Dare to do something different.
This, in short, is what Francois Theron (Garmin-adidas) decided that his cycling motto for 2011 will be.
“I am not sure who said this. It could have been Albert Einstein for all I know, but actually it does not really matter. All that matters is that I am going to work really hard to make sure that 2011 is everything that 2010 was not.
“If you just keep on doing everything in the same way year in and year out, you cannot expect things to change for the better. Sometimes you have to change your ways and do something different to get different results.
“If I am totally honest with myself I have to admit that, as far as mountain biking is concerned, 2010 was one big disappointment. I had some good results, like finishing 14th overall in the Cape Epic with Philip Buys. There were some other races in which I surprised myself, but overall there were no spectacular results.
“I took a clean break from mountain biking these last six weeks. It gave me time to clear my mind and seriously consider what I want to achieve as a mountain biker.
“The first thing that came to my mind was the foolhardiness of trying to race flat out every weekend for about 40 weeks. It is not humanly possible. So the first thing that I am going to do differently is to choose very carefully in which races I will push myself deep into the red.
“I sat down with our manager to study next year’s calendar carefully to plan my racing program. For the MTN National series, my training program will be geared towards me peaking for the last few races of the series.
“I would also like to get a good result in the Ride Crater Cruise.
“The first half of the season is going to be tricky. The dates of the South African and African championships are very close together, which will make it necessary for riders to make informed choices.
“I have already made up my mind about my goals for the first half of the season. I will focus on the MTN Cross-Country series, and then on the Cape Epic. I will be racing with Mannie Heymans and I believe we are capable of surprising some of the teams.”
Theron said that he and teammates, Heymans, Marc Bassingthwaighte and Philip Buys, will again race internationally.
“Next year we will not stay away for six weeks like we did this year. Our plan is to go to Europe, compete in two races and come home. The plan is to go again later in the year.”
The good news is that Theron’s heart problems seem to be something of the past.