Sitting in front of a warm fireplace in Rhodes was never part of any race plan for me this year but that's exactly what I'm doing.... My race is over for this year. After escorting Andre Visser safely to Ntsikeni in the darkness early yesterday morning, I reluctantly called it quits and waited for a lift to pick me up. That lift came in the form of David Waddilove who fast-forwarded me to Rhodes, where I'm now resting.
I started the race after 3 weeks off the bike due to flu. A week before the start I was still in bed wondering if I would be starting at all! Rest and optimism had me feeling strong enough to line up on the 19th with the rest of the guys but I wasn't sure how strong I'd be on the bike once we set off. The first few hours went well and I felt strong but unfortunately it wasn't to last - the wheels came off going up Hela Hela and everything was a struggle after that. I soon realised that my body was still too weak from the prolonged illness.
It's really disappointing to be sitting here watching the action and not being a part of it, especially after all the preparation that went into this year's race attempt. Right now recovery is the priority though so that's what I'll focus on.
I'd like to thank everyone for all their support this year, it's been overwhelming. From before the start, during the build up and during my (brief) race, I had a constant stream of messages coming through wishing me well.
Thanks to John Loos, this blog has also become a regular source of race info for anyone trying to follow the action and that will continue. We'll both be following what's going on closely and giving updates as things happen.