Well, it’s over. The end of the 2023 season and the end of the off days 😫😂 Although it is still 2023, preparations for 2024 have already begun. After the last race (Lombardy), I took a 5-week break. It was an active break, I didn’t lay on the couch for 5 weeks. I spent my holidays in Singapore and Japan, combining business and pleasure. I raced the two criteriums in Singapore and Saitama, which are annually organized as the 22nd stage of the Tour de France. My “holiday” in Asia will remain a very nice memory. I saw many new places, met interesting and inspiring people. I am also honored to see so many passionate fans on the other side of the world. The whole criterium organization was superb and I really enjoyed these two events. We still had time to spend some time on our own, sightseeing, enjoying the local foods and hang out.
Taking a quick look at the 2023 season, I have to say that it was full of new challenges, ups and downs. Probably the most successful season for me, although not exactly at the top in terms of results. Successful because I took another step forward in my performance. All the numbers were the highest of my entire career and I took a big step forward in the new team. Maybe I can say that I started this season with a completely different training program. We put more emphasis on nutrition and altitude preparations. All this helped me to progress. From this point of view, I am extremely satisfied with the season.
I was also very unlucky with a knee injury, but I managed to get back in shape in time and was selected for the Vuelta team. May and June were very difficult months mentally because everything fell apart for me before the Giro. But I didn’t give up and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I focused my energy on finding solutions to come back as soon as possible, even stronger, of course. When the doctors told me that the season might be over for me and that the rehabilitation would take too long, I was determined to prove them wrong. During these two months, I put a lot of effort into the entire rehabilitation, training, physiotherapy… but in the end, all the effort paid off. So yeah, the last part of the season went very smoothly. After Il Lombardia, I was maybe a little disappointed because it meant the end of the season (this year I raced a little less 😊), but I saved the motivation for 2024 😜
Preparations for the new season have begun. I’m mentally and physically rested, so I couldn’t wait to start the first training sessions. At the moment, it is in lower facilities, but we will increase the hours and intensity from week to week. Finally, I would like to thank my family, team, all fans and friends for their incredible support throughout the season ✌🏻
Photos: Personal archive