August 21, 2014

Getting the swing of things at the "Kermess World Championships"! (Huesden)

Chris in the break
Heading to our third race here in Belgium, the team was fully motivated to improve on our last efforts the UCI 1.2 race where we swam to the finish line, just a few days prior. Huesden (another pro kermess) has been known in the past as the “ World Championships of Kermess.”  It has a history of over 200 starters, several World Tour teams showing up and boosting full rosters, all on a fast smooth course. Unfortunately, due to other races that have grown in the area, such as Eneco Tour, the number of World Tour teams has declined over the years. Nonetheless, Lotto Belisol was fielding a small team of riders along with several other pro-conti guys.

August 16, 2014

Wind, Rain, and Cobbles Havenpijl 1.2

Brecht, myself, Clay, Chris, Max, Cortlan, Matt from left to right
Heading to the team’s second race here in Belgium, I did not know what to expect. Matt has been telling the team about his marred past at Havenpijl where he has crashed out on every single one of his starts with terrible injuries. This course is about 172 km long consisting of 2 large 50 km loops followed by several smaller “in-town loops”. The larger loops consisted of about 1400 meters of cobbles per lap accompanied by long crosswind sections through one of Belgium’s largest shipping yards. The smaller loops were a bit more technical for we raced through downtown Antwerpen. With 200 starters and a forecast for heavy rains for most the race, the nervousness of the peloton could be seen on everyone’s faces.

August 9, 2014

Making Friends (and Breakfast Tacos) in Belgium

The Team for Europe
(Matt, Chris, Sven, Brecht, Max, myself, Cortlan, Clay. From left to right)
Since landing in Belgium, I cannot stop smiling. I've always dreamed of coming to the country of bike racing, fries, beer, and overcast weather. As a Junior racer, I have watched many close friends go on racing trips here to get their fix. Every single one always returns speaking of the wonders racing in Belgium has done for them, and how it has strongly changed their perspective on how to ride and race a bicycle.

August 4, 2014

National Criterium Championships 2014

Familiar Faces 

Going to keep this one short so my posts do not get out of order while I am in Belgium.... But the team plan from the get go was to race for a field sprint with Cory and Brandon.

August 1, 2014

National Road Championships

#notASmile. This race gave me very few moments
of happiness.
Very few races are as important as the National Championships in my mind. Ever since my first National Championship race in 2008 as a 14-year-old Junior, I knew that this was a big deal. Winning this championship is more then just a title; it also means that I would be able to wear my country's colors in races for an entire year. This is a great honor that I witnessed first-hand in 2012 as a wingman for my coach, David Wenger, who wore the stars and bars proudly as the 2011 Elite National Criterium Champion. 
The closest I had ever gotten to wearing the stars and stripes was in 2012 as I finished 8th in the u23 National Road Race. I crossed the finish line as the first amateur, while 6 of the 7 racers that rolled in before me ended up racing in the World Championships. This was a defining moment in my cycling career, and one that I will not soon forget. Since then I have raced hungry, eager to better myself, and out to prove to my competition that was not a fluke result.