If I have been a little ‘off the radar’ over the summer I have a good ‘excuse’ – a couple of days back my girlfriend Laia gave birth to our first child, Gina – 3.5Kilos and 50 centimetres of pure joy. Like the partners of professional sportsmen the world over it is usually Laia who has to fit around my planning, so for once I thought I would reverse the trend, and I don’t regret my decision for a moment. A decision made much easier by the supportive nature of my sponsors who I would like to thank for all the understanding they have shown.
Of course it hasn’t all been changing nappies and choosing baby cloths and I have been able to escape ‘domestic bliss’ on a regular basis to follow a pretty intensive training programme. Since July for example I reckon I have cycled over 2500 kilometres. The time away from competition has also allowed me to fully recover from a couple injuries that had been bothering me and now I can’t wait to get back on my bike.
Which is just as well as earlier this week KTM sent me a brand new 450 rally resplendent in its Red Bull livery and between now and the Rally de Maroc in October I will be looking to put as many kilometres on the new bike as possible to make sure it is fully ready to make its race debut.
Before then, and in addition to the testing and training, I will of course be making my annual pilgrimage to the Kenny Festival in Reygades on 11 and 12 September.
The build up to the 2011 Dakar is already well underway!