Procycling - - CONTENTS -

Our 2018 di­arists’ fi­nal chap­ter

The first and main high­light this sea­son was be­ing part of the Vuelta a Es­paña team. The team spirit was good; the staff were great and kept the group to­gether; Ben King’s stage wins were awe­some; and it’s al­ways nice to wit­ness closely a real team guy hav­ing his own suc­cess. The vic­to­ries took away a lot of pres­sure and gave the group con­fi­dence and good morale. Some days things didn’t go our way, but the way the group dealt with these sit­u­a­tions was im­pres­sive - search­ing for so­lu­tions and a strong mind­set of be­ing bet­ter to­gether. It’s also cool when a fel­low coun­try­man wins the race over­all.

The se­cond high­light for me was my own per­for­mance in the Tour of Aus­tria, on stage 4 in par­tic­u­lar. Okay, I did not get the re­sult I would have liked, but the per­for­mance was rem­i­nis­cent of those in the past. I had been in the break all day, and ended up alone with 5k to go. I had 40 sec­onds on a re­duced chase group but then a me­chan­i­cal forced me to stop. Could have, should have, might have, what­ever... That week pro cy­cling felt easy for me. I was close to the top of my game.

De­spite this, the sea­son in gen­eral fell short of per­sonal ex­pec­ta­tions, and of course team ex­pec­ta­tions. I felt a lot of pres­sure, some­times stress, which wasn’t help­ful to my per­for­mance. I could write a long list of ex­cuses of bad luck, in­juries, sick­ness or al­ler­gies, but I’m not go­ing to. It’s nor­mal for all riders to suf­fer at some stage of the sea­son. It’s im­por­tant now to learn from the mis­takes, con­cen­trate on the pos­i­tives, move for­ward and to draw a line un­der 2018.

2019 has al­ready be­gun for me. I’m hun­gry. The team has changed mas­sively; lots of new riders and staff, bikes, equip­ment... I’m look­ing for­ward to new chal­lenges, meet­ing and rac­ing with new guys. I would pre­fer to re­turn to a sim­i­lar race pro­gramme to what I had in 2015, 2016 and 2017, which suits my strengths well. A Eu­ro­pean pro­gramme; Va­len­cia or Al­garve, Tir­reno, Mi­lan-San Remo, Basque Coun­try, Flèche, Liège, York­shire, rest and re­build for the Dauphiné and Tour. When­ever I’ve had this pro­gramme I have been able to per­form close to my best all sea­son. Rac­ing is un­pre­dictable and time be­tween races gives you flex­i­bil­ity to ad­just and move for­ward. When the frame­work is in place it’s much eas­ier to shrug off or re­solve prob­lems that oc­cur dur­ing any sea­son.

Re­gard­less of what this year’s pro­gramme has thrown at me, I have an op­por­tu­nity to show my­self in the best light. That’s what I’m mo­ti­vated to do, and that’s what I’m plan­ning to do. I’m ex­cited for 2019.

The per­for­mance was rem­i­nis­cent of those in the past... That week pro cy­cling felt easy for me. I was close to the top of my game

Steve's 2018 didn't go to plan, as re­peated prob­lems left him strug­gling most of the year

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