Across the pond

So I crossed the big water pond once again. During the check-in in Frankfurt, someone from the ground staff even noticed "Hey, you've flown with us not too long ago, right? Welcome aboard" . Thanks again, Roni & TAM. Made it to Porto Alegre in time for lunch with Mom, off to the far-away campus for Carol's Master defense, and then the usual get-together at the Mulligan Pub. It felt like I had barely left - indeed, just two months separated my last visit.

Bike assembled on Saturday (thanks, Fleck!), I raced Sunday's 128km Volta das Hortensias, as my first race of the season. 14th place, 3'02" behind the winner, was not bad at all. Showered, had a quick nap, and boarded the overnight bus to the southern border. Raced a very sucessfull 500 Millas with my former Elipse/LAST teammates, which culminated with Gean's 6th place in the overall classification. Had a great time, enjoyed seeing the team in high spirits - and, of course, the morale booster of a strong performance. Myself, had good feelings throughout most stages, was able to take strong pulls, and felt myself slowly coming into form. Weather was great, too. Couldn't have asked for anything more.

My father came over for the last two stages, which was also great as I wouldn't otherwise have had much time for the family. We drove back on sunday evening, arriving back in Porto Alegre in the early hours of Monday. Some sleep to catch up, but not much, as Monday was packed with visiting mostly everyone I'd try to squeeze in - and the already traditional farewell beer-and-pizzas at my dad's. Boarded back on Tuesday, got home late Wednesday evening.

Took the bike out for a spin already the following day - springtime was blossoming, very inviting indeed. Raced Aichach on the weekend, where teammate Benni took a fine 4th place, while I managed to finish inside the main bunch, but unable to move to the front and try any attacks.
- - -
There and back again, in just over a week. Again - but I'll digress on Transatlanticism in a future post. Suffice to say that, a few days later, I was already back in the usual routine. I took extra care not to suffer a temperature shock and come down sick as it happened last year (it apparently worked, felt great the past two weeks). Had some issues with the jet-lag, which I didn't particularly remember from the last spring campaign, but it eventually got dealt with.
- - -
Our paper finally got posted to the online repository, and last week was submitted to a journal. Cross your fingers with us as we await the referee's comments... Meanwhile, I'm trying to get my work focused back on the many different ideas I had before the paper rush took over. And hopefully, get these ideas to some new result...
- - -
Anxiously awaiting this weekend's Bavarian State Cycling Championships, where I hope to significantly improve on last year's 24th place. From there, I'll be able to base my expectations for the upcoming Brazilian National Championships in June - across the pond again, in some two months from now...