This is my first year with the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team and I am super excited! Racing road used to be a little extra-curricular passion of mine since I am more of the dirt(y) type. Whether it’s ripping down gnarly descents, racing World Cups in Europe or weaving through the trees in local forests, mountain biking was where it all started. I started racing road as a junior for fitness and fun. Criterium’s were my favourite as they are similar to a mountain bike race because of the power, sketchiness and fast turns. Eventually I had some success on the road. Since then I have been adding more road racing to every season. This does not mean that I am reducing my mountain bike racing. The combination of the two makes for some tricky planning, lots of hard work and fatigue. This season is going to be exceptional! With the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team, I will have the ability to race at a higher level. Undoubtedly I will rip my legs off and keep coming back for more. On the mountain bike side I will be with Norco Factory Team. Norco Bicycles is the link between the two teams and I am very lucky to have their support. With such great bikes to race and train on, this will be a great season.
Apparently being a mountain biker along with the ‘turn yourself in-side-out’ mentality helps with time trials. The individual time trial at Nationals will be another major focus on the road for me this year. I hope with a little more practice I can achieve a spot on the U23 podium – maybe even higher than the 3rd step I was on last year. It’ll take some work, but I look forward to it.
On the mountain bike side of things, I just need to go faster. I plan on attending four mountain bike World Cups in addition to some Pro XCT’s throughout the USA. My goal is to win mountain bike nationals this year. It’s going to be a stretch but I hope that the fitness I gain from early season road events can help to increase my speed on the mountain bike. The goal of the season will be to attend World Championships in Andorra. I do not like to make goals about results. For example, if I were to say I wanted top 20, but on lap three I am 25th, I don’t like the psychological battles that ensue. Rather I prefer to make goals based on personal performance. For example, this year at Worlds I want to ride flawlessly, meaning no dabbing, no sketchiness, no mechanicals and no crashes. Some things are out of your control in a race, but for me this is how I want to perform.
Currently I am living in California taking the semester off school. I am enrolled at the University of Guelph for Water Resources Engineering (Mechanical is too trendy). I wanted to take the winter semester off to come south and train because I wanted to see what totally focusing on cycling felt like. For many years now I have been splitting my time and efforts between school and sport. It became apparent this past fall that full time school and an endurance sport don’t mix well. I decided last semester to run with it, finish up that fall semester focusing on school more than cycling with the intent to do the opposite coming south in the winter.
The M1 Project will be posting regularly on what it’s like to plan, prepare, and compete as a UCI Continental Professional Cycling Team.
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