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Vamos!

After a successful and intense training camp in Tignes, the time has come to (finally) finish training, focus on recovery, and turn all my focus to the races. Only 4 days after the training camp, I traveled to Spain, to the Burgos race. To be honest, I was quite nervous as it had been a while since I last raced. Nervous in terms of whether I would still know how to ride in the peloton 😊 The fear was in vain, and I quickly fell into a rhythm. Everything is different after such a long break, especially compared to starting a new season after a long break. After such an accident as I experienced, you always think the worst afterward. Vuelta Burgos served me as a kind of test and final preparation to improve my form. I had some swings in my performance. In the first, the TTT stage, and in the fourth, I felt more than great. In the third and last stage, I still felt that I needed some rhythm before the so-called (new) main goal of the season – the Vuelta a Espana. I gave my best in every stage and pushed my body to the limit so that it could get used to the racing rhythm and the heat. At the same time, I focused all my efforts on helping Primož win the race.

At the race, I felt like a kid who got his first bike. Many times I thought of the words of doctors and physiotherapists when they said that rehabilitation would be long. Three months ago I got back on the bike for the first time. I felt pain in my knee for quite some time and it was difficult to do the training. Looking back now, I don’t think it was as hard as it seemed at the beginning. I put in a lot of effort, I believed that I could come back this year, and right now everything is paying off. I will be at the start of the Vuelta, where I will do everything in my power to help my team in winning the third grand tour this season.

Just being at the start is a big achievement for me. The team is extremely strong and the fact that I was selected in this Vuelta team tells me a lot about the team’s trust in me. I am very grateful to be back. In the end, it will be what it will be. If I cross the finish line and know that I did everything in my power, I will be happy. I’m already happy now that I can pin the number and spin the pedals in Barcelona. Vamos!

Photo: Cor Vos, Ziklix Photo

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Postcard from Tignes

Preparations in Tignes are going well. We have fun with the boys and train really hard. Even over 30 hours a week, everything from high-intensity training to long rides, even for 7 hours. The weather is kind to us, we are lucky that we only have rain on our days off, which doesn’t interfere with our plans regarding preparation and planning of trainings.

The first week was difficult, as the body had to acclimatize to the high altitude. But I survived and I can feel myself progressing day by day. The last training sessions were already an excellent indicator that the form is not far from the best. It will take some work, but I still have some time to get to 100%. The days pass quickly, and most of the time we train, so there is not much energy left for the rest of our free time. The team perfectly takes care of all the necessary regeneration, from massages to deliciously prepared meals. So, we can really focus only on training. I’m already a little tired, but there’s not much left until the end of the training camp. After these preparations, it will be necessary to rest well and recover, because soon it will be time for the first race after the injury and that is the Vuelta Burgos 😎

I remember after the pre-Giro accident, I told myself to take this injury as motivation to try to get back to racing as soon as possible. It is becoming a reality. There were hard days lying on the couch and then physiotherapy and training, both in the gym and on the bike – but all the hard work is paying off now. I learned a lot from this situation and became even stronger mentally. We will be able to see how ready I am very soon. I can’t wait! To be honest, I’m also a bit tired of all the training. It’s really time to pin the number back 🤝🤗

Photos: Personal Archive and Team Jumbo Visma