Here was my article for this month's article of The Racing Post:
One of the most important lesson’s that I learned while over in Europe was teamwork. At the U23 National Team house World Pursuit Chapion, Taylor Phinney, told me that “you may not notice it now, but when you get older the racing gets harder and longer.” It is extremely tough to perform well in races without having teammates. At the Ster van Zuid-Limburg, Adam (winner of the 5 kilometer prologue) would have lost the yellow jersey on stage one if Team USA hadn’t gone up to the front on the closing laps of the race to reel in the breakaways. Again on stage two. A group of two got away with two of the five 10 kilometer local laps left in the race. Team USA got to the front and brought the gap from about 45-60 seconds to eight seconds by the end, which allowed Adam to stay in the yellow jersey by a slender second. Unfortunately, the team was hurting too bad on the final stage and an early break, which got up to a two minute lead with about 40 kilometers to go, stayed away and finished 23 seconds up on the peleton. Without Team USA on the front during the three stages, Adam would have lost the yellow jersey long before he really did.
Before this year, I had raced for the Northwest Cycling Club for around six years. Northwest was an excellent team to grow up and mature in. The only thing was that we (the juniors) never really raced as a team. We would always just go out to these races and act like we knew what we were doing while having an awesome time. By the time I had moved up through the ranks and into the P-1/2’s I was at a huge disadvantage. I was a lone ranger in the middle of the 75+ person fields with multiple teams dominating the day with carefully thought out strategies and tactics. I was stuck in the middle of a war with only one pair of legs and a teenager’s brain to help me.
When I arrived in Belgium I was expecting to learn a lot, but I can’t describe the amount knowledge that I learned about teamwork. Phinney is not only an extremely strong cyclist, but an incredibly smart man. Loyal teammates are a necessity for a cyclist, and it’s next to impossible to be able to turn pro without them.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my view on teamwork. Later today, I am getting on a plane for Belgium where I will compete in a kermesse in Belgium and a stage race in France with my team, Hot Tubes.