’s been a while since my last post, and alot has happened in that time. In short, here’s a rundown:

• I came down with a stomach virus at the end of March, forcing 2 weeks off the bike to recover and recuperate properly.

• Got back into things properly mid April as my family came out for a visit. I showed them around Pontevedra and we did some touristy stuff, visiting the capital of Galicia Santiago de Compostela and also Ourense for some natural hot springs.

• Returned to racing at the end of April with a regional Galcian race. I spent the day in the break which was eventually caught, but a team mate countered and took the win!

Unfortunately the day after this I had a minor crash with a car. It was nothing serious, “chapa y pintura ” as they say in Spain. A narrow road and a blind bend meant we just clipped going opposite ways. I must have flipped and landed on my phone as I wrecked it. Good job it was my birthday a few weeks later! A trip to carrefour the next day with Guille for an early b day present…

• At the start of May I had my first stage race of the season, the Bidasoa Itzulia, referred to here as the u23 tour of the Basque country. The plan was to use this to gain experience in stage racing, and take it day by day.

I didn’t want to place too high expectations of myself as I hadn’t been back training long, but it’s easy to get carried away when you’re in the race! The hard and punchy 4 days were good to get under my belt.

Then I had the Galician TT and road champs on the 17th and 19th of May, sandwiching my 20th Birthday in the middle. It felt great to do a TT again. I managed to pick up 4th on the day, 30 seconds down on the winner. However I would have been alot closer to the win if I hadnt slipped out on a roundabout with 1km to go, the weather wasnt ideal to say the least.

I then picked up 11th in the road race. It was a great opportunity being allowed to race, even though I’m not Spanish!

My dad also came out for my birthday which was nice. I got to show him some new roads, cafes and he brought some pressies over.

The best and most thoughtful present I got was a coffee tamper my dad made me. He made the press out of titanium, and the handle out of Masaccar ebony wood. It’s a piece of art. If this is something your into hit me up!

• After the championships it was time for a well needed trip home to see friends and family which of course included a trip to nando’s with the lads. Classic. It was also nice to be back riding on home roads. Meeting up with Maciek and Josh most days made riding even more enjoyable.

Josh let me into some knowledge of secret cafe locations, forged from years of riding in the North. However there’s no hiding away from efforts when your riding with your coach. “Havent you got a sprint to do?” “Yeah give us a sec”. I also dropped into Lusso to say hi to John and everyone, it had been a while!

But there’s nothing better than the simple things. Chilling with family in the house, having tea together, watching English tele, feeding Ziggy our rabbit, getting filled in on some gossip. The good stuff. It’s also weird what foods you miss. For me it was bagels and squash, but a good scone didn’t go amiss either.

I say it was a well needed trip home, as I cant deny it does get a bit hard sometimes. Living alone has been tougher than expected. I think alot of people would agree it’s easy for things to appear out of proportion when left alone with your thoughts for too long. Coming home has given me a better perspective of what I’m doing and more motivation to make the most of it. Theres no better way to spend your money than a few days at home to get out of a rutt.

I’m currently on my way back to Pontevedra in time for the Vuelta Navarra starting this week, a 5 day stage race in the Basque country. Then it’s a busy few weeks of racing before coming home for the national championships at the end of June.

Thankyou to the Dave Rayner Fund for their continued support, and thanks for reading.

Chao!

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