It's been a busy spring for me since my last update and since I'm being inspired at every turn, I've chosen to just post some photos and captions to describe what's been up lately.
I am currently in Spain in the Rioja wine region and moving to the Priorat region (about 5 hrs away from Haro (where I am currently) working with Chandra on a "Gold Medal Plates" trip. Chandra and I are the "Olympian hosts" and we've been having a great time getting to know all the wonderful people here sharing this tour through some seriously stellar country with us. It's been a total blast!
Check out http://www.goldmedalplates.com/ for more information on just how fantastic an organization "Gold Medal Plates" has been for Canadian Olympians. Their team of Stephen Leckie, Karen Blair and Lisa Pasin work tirelessly to get these events, trips and everything smooth as silk (and fun for everyone) and it all benefits Canadian Olympians.
Enjoy the photos! We were at Yves Bilodeau's (our wax technician extraordinaire!) place in Ruffieux, France to drop in and see him and his wonderful wife Agnes' in one of the most stunning locatins anywhere.
Kath Bentall. A real mountain goat - she'd dance every climb and drop the hammer leaving a lot of people in her dust
The view from our hotel room in Torroja del Priorat
Chandra smiling away in golden light climbing up the Col del Harrera
Chandra attacking up on of the many deserted, beautiful climbs in the Priorat. It was just magical training there
Barney Bentall (the musician) and Chandra about 4 km up on a 13 km Col (800m of elevation gain) above the vineyards of Rioja. Barney is not only talented like crazy - but an amazing guy, Chandra and I had just an amazing time getting to know Barney and his wife Kath
Crooks' next Orbea once he get's sick of the new one he just bought. Saw this puppy in Barcelona
Yves 200 + year old farm house that he's restored to perfection. It's unbelievable.
Emilien (Yves stepson) and I hanging out in Champbery (another beautiful old city near Yves house) He's an awesome little dude - look out Vittoz, Gaillard, etc... He's a budding xc ski racer too (although he's only 12...)
Chandra grinding up Le Colombier. She's motivated like I've never seen her - the views were beautiful even though the weather was so-so
Me playing coach with Yves 'bus' as I supported Chandra. Not too happy about feeling like a bag of ...
The scenery was stellar. Little vineyards everywhere - unbelievable
Le Colombier - a epic 18km climb from the valley bottom to 1650m. Chandra did some intervals up a part of it. I was super sick in France with a terrible cold - so no climb for me. Reasons to come back though - I NEED to cycle up it.
Chandra in beautiful Annecy, France (40min drive from Ruffieux). It was cold when we were in France, but the city is beautiful (the Tour de France had a time trial around the lake here last year)
A shot of one of the two rivers that meander through Annecy en route to the lake. Just an inspiringly beautiful place!
Chandra "dancing" up Le Col de Chambotte - a fantastic, punchy little climb very close to Yves house in Ruffieux
Check it out - another view of Le Cold de Chambotte. Beautiful little twisty climb. I was quite enamoured with it