The last 2 weeks have been very productive for me. I have finally settled into my appartment in monaco and been able to resume a normal recovery from race and training schedules. Added to that, having my own kitchen to prepare my favourite meals and i cant complain about too much at the moment. You may think living in and out of hotels is fantastic and to a certain extent it is great, having your bed made, your washing done and fresh towls is certainly a pleasure after a long day in the saddle, however, it is funny how you miss also doing these things for yourself. I know it may be odd but i love washing my cloaths and cooking my dinner and even on the odd occasion i make my bed and challenge myself to do so at the same standard of the hotel is very enjoyable. Certainly being on the road is good but it does make you appreciate the simple things you get to do when you are home.
My little one bedroom crib in monaco is perfect for me. I have a bakery, coffee shop, small supermarket, and atleast 3 good italian restaurants within 50m of my front door. I live up on the rock near the princes castle so as he loves his sleep he puts a ban on people up there after 10 at night and before 7 in the morning so i always sleep like a log. Perhaps my favourite features of my crib appart from my laundry and kitchen are my nespresso coffee machine and cable tv. Although only 15km from italy it is almost impossible to get a good coffee in monaco so i rely heavily on the easy and user friendly nespresso machine to get me going in the mornings and perk me up in the afternoon. Secondly my cable television could not be any better, ok i dont get home and away which would be nice but i do have eurosport 2 which televises the AFL live every week. I am however going to write a letter to eurosport and ask that they do something about the aussie dude that does the comentary and stick with the regular dudes in aus. You cant beat bruce and denise so i dont see why they silence them and have some monotone dude who does not even know how to pronouce the names of the players, this is my only gripe with the tv. Also as an added touch the V8 supercars are telecast so it truly does feel like australia is a hell of alot closer than it actually is which is nice when in reality you're 20000km from home.
Tassi has a great presence in the principality with 4 riders and one top block nick named "Rock" who works for ducatti. We all catch up regularly and through in another 6 aussie riders and we can almost make the beach feel like bondi in the summer! As for the training well that is simply perfect, sure the traffic 10km either side of monaco in the summer is a little tedious at times but then its plain sailing along the mediteranian or inland toward the alps. The most famous stretches of road close handy include the final stages of milan sanremo (or the city to surf as i reffered to it in a previous blog) and of course a climb by the name of col de la madone or more simply as it is commonly known to many cycling fans around the world "the madone". Yes this is the climb that a certain man by the name of Lance Armstrong uses to test his condition and like the steep slope so much that he named a range of trek bikes after the slope. 12km @ 9% average gradient it is a pretty tuff obstacle on a training ride but also a good training road so i frequent it very often. Basically the area offers an almost perfect training environment but when you combine that with the laid back and super easy going lifestyle for me it is the perfect place to set up camp in europe.
Now i am settled in it time to resume racing!