Seems like the phrase to throw around is, "I'm in better shape than I was at this time last year." I can honestly say that I'm not, but that's no big surprise. Unlike Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who's a bit worried after taking the winter seriously and his form is, you guessed it, better than it was at this time last year ("I am consequently a little afraid that the form could arrive too early. Therefore, I will make sure to rest"), my main concern at the moment is not to hurt too much. So far I haven't spent any quality time in the hurt box, since I tend to pull the plug these days as soon as the speed reaches 25mph.
Today I ventured to the Italian Store ride and found a couple of frisky riders to go out with. Small group of about 10 of us, who kept an interesting pace throughout the duration of the festivities. Nothing big to report other than I wasn't the first one to get dropped and even surprised myself that I hung in there. I find hills to be better (for me) than Hains Point. Once the "inmortals" get cranking at the noon ride, I don't stand a chance, even if I was in shape. But Thursday I will return to Hains to try and hang for four laps (last week's record was three) before having to make an appearance in the hurt box. Like Phillipe, I don't want my form to arrive too early.