13:03 18th July 2013
Skipper reflects on 'mad' scientists and relishes BPL v Bundesliga clash
FORGET the Tour de France!
The main cycle race of the week happened right here in Austria.
Our medical and sports science staff, as well as putting us through our paces on our second full day in Bad Waltersdorf, put themselves through the ringer as well.
Fitness coach Matt Green was just pipped by rehab physio Steve Wright in a time trial over a five-mile off-road track.
But there is some dispute as to whether physio Rick Carter should take the honours.
In his late forties, he has a distinct age disadvantage over the two young guns, but finished only three minutes behind the pair!
You won’t catch me out on the bikes in this heat, especially as there are some monster hills out here - they must be mad!
All the boys are pretty tired come the nights after such long and hot training sessions.
Our head of sports science Chris Barnes tells me the players have, on average, each covered 65 kilometres in the first nine days of pre-season!
Barnsey and his sport science crew have been monitoring us constantly but he might need to focus on himself a little bit more after walking straight into a glass door the other day.
Mind you, I think it knocked some sense into him because he was on the winning team in last night’s staff quiz.
For the players it was another night of chilling out and watching stuff on the iPad as the local TV channels don’t really offer much.
Last night’s after-dinner entertainment was Cameron Gayle singing his initiation song.
He went for R Kelly’s ‘World’s Greatest’ and it was a nervous performance – but let’s face it, you would be nervous if you had to follow Nicolas Anelka!
We’re all just looking forward to tonight’s game against Hannover now.
They are ahead of us in their pre-season preparations so it will be a good test.
We finished in similar positions in our respective leagues last season so we will see how well England does against Germany.
It will be hard because - as we all saw from the two German teams in the Champions League final - the Bundesliga is strong at the moment.
But we would rather be playing a game than training, as we continue to build our fitness.