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Homeward Bound
6 Sep, 2004

Hey everyone….

Well this report has been a long time coming.  Been meaning to do it, but I have just kept putting it off.

Here goes… Our training had gone better than ever in Bordeaux.  We had the personal help of terry gyde who brought both hendy and I into the best form of our lives.  Hendy showed this with his 4th in the point’s race… a kick ass ride, the best of his life that’s for sure.  I was in the best form ever also.  I did get sick just prior to arriving in Athens, knocked me on my ass for a day or two…. but come the games I was ready as ever.

7th at the Olympics was really disappointing. We are and were better than that there, I am certain of that.  We took a lap mid way through, we were flying.  We maybe even took it a little too quickly as we missed out on points but we went into the race with a plan, and that was to win the race by taking laps, not sprints and that is what we stuck to.

The race was fast as per usual but nothing we weren’t ready for.  After taking the lap we tried to recover as much as we could before trying again.  We gave it 1 last nudge with 30 odd to go, I thought we were gone.  But it was not to be……. 
That’s the Olympics for you I guess, riders dig a little bit deeper
near the finish.  Maybe we left it a little late, who knows.  All I know is that we are capable of being the best in the world, and one day the race will swing our way!

So now I'm back home in Belgium.  I have good news and bad though.  Bad news first.  My cyst has been giving me grief for sometime now.  I first got it in April. It cleared up somewhat but never went away.  The last month it has been really bad and I've decided that enough is enough and I have to do something about it now so I am fully fit for next year.  I’ve decided that I
am going to come home early, get an operation and let it recover
fully.  Bit of a disappointment initially as there is some really big races in September that suit me as a rider.  But next year is going to be huge and I want to go up a couple of levels as a rider so I have to be 100% fit.

Now… NEXT YEAR. Most of you would have heard that I will be riding with the new US postal team next year.  It is going to be called Discovery Channel and will be headed by none other than the 6 time tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.  For me it’s a dream come true.  I’ve always wanted to ride for this team…. it is the most professional team in the peleton.  The
directors are the best in the business and I as a cyclist can only go from strength to strength there.  Also it’s English! 

I had my 2-year apprenticeship as a neo with cofidis. I had some really good moments with this team, especially my first victory as a pro… my victory this year along with the yellow jersey was amazing but more a relief that things had finally swung my way. Now I think its time for a change and a new challenge. 

The next 2 years I will become a worker, and only that.  Learn from the best, and hope that it will develop me into something special.

Well that’s about it.  I will probably see some of you soon as I should be home next week.  I will get the operation asap, then I will rest it which hopefully wont take forever.  Then I will start a slow buildup for next season.  I am going to include the southland tour in my program but only to be used as training as I'll only have a couple of weeks in the legs, then start the miles up over the summer so I arrive in super form for next season…

Until then, seeya
Roly

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