January 3, 2013

The End of an Era

Just like your 50th birthday, first legal drink, or your first words , leaving the "youth" side of sport is a pretty big landmark. I now embark on a pool of athletes aged 19 --> (however old it gets these days) and I am seen as fair game. I no longer get to post up at the start of a cat.1 OCup and have people be surprised by the fact I am racing at the cat 1 level at 17. I now have no possible excuses not to be winning these races.

With this evolution comes a lot of good things. As of January 1st I am racing for Lotto-Belisol U23. This will begin to allow me to better understand the life of a pro due to similarities aplenty. Aside from the fact that I will be wearing the same jersey as a WorldTour team, I will be following a lot of the same procedures just at a lower level. As a team of 24 riders, with a 150+ race schedule that spans from February to October I will not always be racing with the same guys. I also will not be in full control of my schedule, depending on my fitness and strengths I will have races assigned to me. Not only will I be assigned to certain races but more strictly than in years past I will be assigned a purpose. As a first year that might look like fetching bottles and pulling back breakaways. These duties probably only occur in the biggest of races on my personal calendar which serve for gaining experience and contributing to a much greater cause, a team win for example.

Along with the excellent staff, race programme, teammates and opportunities comes excellent equipment. I will be riding a Ridley Fenix with Campagnolo EPS and Deda components for anyone who is interested in knowing the details of my new whip! 4ZA wheels will be provided at races.

A rough idea

Up Next:
These final days are shaping up with lots of training, some track racing on the 12th, CHCH banquet on the 19th, and flying out on the 20th. I may get back to work waxing skis in the basement of SkiPro or spend my free hours practising my dutch and worrying to myself about my weight browsing over photos of the Schleck's, tears falling like rain on my all-celery dinner. I will do weekly updates once I am in Belgium and race reports after all my races.

I have added some things (aka pointless eye catchers) to my blog. Feel free to have a look around, translate my blog to Afrikaans, follow the link to my team's website, and make sure to vote!
New question every 2 weeks.    

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