Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

It's still important to train on a Giro rest day

In front: Pieter Weening won stage nine
In front: Pieter Weening won stage nine

Yesterday's rest day started off a bit earlier than anticipated with a UCI anti-doping officer knocking on my door.

Although 7.45am was a bit earlier than I'd intended to get up, it wasn't too bad and I got dressed, grabbed my passport and followed him down the hall.

As I don't have a photo on my racing licence, I used my passport to prove my identity, filled in the forms and got my blood test done in a spare room.

While the whole team were tested yesterday morning, most went back to bed afterwards. But once I'm up, I'm up, so I went down and had a cappuccino and a slice of toast with the mechanics before reading for an hour.

Yesterday morning we had some guests from our team's Danish sponsors, Saxo Bank, come out on our training spin with us.

Although we had a day off racing it's always important to get out and turn the legs on a rest day. We rode for an hour and a half, had a coffee and a chat with the guests and went back to the hotel.

Because we got a new sponsor earlier this year some of our race clothing was a bit late arriving and we got some extra rain gear in Ireland and some summer stuff when we transferred to Bari last Monday. In last year's Vuelta I only used a couple of pairs of shorts and socks but thanks to the bad weather and a crash, I've gone through double that already.

I rounded up about 15 pairs of team socks, any other spare kit I had for the rest of the season and a bottle of wine I'd bought in Sicily and put them in a bag for my girlfriend to bring home with her when she drives to the race in Savona today.

While some of my team-mates had their wives and kids here in the hotel, and hung out in the lobby a bit more, I spent most of the day on my own and it was great. The rest of the day was basically spent lying in bed reading or watching TV.

I was looking forward to seeing my girlfriend at the finish today until yesterday afternoon, when I realised that we don't finish in Savona until tomorrow.

I don't know how I made the mistake but I had to call her and explain. I don't think she would have been too impressed if she'd gone to Savona a day early!

One good thing about getting my stages mixed up though is that instead of a hard mountain stage, we have a mainly flat day to Salsomaggiore today. Every cloud has a silver lining.

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