Sorry it took so long to get this up!
This year has been an incredible journey and I really couldn’t ask for more. I guess I can’t really say that winning the Silver Medal at the Junior World Time Trial Championships came as a surprise to me because going into the TT I knew I could pull out an excellent ride. The course suited me perfectly; it was on wide open highways that were some of the smoothest roads I’ve ever ridden on. I was on amazing form, due to my amazing coach, David Wenger, and persistent co-coach/my dad. I wasn’t wasting any energy at all due to our perfect soigneur, Simone Trafelet. My confidence was high was from winning the Pays de Vaud and the Tour of the Red River Gorge Time Trials, as well as the White Jersey at the stage race Liege-La Gleize the previous week. It also doesn’t hurt when you so many amazing followers back home and knowing that they will be proud of you no matter what happens!
The time trial was 26 kilometers (two laps of 13 km each) on wide open and smooth roads. It starts out on a gradual descent for about two kilometers before turning around and going back up the hill. When you crest the top of the hill it goes back down for about another two kilometers for turning back around. About half way up the hill you take a right turn and head down a straight road for about two kilometers before turning back around. You then take another right turn before you get to the main road and complete a small loop. You then come turn back onto the main road and have about 500 meters until the finish.
The plan for the time trial was not to go all out on the first lap because the gradual hills were extremely deceiving and if you went all out up them you could easily blow and lose huge chunks of time. For the first lap I went about 95% and came through the finish line the first time in second place, 12 seconds back on Australian’s Luke Durbridge. I then started to go harder and harder and by the time I had about five kilometers to go I was told I was about six seconds down. I put my head down and hammered all the way to the line (puking twice on the way) and came into the finish for the last time in second place, 2.22 seconds back on Durbridge. I nearly collapsed onto the ground after turning off the course and when my teammates came up to me saying that I was in second, I dropped my head feeling dejected. I didn’t think that I was going to stay up on the podium with about 20 of the big hitters left to finish. I then made my way over to the Hot Seats for the top three times. Simone met me over there with fresh and warm clothes along with recovery shakes and other drinks. I then watched in disbelief as one by one all of the rest of the riders came through and none of them were able to jump ahead of me in the standings. When the last rider had come through, all I could do was stand and stare at the scoreboard to see my name listed in second. It took me a while to believe that I had just gotten second place at the World Championships. My body was acting automatically as I was giving all my teammates and friends hugs while my mind was whirling at about a thousand miles an hour. This has got to be a dream! Ever since I was 11 years old and seeing my best friend, Alan Ting, wearing a mock rainbow jersey out at the track, I’ve been fantasizing about someday winning one, and it was hard to believe that I was only two seconds out of wearing one!
The podium is one experience I will never forget. I was called up onto the podium along with Denmark’s Lasse Hansen and Durbridge and awarded the silver medal by a high official of the UCI along from the strangely dressed podium girls. The three of us then gathered onto the top step for pictures before the playing of the Australian National Anthem. After the podium I reported to doping control and then headed back to the hotel.
Once again, there is no way I could have gotten through this year without the support from my amazing parents. I’ve also got to thank Dave Wenger of Durata Training for all of those hours spent fixing up my workouts for the week; Ben Sharp along with the USA Cycling Development Foundation for helping make this journey possible for not only me, but all of the other riders as well; my teachers at school for helping me get through the school year last year; Dave “Flash” Brown for making the run to McDonalds the day before the TT just so that I could get a break from the horrible Russian food at the hotel; and last but not least all of my wonderful friends and supporters back at home!
The next thing on my schedule is the Green Mountain Stage Race up in Vermont with Hot Tubes. It'll be the first time I'm doing this race, so I'm not really sure what to expect! I'll make sure I update my blog more than once a month next time!