Sometimes all we need is a fresh start! My past 2014 season in Belgium was the opportunity of a lifetime. I spent almost every other day racing for two months with some of the best riders in the world. As with any experience though they were hardships from time to time. Most cyclists do not live the rich and glamorous lifestyle. It is definitely not always easy to stay in a small bedroom packed with four other riders where all laundry is washed by hand and the team car is such a beater that I’m lucky when I’m able to make it to the race and back home. However, all that stuff wasn’t new to me, I had already experienced it before. The thing that was new to me though was having 13 South American roommates who didn’t speak English. This was probably the most mentally challenging part of my experience in Belgium because we couldn’t have simple conversations at breakfast or talk about all the crazy stuff that happened during the race over dinner. You don’t realize the beneficial value of simple conversations until there is a serious language barrier that prevents them from occurring.
The off-season came at a great time as I was definitely in need of recharging my battery both mentally and physically. I really value my experiences in Europe though because not only did this experience push me to my limits but it also helped me make decisions for the 2015 season.
When I was approached by the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team and asked to be a part of the M1 Project it presented the fresh start I was looking for. I knew that this meant coming back to North America and perhaps having fewer racing days in comparison with Europe last year. However, I figured this was my chance to put my international experience to the test. I also figured that if myself and my fellow teammates could rip up the season with good results on the North American circuit it would be my/our ticket into the next level of racing. A fellow friend told me in the off-season that, “there’s a difference between being a Pro and actually being a Pro the right way.” Personally, being a part of the M1 Project makes me feel like I’m doing it the right way now.
Racing under the M1 Project umbrella for the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team has re-sparked my passion. I have so much eagerness and motivation to make sure that the team has an amazing season. This mindset has led me to train harder than ever before and I am already seeing results in my wattage during training workouts. I have spent two of my first three races in Tucson, Arizona in breakaways starting off with a 4th and 10th place on the GC against some respectful competitors. I am taking this as a positive sign for the start of my season and am in search of even better results by continuing to push myself for more!
With the official start of the racing calendar right around the corner I am really excited to be meeting up with the team to start off with some stellar team racing at the San Dimas Stage race!
The M1 Project will be posting regularly on what it’s like to plan, prepare, and compete as a UCI Continental Professional Cycling Team.
Follow the #M1Project