Tom Southam arrives back in Britain today after spending the winter in Australia.

While Lance Armstrong and the rest of the peloton at the Tour Down Under are struggling with the heat of the Australian summer, Southam is bracing himself for the European winter. Fortunately, the Rapha team will fly out to Majorca for a training camp at the weekend after holding their team presentation in London on Friday.

?I have been looking at the weather in the UK during my last few days in Australia and I’m not looking to going out in the cold in a weeks time!? Southam told Cycling Weekly just before leaving Australia.

?Hopefully I should get away lightly as the plan is to go pretty much straight off to Majorca after the team presentation. I think the weather there is about 15 degrees or so, meaning it’ll be a good decompression for the weather bends.?

5000K

Southam spent the winter in Bendigo, near Melbourne, first relaxing with his wife and then gradually getting in the miles ready for 2009 with team mates Kristian House and Darren Lapthorne.

?Training has gone really well so far, 5,000k’s with a few races and mostly always quality,? he says.

?It does get a bit hard to judge when you always train with a similar group as you all tend to improve at a similar rate. But we actually had a good opportunity to test the form at the Australian nationals. Darren Lapthorne is a former winner on the same course so Kristian (House) and I rode for him, bringing the early break back and putting a few Aussies in difficulty until about the 130k mark. Its a really testing race and I rarely finish it, being as it is pretty damn early to be going so hard.?

SOUTH AFRICAN START TO SEASON

Southam is hoping to start his season in South Africa before finding some form for the first British races.

?I have a rough idea what the first races will be but until I get to sit down at training camp with John (Herety) I wont be 100% certain as to where and when I am going,? he admits.

?I’m mature now though so nothing phases me! Hopefully we will be kicking off the season in South Africa which will be really good for the three of us that have been here as we are pretty well adjusted to the heat and from what I know of the races there they would really suit us.?

?It still seems like an age to the first UK races I know exactly when my body will get to top form, it always seems to take a certain amount of hard racing to get me going, I just hope I can get that in quickly so I can get up there in the results soon and get going for the rest of the year.?

LISTEN TO THIS

Of course Southam has picked up some new tastes in music during his winter break, which he is happy to pass on.

?I am listening to a band called Beirut, I got sick of the sound of electricity. The Kings of Leon made a good album, but they have played it to death in Australia, so much so I cant listen to guitar bands. Instead I?m liking strings horns, ukulele, banjo and some kind of mariachi weirdness that Beirut do brilliantly. Check them out.?

For more information on Southam, check out his web site at www.tomsoutham.com.

RELATED LINKS

Southam describes Rapha-Condor as his perfect team for 2009

Wednesday’s British news round-up

Monday’s British news round-up

Rapha-Condor head south for season start

Plowman Craven_and_Pearl Izumi join forces

Plowman team to race Tour of Mallorca

Kinesis squad expands for 2009