A mere 34 days after completing the centenary edition of the Giro d'Italia and it's time to get back in the saddle and take on the Tour de France. If ever there was a surreal sentence to write, it's that one, for this is really the stuff of childhood dreams.
Lycra-clad and on our team bikes we looked somewhat out of place amongst the throngs of tourists as we rolled into the Piazza del Duomo in Milan. A wave of emotion washed over me but given the exertions of the past three and a half weeks in which we had covered over 3500km, including an eye-watering 49,000 metres of climbing, it wasn’t the emotion I was expecting.
"The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now." (James Baldwin)
The moment is here and the challenge is about to begin. Five months of total dedication and focus has lead to this moment in time, and all that's left to do now is start pedalling. In fact that's all there is to do for the foreseeable future, pedal, pedal and pedal some more.
The waiting is almost over, in less than a week’s time the Three Grand Tours Challenge will be underway. As I sit and write this there’s a mixture of emotions; excitement, nervousness, fear, worry. For so long it has been something to work towards, and yet now the start is almost upon us.
Success. It’s something that we are all chasing, but what does it actually mean?