If you're a professional cyclist chances are you will have, at some stage of your career, spent several weeks accumulating winter miles on the island of Mallorca, with the added bonus of a warming sun on your back.
Whilst the Three Tours Challenge has only recently been made public I've known about it for some time now, and as such have been preparing accordingly, all the while trying to contain my excitement and keep my feet on the ground (or should that be in the pedals).
Growing up as children we are carefree, our dreams know no boundaries, our imaginations run wild, seemingly no limits to what we can achieve. Scoring the winning goal at the World Cup Final, a gold medal at the Olympics, the lead role in an epic Hollywood adventure, walking on the moon or winning the Tour de France.
On Saturday I successfully completed a huge goal of mine, I finished in the top 150 of one of the world’s toughest amateur cycling stage races, Haute Route Alps. A race that covered 800km over seven timed stages, taking competitors from Nice to Geneva on an epic journey through the heart of the Alps. And yet as I sit here five days later I feel lost and sad.
There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. For the past twelve months the words of Malcolm X have enabled me to take strength from falling short in my first attempt at completing the Tour du Mont Blanc, they have helped me improve day by day and driven me to great lengths in order to ensure that I didn’t suffer the pain of defeat for a second time.