Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vande Velde's View: The dust settles

By - Christian Vande Velde
CSC Professional Cycling Team

Oh my lord, the morning after the Tour is the best breakfast in the world.

It's better than Christmas, as Stuey says. I spoke with the man a few times over the course of the last two days as he coached me to make it through the last night. He is the teacher after all.

Last night I hurt myself as I always do with friends and foes and now I am crawling my way back to Gerona on my knees. CSC had the usual party, which was fun but then disco, went above and beyond by renting the roof of the Crillon. Awesome. I won't go into details but I had a good time. Thanks Alberto.

I did miss my girls last night and I can't wait to see them in a few hours. After the finish yesterday I was so tired that all I wanted to do was crawl into a cave and sleep. Of course, that didn't happen.

Actually, I managed to get a lot accomplished yesterday, mainly officially announcing my transfer to Slipstream. I was really apprehensive about talking to my team about it and the media, but now I feel 100 pounds lighter and I am really excited for the next two years. I realized that half of my fear was actually telling everyone yesterday. Now, after getting that weight off my shoulders, I can see a bit more clearly for my future in cycling. Slipstream will be a great team and a nice change of pace for me as I take on new responsibilities and titles. We have a huge talent pool of young American riders and I am more than happy to offer them some insight along the way, using my trial-and-error handbook on life in Europe as a guide.

The second half of the season still must be raced and we have many more days of pasta to go. But every day of pasta means that I am one day closer to that beer and burger at the Flambeau Lodge in Wisconsin.

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