My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Tour de France failure made Wiggins learn a lesson

Category: Cycling

Bradley Wiggins' season wasn't the best and his Tour de France was a disappointment. Next season will hopefully become better. He says he has started to accept why he performed so poorly at the Tour.

"Something happened after the Tour that put it into perspective. All of a sudden I stopped wallowing in self-pity," Wiggins told the Guardian.

"I ended up in Hampstead for two weeks after the Tour, visiting a hospital every day, before my granddad died. But he was more than my granddad. He was like my father. He brought me up when [my father] Garry left," he said.

"It made me realise there are many more important things than how I felt on the Tour – but it was also confusing. I'm not the most emotional person and I found it difficult to come to terms with his death. I find it hard to express grief. The way I tried to do it was by throwing myself into cycling – which meant [my wife] Cath didn't get me back for even longer."

At stage 14 of the Tour de France, Wigging lost much time to the other overall Tour contenders. Before that he had been pretty invisible, but had tried to hide and hoped nobody would see him.

After this stage, he decided to leave the race. He blamed poor form. He showed the press that he was a human being, and at that time he was a vulnerable boy.

"I just don't have the form. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm trying my hardest and just battling on, rather than give up. It's as simple as that. I just haven’t got it like last year, it's as simple as that. I don't know why. I just feel consistently mediocre. Not brilliant, not shit, just mediocre. Just sort of plateau," he said at the time.

It doesn't matter who you are. Sometimes it doesn't go to plan. Things go wrong. And you must accept it. Sometimes crying in front of TV-cameras is better than showing no emotions.

When things go as planned, you think it was easy, but surely it took hard work to get there. It's easy to forget when you find yourself in poor form, then all you think is "it was so simple".

Bradley Wiggins has started to think about the 2011 Tour de France and it appears he has learned something about himself this year. Something that he can bring with him in future races.

"Widening the focus will help. I remember coming back from the national road race in 2009 and, a week before the Tour, we stopped at a service station. I had a pizza and a couple of beers. This year I wouldn't have a little glass of wine in case it ruined my Tour. But a more relaxed Brad, after a glass of wine, would've had a much better Tour. When you look back it seems so simple and you think: 'What a dick!' I've learned my lesson."

Cancellara finally signs with Luxembourgish team

Category: Cycling

I have had very little time lately, but here I am again.

Fabian Cancellara has finally signed with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project in 2011.

He has signed a three-year contract. Obviously he had other options but he surely seems to like the new team, otherwise he would not choose to stay with the team for so long.

"I had many interesting options, but in the end I knew that the project in Luxembourg would have all the ingredients I would need to continue improving myself without skipping a beat," Cancellara said. "It is a unique mix of familiar personalities with new surroundings which will ensure continuity while instilling a new motivation to make this project the most successful in cycling."

"My goal of winning more monuments is still in the forefront of my mind. That would be a great accomplishment, and I wanted to come to a team that would provide the structure I would need to work meaningfully towards this.”

"In addition to that, I’m happy that the team is perfectly placed to make its mark in the Grand Tours and most importantly find the top step on the Champs Elysées; to be a part of a Tour-winning team is one of the most beautiful accomplishments any pro cyclist can hope for."

Fabian Cancellara is one of those riders who all seem to know. He wins a lot, he is popular and of course it is a fantastic opportunity for the new squad. Do not be shocked if Luxembourg Pro Cycling Team becomes one of the most popular teams next year. Of course, not only because of Cancellara, but he is still a major cause for its future popularity, just like he was in Team Saxo Bank.

"Signing a rider like Cancellara, we have added one of the most significant athletes and personalities in professional cycling,” said team manager Brian Nygaard. “He brings an amazing amount of depth and quality to the project and we’re extremely proud to have him on board.”

Vacansoleil-DCM roster still includes Ezequiel Mosquera

Category: Cycling

Ezequiel Mosquera has been listed by Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team as part of its 25-rider squad for 2011. The Spaniard tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch at the Vuelta a España in September. But so far, the team management has not sacked him.

The 34-year-old Spaniard remains under investigation, but has not been suspended so far. He is one of nine new riders.

The others are Stijn Devolder, Thomas de Gendt, Danny Keizer, Pim Ligthart, Ruslan Pidgornyy, Maxim Belkov and Mirko Selvaggi.

I am so happy and grateful that they have finally signed some Russian-speaking colleagues to Sergey Lagutin.

"The riders are looking forward to the new season and I have great faith in this group," directeur sportif Michel Cornelisse said in a statement. "The majority have been racing together for two years and the riders know what all they have to do for each other. The new riders already feel part of the team so I expect we'll be a strong group from the very first races."

Johnny Hoogerland, Jens Mouris, Lieuwe Westra, Wout Poels, Rob Ruygh, Joost van Leijen, Gorik Gardeyn, Bjorn Leukemans, Frederick Veuchelen, Marco Marcato, Matteo Carrara, Alberto Ongarato, Riccardo Riccò, Borut Bozic, Sergey Lagutin, Romain Feillu and Michal Golas will remain with the team.