Belgium, it's time


 
Any overseas trip I've been on, after the initial "EW MAH GAWD, I'm going overseas!!!1!?!!?" type reaction I tend to forget about it. To the point where only a week ago it dawned on me that I was about to leave the country for 3 months - and that the list of things I needed to accomplish in that week was rather extensive.
 
Menial list checking aside, the steady stream of advice for racing and riding in Belgium started flowing.
 
- "don't eat waffles, you'll get fat"
- "don't drink beer, you'll get fat"
- "don't eat frites, you'll get fat"
- "don't eat Nutella or Speculoos (reputed to be delicious!), you'll get fat"
- "don't train in the wet, you'll get sick" (and then, fat)

 

I'm no Sherlock, but there was a pattern emerging here...I have a fear of looking like this guy 
every time I come home from a trip away racing, so some restraint might be needed once we hit Vorselaar.

 

Jokes aside, there was a lot of great advice imparted as well as an incredible amount of support. Even my mother, who will never profess to being a fan of cycling, appreciated that this trip wasn't like all the other weekends away racing. No one wants to use the phrase "last chance saloon", but if I was ever to have a chance to race professionally (read: paid) then this trip needs to be a success. No pressure!
Importantly I should note though these performance expectations are primarily my own. Team manager, Glenn Harris, stressed the how crucial it was to also relax, enjoy the racing and love the fact we are going to be living the dream in Europe. Which when you spend nearly every waking minute stressing over your form (as every cyclist is also, in large part, a narcissist), I gratefully accepted the reminder of this over a ride with some of the local Vanquish CC boys. 

 

Couple that with bit of Pro Strava stalking and a look at the site used in Belgium for races (you'd swear it was created at about the same time the internet was first switched on!) I was now offically amped to be days away from being able to ride and race over roads I've watched for years on television. Results would have to come what may. As long as I raced hard and all my team mates stayed safe and happy, this trip was going to be a success.

 

One saving grace is I should be well acclimatised, Geelong's weather looks about on par with Belgium (not mentioning the fact the Northern Hemisphere is only one month off summer!).
Geelong vs Belgium weather
But wind, hale or shine, with the help of my fantastic sponsors, I'm determined to make the most of living the dream for at least one more time. And keeping you all updated on all the fun!

 

Next will be me from Belgium. Until then, happy riding!