The last 6 weeks seem to have gone by in a blur since arriving home from Europe. I must say though that the weather certainly was better in Europe and I had to adapt back to the cold and wearing multiple layers while riding. Then the dreaded lurgy hit me full on, the head cold to end all head colds! It took about 4 weeks to completely disappear, yet the cough still lingers.
But after getting through all of that I find myself in South Africa for the 2017 World Para Cycling Championships. I must say that I travelled much better this trip than last and have pulled up feeling very good. We are staying at the same place we stayed in 2015, Emoyeni, and it was like coming home with the owners and some of the same staff remembering us!
We are pretty removed from the world at this lodge we are staying at and it is really nice feeling relaxed in the countryside. With monkeys on the dirt track to the lodge and the resident peacock it is an amazing place. The weather has been slightly better than Melbourne but it is very windy. (Which my time in Europe has helped me with!)
We had one little hiccup with 5 bike boxes from Melbourne not making it to Durban on our flight, but within 24 hours they had been delivered to the lodge. It is a pretty quick trip this time around, with only 5 days before competition. So we have had a couple of pretty cruisey rides and get to check out the TT and Road Course on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, then racing starts Thursday with the Time Trial.
It has been 2 years since the last World Champs because they don’t run them the year of the Paralympics, so I am eager to try and retain my World Champion status in the TT and regain it in the Road Race. All I can do is my best as the rest of my competitors are also getting much quicker, and hope that I can pull of the wins! Time trial events will be held at the Midmar Dam Reserve, while road race events will start and finish in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, at Alexandra Park.
I’ll keep you up to date on how the team is going and how my races go. For now it is off to lunch, then a rest….oh the tough life of an athlete!!!