Procycling - - PROLOGUE -

So that’s it. The dust is be­gin­ning to set­tle on the 2018 sea­son, and fi­nally, right at the death, I got the re­sult I had been chas­ing all spring, and all year, re­ally. A win would have been re­ally nice, but I couldn’t be much hap­pier than to get third in Il Lom­bar­dia. Af­ter what had been at times a dif­fi­cult year for me, it was sat­is­fy­ing and a re­lief.

I had a busy end to the year with the Worlds and four of the north Ital­ian races. When you get to Italy there are a lot of smaller Clas­sics and it feels like you could race ev­ery day for more than a week – if you wanted. Me, I was happy to take part in four – the Giro dell’Emilia, Mi­lano-Torino, Gran Piemonte and Il Lom­bar­dia. That left a few days in be­tween each race, which suited me per­fectly. It meant we didn’t have to do any proper hard­core train­ing. If I went out on the bike on a non-race day, it was to find a good café. It def­i­nitely felt like the end of the sea­son, but this rou­tine kept me well mo­ti­vated and fit.

I knew the form was good when I got third in Emilia and that set me up for a good 10 days. In that race, I just had to pro­tect the lead of my team­mate, Alessan­dro De Marchi, who won af­ter a long solo. But to carry on and get third my­self was a nice con­fi­dence boost. It meant I knew I could be com­pet­i­tive on the hills of Il Lom­bar­dia

I just knew I had to stay fo­cused, and to come out with third af­ter what was a re­ally ag­gres­sive race feels like a good re­ward. I had been try­ing all spring for a big re­sult in one of the Clas­sics, so when that didn’t go to plan it left me feel­ing re­ally dis­ap­pointed. Now this re­sult sits along­side my third in Flèche Wal­lone from a cou­ple of years ago, and if any­thing it feels like the big­ger re­sult. Flèche might have been closer to home and my first big re­sult, but you’ve got to re­spect the hi­er­ar­chy of the races, and so this Lom­bardy podium is big­ger to me.

What made my per­for­mance that ex­tra bit spe­cial was that it was a good re­sult in the fi­nal Euro­pean race in which we’ll see the BMC kit. It’s just an­other lit­tle me­mory to make me smile.

I didn’t re­ally have time to cel­e­brate ei­ther the re­sult or the end of the sea­son be­cause I had to stay in Italy for a meet­ing with my new team, Bahrain-Merida. It was more just a meet and greet and to talk lo­gis­tics rather than the full ham­mer­ing out of next sea­son’s goals. I can say though that I went into those meet­ings feel­ing a lot bet­ter about the sea­son I had just had. It’s amaz­ing what a nice re­sult does for your mood, con­fi­dence and en­thu­si­asm. Now I’m look­ing for­ward to a great off-sea­son and then pick­ing up in 2019 where I’ve left off.

It’s amaz­ing what a nice re­sult does for your mood, con idence and en­thu­si­asm. Now I’m look­ing for­ward to a great off- sea­son

Dy­lan was at the head of a fairs in Il Lom­bar­dia, and in­ished third

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