This past weekend, I began my 2018 race season in Banyoles, Spain. You can never know what to expect in the first race of the year - there are just so many unknowns after 6 months off racing. But at the same time, it's always a relief to get the first one under your belt and (for better or worse) find out where you stand after a winter of work.
A 6th place in Banyoles was a great way to start the season. Though it was a heavy field, it was a low priority race for me - the real focus is on the World Cup series, which kicks off in 2 weeks. I'm excited for the year ahead - to keep working and keep improving, and to see where that takes me. For so long, I've lived and breathed my sport, and I'm starting to see results of this dedication.
One of my goals for this season is to truly "believe it". It has always been easy for me to do the work, on and off the bike. What's been really hard for me has been truly believing in myself. I'm starting to think that belief is the ingredient that can tip an athlete from "almost..." to "I've made it!". So, this year will be an exercise in self-belief. No more holding back - only pure commitment and confidence from this point forward.
The season ahead will undoubtedly be filled with challenges and failures, but I'm hopeful that it will - in equal measure - be filled with perseverance, learning, and success. So, cheers to the start of the season, and I look forward to what the cards have in store!