Training camp was good, quite hard for this part of the season. I start 2009 in Australia once again, in just one month!!!
After that, I'll go to California - which is good for me as I can visit Bar Lata. Then I will race in Spain, in Castilla y León and País Vasco. And just before Giro, I'll do Romandie. Then I know nothing until the Vuelta a España.
I am really excited to race again with Lance. I think he will be amongst the best guys in every race. He is the best! The new season will be really exciting. Lance will bring back a lot of attention. People will love to see him again, and see if he can come back as good as before. His project to promote Lance Armstrong Foundation is good for everybody. Let's support him and the fight against cancer!
Since Lance stopped cycling, a new guy has become the best rider in the world - a young guy called Alberto Contador. They will both do the best race in the best team, Team Astana. Everyone, especially in Spain, is wondering who will be the leader. So that makes the next Tour one of the most exciting in the last few years. The answer is clear - the best rider will be the leader.
As I did last year, I'll try to enjoy myself and obviously, I will do my best. This new season is like a nice present for me. Last year, I felt really well and that was the most important reason for me to stay in professional cycling. With Lance coming back, I had no doubts about doing one more year, or who knows how many more(!). I just needed to know that my family was happy with my decision. They want me to be happy too, so why not. In these hard times, when everybody talks about crisis, I keep my job. It's the job I love, and I'm paid well. What else can I ask for? I'm a lucky man.
Thanks to everybody who has supported me for almost 15 years already, even when I'm not a winner, not a champion, not a star. But most importantly, I am happy and lucky.
I wish every one of you the very best.
Happy Christmas and an especially Happy New Year.
Send a Christmas message to Chechu
Photograph © Ken Conley