My main aim for 2015 is to ride the Tour de France again and this time go all the way to Paris
Last Updated: 12/11/14 5:45pm
Well, that was an interesting first season as a professional cyclist. There were some lows, but they were levelled out by some highs, so all in all, I haven’t got any complaints with how it went.
I started the year positively and was going well at races like Paris-Nice and the Tour of the Basque Country, but then I crashed and broke my collarbone at the Tour of Turkey in April and ended up missing some key races at the end of the spring and start of the summer.
I have learnt that it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing too much. You need to get your rest in, otherwise you’re going to be cooked before May.
Fortunately, I bounced back pretty well with a seventh-place finish at the Tour of Slovenia, and then I ended up riding the Tour de France, which was obviously an incredible experience. After that I finished the season well by going strongly in Canada, where I helped Simon Gerrans win both the GP de Quebec and GP de Montreal, which was great.
So it’s been a good year, but I just feel that without breaking my collarbone, I might have been able to step it up another level and maybe get that first win, which in the end eluded me. Still, it has been a great experience and I’ve really enjoyed getting the opportunity to go on the attack and join breakaways.
The big thing I learnt this season was realising when to rest. A lot of first-year pros go into it thinking they need to step it up, train really hard and make a big impression, but they end up riding themselves into the ground. I have learnt that it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing too much. You need to get your rest in, otherwise you’re going to be cooked before May.
I won’t lie, I’m a little bit frustrated I didn’t get a win. It’s nothing to do with the fact that my twin brother and Orica-GreenEdge team-mate, Adam, got three – honestly! – but more that this was the first season in which I haven’t had a win since I was about 12. And ok, yes, I would like to shut Adam up because he keeps giving me a ribbing and saying, “I didn’t see you getting any wins!” That’s obviously something I will try to put right in 2015.
The 2015 Tour de France route is also quite hilly and should suit me, and there are potentially plenty of opportunities to go for stage wins.
I haven’t fully discussed it with the team yet, but I’m personally aiming to ride the Tour de France again. This year I was a bit fortunate to get in the team - a case of being in the right place at the right time - but next year I know I will have to work for a spot.
Riding it this year was such a big experience, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish the race after falling ill, so it would be good to go back, do the full three weeks and get to ride into Paris.
The 2015 route is also quite hilly and should suit me, and there are potentially plenty of opportunities to go for stage wins. I actually wasn’t a million miles away when I got into a couple of breakaways at this year’s Tour, so I know that there will be chances for a rider like myself.
Other than that, a key goal for 2015 is just being more consistent. Admittedly, I was hampered this year by breaking my collarbone, so it would be good to stay fit and build up momentum.
Look at Adam this year. After he won the Tour of Turkey, he kept that form going and was flying at the Tour of California and then the Criterium du Dauphine. Putting a run like that together is something I’m really keen to do.
Challenging for a stage-race win is also something I’m interested in, and I have already put this to Matt White, one of our sports directors at Orica-GreenEdge. Last year the only race I went for the general classification in was the Tour of the Basque Country, and I ended up finishing 12th, so I would like to have another crack at it again.
At least we’re not going climbing Kilimanjaro, like Tinkoff-Saxo did. That looked hard core!
The flip side of that, though, is that if you’re challenging for GC, you are a lot more marked and you can’t go in the breakaway, so it’s a lot harder to get a stage win. There are pros and cons to going for GC, so I will have to choose my races wisely and look closely at the fields, the parcours, how much time-trialling there is, and then decide from there.
In the more immediate future, we’ve got a training camp in the Alps at the beginning of December, which bizarrely enough is a cross-country skiing camp. I’m a little bit nervous because I have never done skiing of any type before, so it will be a new experience. Hopefully I won’t crash and get injured.
But at least we’re not going climbing Kilimanjaro, like Tinkoff-Saxo did. That looked hard core! I’m surprised the big names like Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan were put through that. Fair play to them.
Getting a good winter of training under my belt is vitally important to start next year well and I’m really eager to get stuck in. Hopefully I will reap the benefits with a successful 2015.