The first part of my 2015 season has been a big success for me and has given me the confidence to look forward to the rest of the season with high hopes.
It started with a really good off season and base training in November and December in South Africa. I really like training in South Africa and the weather that time of the year and most of the rest of the year is really good. I managed to do around 3000km in December at an altitude of around 1600m. Mostly just endurance rides from 4 to 5 hours but this year I also added a lot of 20min efforts into those rides at least 3 to 4 days week.
We had a good training camp in Mallorca in January. Although the weather wasn’t the best we managed to do around 3000km in January as well. I was feeling really good after 2 and a half months of solid training and preparation for the 2015 season and it showed in my first race of the year.
We managed to win the second day of the Mallorca challenge with Steve Cummings and I was there on a hilly course right to the end. I was able to do a really good attack with 3km to go to set up a perfect time for Steve to put in a superb effort after me to win the race with Valverde in second.
I then went on to win the SA National road title by breaking away just 1 kilometer into the race. I’m really proud to have achieved this and to be wearing the National jersey in Europe and all over the world this year.
The national jersey has given me the confidence and ability to step up a little bit more and I’m focused on getting really good results in Tours and specific one day races that suit me.
In Tour of Oman I got the biggest result of my career thus far ending 5th overall against big GC names like Valverde and Van Gaarderen and it has really changed my way of thinking when going into big races.
My next big races were the Ardennes classics with Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and then the Tour of California. I managed to have good results and build really nice in those races. I’m really happy with my program this year and I am able to focus and prepare for all my goals in a real good manner.
The season has been really good and looking forward, there is still so much to come with the Tour de France being my ultimate goal and the reason I started cycling.