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Training Begins Again
A cyclist operates on an entirely different calendar than do most people.

Two weeks ago, my year began as I started training again. At Christmas, when everyone else is relaxing, raising a glass in front of the tree, enjoying time away from work, we'll be back on our bikes getting ready for team training camp, which begins only a few weeks into January

I woke up the morning of November 1st to find a training program in my e-mail inbox. That month off my bike had passed a whole lot quicker than the last month of the season in which I raced a very fast Vuelta and a miserably cold Championship of Zürich.

A sure sign training has begun is that George Hincapie no longer answers his phone from his car but from his bike . He now seems to conduct all his business on the road as I would imagine, knowing what his life is like as a Dad, he doesn't have all that much time to talk when at home with his one-year-old daughter.

My training is now well underway; I rode into the mountains today, snowflakes covering my arms and toes, my mind drifting between the last season and the coming year. A year ago today my wife, Dede and I found out we were expecting a baby and now, he sits fast asleep beside me. The last season was one of highs and lows- I had to stop the Tour of Georgia sick and unable to eat, and a month later I was at the Giro helping Paolo win the maglia rosa . I arrived at the Vuelta with the best fitness of my life and broke a rib, while riding to the prologue, before the race even started. Three weeks of racing with a fracture seemed an eternity in comparison to the seven months of racing I had done prior.

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