The 2016 season was a mixed bag for me. I had a serious wreck and concussion in March, and then a lot of misfortune on my European trip. However, I was finally able to get back into fighting shape by July, and had a great trip out West, culminating in a stage win at Cascade and two days in the break at the Tour of Utah. This was enough to catch the attention of some teams, and I was very pleased to pen a deal with Silber Pro Cycling. As a team focused on development but not exclusive to u23s, this is the perfect place for me to progress. It’s also pretty exciting to be the first American signed to the team (Silber is Canadian). I have some experience racing on foreign teams in America with Jamis-Sutter Home last year, and hopefully my French will serve me better than my Spanish.
This season, the goal is to create consistency instead of flashes of form. So I am working very closely with my coach to try to bank a lot of quality days, and minimize the mistakes and mishaps that cause gaps in training. That seems pretty easy on paper, but it’s definitely something that I have to work hard at, and it’s never going to be perfect. “Professional decisions” is a phrase I have bouncing around in my head a lot. This is vital to having a successful cycling career.
Part of this plan is a trip to Austin, Texas in February with my friend Jack. It seems like the best training destination within a day’s drive, and we’re both excited for a few weeks of no distractions and being able to settle in and do the work.
The thing I’m most excited about this year is Nationals in Knoxville. It’s going to be a special feeling to do what I love most in front of so many of my friends and family. I may have to think about getting some more orange T-shirts made before the race.