I now have two races under my belt now. The first was in Gabon. I went into the race sick so I didn’t have great form but I got stronger as the race went on and it was nice to be in the mix again and get that racing feeling in the legs. It’s exciting to be racing and attacking again. My second race was SA Champs where I again didn’t have great form. SA Champs was probably the hardest SA’s that I’ve done. The course was tough and the guys were strong and luckily the team could pull it off. I just tried to help the team as much as I could.
The team has a great positive vibe and everyone supports each other so the experience has been good so far. Linus is a very professional athlete. I raced with him in Gabon and he knows how to be a team leader and he just stays calm when the pressure is on. It’s really nice to work with someone like him. We’re new members on the team and need to get confidence from the existing riders but the support has been great so far and it’s been easy to fit in. There’s a great bond between the African and European riders. It feels like one team and the mutual respect is great.
I’ve noticed how strong some of the guys are on the team. I’ve never seen Jacques going this well before. He is flying and I think he is going to have a great year. Louis has got a lot of talent. He is super strong and he’s a definite pro athlete. He is motivated and calm and works really hard. Merhawi is going to surprise some people I think. He’s got an interesting riding style and has a very high cadence with his tiny legs. I think if we look after him we’ve got a good stage winner on our hands.
My next race is the Tour de Langkawi. I’ve never been there before but I’m pretty sure from what I’ve heard it could be good for us. We’re going with a mix of sprinters and climbers and I’ll go there to support the team. The main goal is to win the race and with Louis, Jacques and Merwahi I think we have a good chance. We’ll be supporting them and help them stay out of trouble.