We have seen Fast Phil decidedly off form in the early season classics, only to try hard in Le Tour and not quite make it, then finally come back to the heights of becoming World Road Race Champion. Definitely a roller coaster season for the popular Belgian.
Next we have seen Team Sky clinically execute their 5 year plan, bringing Bradley home to be the first Briton to win Le Grand Boucle during Olympic year where he went on to take home the gold in the men's time trial.
Now the USADA report has sent "apparent" shockwaves through the sporting world...like most folks thought these guys were on bread and water, have they never tried riding a bike! But the fall out will continue in the coming months, already Rabobank have withdrawn from sponsorship of the longest running trade teams in the peleton and who will be next? UCI executives?
Maybe a clean sweep is needed, to wipe away what has gone before and change or restructure cycling around different ethics.
My own cycling world has changed too. Over the last 6 months I have been riding a flat-bar, carbon framed, discy to work and for fun along with my more traditional dropped bar, metal framed, campag geared road bike. I have ridden a few time-trials, roadman style - on the drops, now I am lining up for a short season of cyclocross after swithcing the flat-bars to drops and making the leap from Campag to SRAM.
For the first time I went to see someone about bike position, and with the advice from former Tour rider and a long time hero from the ANC days, Adrian Timmis, I have a setup that seems to be dialled in for me and the type of riding I like to do. I've been trying this new setup over the last few weeks, with long solo 50 milers, the usual commutes to work and some blasts around the local parks, but unfortunately time constraints have meant I have only managed a couple of local muddy cross races so far.
Next up are some good cross racing over the festive Christmas period, starting with round 5 of the National Trophy at Shrewsbury on Sunday, then the traditional Boxing Day 'Cross at Kenilworth, another local race just before New Year and finishing off with the final round of the National Trophy at Derby.
Expecting more of this over the festive period.