Things are starting to come together for me over here, I have had a really nice couple of weeks. I am enjoying my time in Italy and last week was especially good as Gunnar joined me down here. He came down to the World Cup in Bern (not a career highlight for me but great for the team as Susanne won), and we drove back to Italy, staying two nights near Varese then heading down to Novellara. Novellara was great, it is always good to spend time with Barbie and Massimo as well as getting out for some really nice training rides and enjoying the cuisine of Novellara. Every time I come back here, it is straight to one of the restaurants for a balsamic steak and then on to 'Il Fiore' for the best gelati in the world. Gunnar headed home on Friday after dropping me at the team apartment, I won't see him for a few weeks as I have a lot of racing ahead but it was great to show him a part of Italy that I know.
Training and racing in the sunshine makes a world of difference and I have been lucky to have several weeks of great weather in a row. I am hopeful that it will continue in this way, at least for Tour d l'Aude...arguably the toughest tour on the womens calendar for the year. It begins this Friday and there are 10 days of racing over very hilly terrain to cover. I have done it several times, it is always a bit of a grovel and I will try and get through as well as I can, being as useful as I can. I think the legs are coming good, I was 2nd in a race in Switzerland on the weekend so that is a good start.
After the tour in France I am back to Italy for two days then off to Montreal for a World Cup and a tour, then to Prince Edward Island for another tour. It is a big race program ahead for me but I do like these races and hopefully I can stay strong throughout the next month. The next two days I am trying to get as much study done as I can. I have a research project due in a month but with all this racing I think perhaps my brain will be a little too fried to be able to put something together that makes any sense.
Happy Birthday to little sister for five days time :) Hope I can be in contact but you never know in France!