A new season is upon us and I’m looking forward to challenges that lie ahead with the new team. We’ve got two great sponsors on board and my biggest goal is to win a race! Although I’ve won a few races in the UK, I’ve never actually won a “Pro race” as such.
Last year with NetApp-Endura, I had two seconds and some thirds which was quite frustrating…so near but so far! Hopefully this year, I will get that first elusive win as a pro! I’ve learnt a lot over the last five years and feel like I’m a much better bike rider. The experience of racing against the big WorldTour teams and not being blown out; staying in contention till the latter part of the races..it gives you a lot of confidence.
My plan is to go for a big classics programme this year. I kind of dipped my toes in the water last year and did some bigger ones, like Flanders, and I really enjoyed them. I think that it was a really good learning experience for this year and hopefully I can use it to my advantage.
The Tour de Yorkshire is a great legacy event. I’ve had a look at the route and it goes about 200 metres away from my house near the finish of the final stage. I’m sure it will be a great event and it’s got a few climbs in so it should be some really great racing…I’d obviously love to ride it. If it doesn’t fall into my calendar then it would be a shame but I’ll just take whichever race comes up and give it my best shot.
With the team selected again as one of the wild cards for the Tour de France, that is another goal. It would’ve been a dream to make the final team and race in front of home fans last year, however in hindsight I guess I just wasn’t ready for it. This year, I’m a year stronger and a year older, so I’ve learnt a bit more. My provisional programme is really good in the lead up to the Tour also and I’m a year wiser in terms of what I need to do to be there. Again I’ll give it my best shot but I think that all depends on the focus that the team has at the Tour.