Yep, madness. 2012. Tour of Qatar. Me in the peloton. Madness...
Up there with the biggest achievement in my career, finishing both the tours of Qatar and Oman back in 2012. I got a phone call from the owner of the RTS Racing Team asking me if I wanted to join.
"Ah I kinda agreed to join another team."
"OK, well, we will race Qatar and Oman at the start of the year."
"...Give me a minute." I immediately called the manager of the 'other' team who was good enough to say 'go for it!', so I did.
A week later, with just about 9 weeks til the start in Doha, I broke my hand when a car hit me out on a training ride. I hid it from the manager by saying I was going back to England to train and instead I sat on my trainer, on the roof (complaining neighbours) of my apartment block in Taichung, with cushions strapped to the bars, and rode myself to near-oblivion over 3-5 hour days for days on end, until my fracture healed well enough for me to head out.
'Days on end' was about 2 and a half weeks. I was never so strong and equally never so miserable. Amazing what fear will get to you doing...
Anyway, I went, I saw, I raced, I survived - just about. Phew, what a memory!
You can read the whole article of the first day here in PEZ Cycling News.