How time flies when you are having fun. The preparations are already in the past and we’re about to start the new season. We are currently back in the UAE, where my first race of this year starts on Sunday – the domestic UAE Tour.

To summarise the events of the last two months and bring back the memory: I attended the team preparations for the new season from 6th to 22nd of January. This is where the entire team of 27 competitors and the majority of the staff have gathered. At first, we were in Abu Dhabi for a few days, where we had quite a few sponsorship commitments. All of us were also vaccinated with the new vaccine against Covid-19 and became the first team in the world to receive a vaccine against this highly contagious disease. I hope this will solve the problem that has arisen over the past year, as we cyclists are already in close contact with each other. We are also in regular contact with the rest of the team staff as well as other riders in the races. Our new jerseys for the 2021 season and the new bicycles from Colnago have also been presented. All this time, of course, we’ve been training. We were joined at the training by two new team members Rafael Majka and Marc Hirschi. The temperatures were completely “summer-like”, the atmosphere in the team was right and a lot of quality kilometers were accumulated We also performed readiness tests and I must say that despite the “winter”, the entire team is already at a high level and on the right path before the start of the first races.

After completing preparations for the UAE, I returned to Monaco for three days and from there, together with Urška and some of my team-mates, traveled to Tenerife – Teide for some altitude training. We stayed here for three whole weeks, trained hard, and gained kilometers, especially high altitude meters. According to the set plans, the season is going to be pretty challenging. On my return from Tenerife, I traveled back to the UAE on the same day. On Sunday I will here start my first race of the season – the UAE Tour. The race will have 7 stages, including one plane 13km long time trial stage and two mountain stages with the summit finish – last year’s Jabel Hafeet in stage 3 and Jabel Jais in stage 5. The other stages are flat.

The UAE tour represents my first goal of the season. The plan is followed by Strade Bianche and Tirreno – Adriatico. After a short break, which will be dedicated for training, there will be the Tour of the Basque Country and Ardennes Classics. Afterwards the preparations for the Tour de France will begin.


Photo: BettiniPhoto, Fizza, @themechacorta