Coming into the the new year and what had already been a good couple of months of the off season training, I found myself with the added bonus of spending the month of January in Mallorca – 1st January I was off! Writes Dan Patten.

Different roads, different scenery and some good weather made a nice change for the month. Training continued to build and I even got to attend the HTC Columbia camp/team presentation for a few days, which was a nice added bonus.

As expected, came back from Mallorca a little tired after racking up some good km’s but the foundations had continued to be laid ahead of the 2010 campaign.

A week later it was time for usual pre season physiological testing in the lab. As in 2009 it was carried out by Dr Simon Jobson and Dr James Hopker at the University of Kent and once again the figures were very good, with most falling into the ‘World Class’ category including a VO2 Max of 78.7ml/kg/min.

This despite still feeling the effects of a pretty heavy spell of training in Majorca and coming down with a stomach bug on the day, so to still produce such figures showed the winter had gone well and leaves me very optimistic for the season ahead.

I had a pretty ‘healthy’ winter, but it was to be this last part where I fell short first the stomach bug and then a cold in February meant it had caught me out right at the end. Nevertheless, a fairly undisrupted winter up until then, so no panic necessary.

Just a case of getting rid and feeling fresh again. As it was February turned out to be a hectic month doing everything before making the move to Belgium… should have expected it really!

Dan Patten
Let’s put this Flanders bike to good use.

Dan Patten is off to Belgium!

On the 21st February I left for Belgium, more specifically Oudenaarde.

This was also the day the team presentation was supposed to take place, however after arriving in Oudenaarde and having a coffee at the Tour of Flanders museum just by chance we bumped into the legend that is Freddy Maertens who informed us that the presentation had to be postponed due to a delay with the kit.

This left a week until the first race of the season; Gent-Staden.

Bit of a false start really, with the weather playing the biggest part. Cold, wet and windy… a weather front had hit Belgium!

Caused much chaos with crashes – apparently usual in this race anyway – but this year the wind was literally blowing riders into each other and those left standing were extremely cold by Staden.

Needless to say not many finished the race… I think five went the full distance. It was definitely a case of ‘on to the next one’!

Till next time!