At the age of 36 you could forgive Vasil Kiryienka for slowing down a little, but the Belarusian looked as strong as ever in 2017.
‘Kiry’ racked up 93 race days last season - more than any other Team Sky rider – racing the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and numerous other top-level stage races.
And, having signed a new contract towards the end of 2017, Kiryienka plans to ‘keep suffering’ for a while yet.
He said: “I’m going to work even harder. I don’t know what’s possible but I’m going to try and hold on to my career and continue on this team for as long as I can.
“I am 36 years old but that doesn’t feel like my sporting age. I think I can keep going a little bit more. At the end of this contract we will see how my body responds - and if it wants to keep suffering.”
I will never forget my own opportunities. If they arrive, I will seek to take 100% advantage.
After yet another impressive campaign in the service of others Kiryienka proved that he’s still one of the world’s best time triallists at the world championships in September, finishing fifth in Bergen – his sixth top-five finish in a row.
And Kiry has his eye on a little more personal success in 2018, if the opportunities present themselves.
“I enjoyed racing last year because most of my 93 starts were in higher-level races,” he continued. “I did two Grand Tours and some one-week races that are among the most important in the world. We had competitive teams and I always had a responsibility to work for my leader.
“But I could have taken advantage of a few situations better – although in the end what I did wasn’t too bad.
“In 2018, I think I will continue to help my teammates and the younger guys to try and get some victories but I will never forget my own opportunities. If they arrive, I will seek to take 100% advantage.”