The Tour de Paris was once a dream come true for me.
But as I got older and my health declined, it became increasingly difficult to ride in the saddle.
After being offered the opportunity to ride the Giro d’Italia, I decided to put my efforts into my training.
After riding a lot in the early stages of the season, I realised that my body wasn’t quite in the shape I’d hoped.
The final week of training was the hardest, but the most rewarding.
The riders’ legs were always getting tired and the wind was blowing very hard.
I was also struggling to get on my bike at the end of every ride.
When I realised I couldn’t ride, I took my time and decided to get back on the bike.
The Tour came back the following year and it was my first ever Grand Tour.
During the Gifford Memorial Classic, I had a few tough days.
At the end, I felt I could be a better rider.
The Giffords were such a great support to me and I was so happy to be able to compete at such a high level.
After the Gio, I made a new commitment to cycling.
I started training in August and the season has been a whirlwind.
Since I’ve started training, I’ve won three races and I’m in the Tour’s lead.
I’d love to say it’s been a difficult time, but I’m still feeling really good and feel very motivated to improve.
My goal is to win this race.
I know I’m going to have a tough race.
As a rider, I always try to improve and it’s a pleasure to ride my bike in a way that is different from the way I was riding when I was younger.
But, I still have a lot of work to do, especially with my fitness.
For me, the most important thing is that I can win this Grand Tour, even if it’s not at the G.I. It’s important for me that I am the best possible rider and that I’m ready for it.
It’s hard to find motivation in the midst of adversity.
I need to push myself and work hard, but also, I have a feeling of pride for my achievements.
If I don’t win, I won’t be able get to the podium.
It is important that I don´t lose motivation to keep my confidence high.
Being a team rider is a huge part of what I do.
We have a great team-building programme and it makes a big difference to me when I am riding with a team.
Having the support of my teammates helps me a lot.
Working hard with a strong team is a big factor in winning.
On the bike, I try to ride as fast as possible.
There is a feeling that comes over me that the bike is going to go well for me, but then it doesn’t.
To me, this is my team and I need it.
As a team, we need each other.
A team-winner will get respect from other riders, so I think that when I’m on my best form, it will make it easier for me to win.
In the Tour, the team is my most important partner.
It´s the same in the Griez region.
Once we get to that point, you will always have an opportunity to say to yourself, “If it wasn’t for my team, I would have never ridden this Tour.”
It is important for a rider to feel happy and proud, because they want to be a team winner.
My teammates also play a very important role.
We have to be very careful not to be selfish.
We are all trying to do the best for the team and to achieve our best.
That´s why it’s so important that we stay positive and keep riding.
Thank you to my teammates for their support and congratulations to me for getting to the Tour.