Since coming back from Europe, I have been pretty stressed out. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with the 2013 season. It seemed as though a lot of women had already signed professional contracts for next season and I still hadn’t heard much. My coach and I had been in contact with a couple of teams but until last week, nothing was guaranteed. After nearly a month of beer, pretzels, and no exercise, I came back to the US unfit and unsure of my future in cycling. I know I haven’t been cycling for long and that signing a pro contract after one year of racing is uncommon but I felt there was a chance. I had a few wins last season and good test scores. I had shown improvement throughout the season and had raced well at Nationals and at the Cascade Cycling Classic up against professional riders. I had been totally dedicated to training hard and racing well this past season and I hoped more than anything that it would pay off with a pro contract.
Once I decided to commit 100% to cycling with the goal of getting onto a pro team, I didn’t really know what I was in for. Twelve months ago when I started working with Wazza in Australia, I didn’t know much at all about cycling except that I loved riding my bike. With his coaching and a ton of hard work, I was able to get to where I am now. Last week I was offered a spot on Team Tibco for the 2013 season. When I received the phone call I almost started crying, I was so happy! Signing the contract was an incredibly special moment for me. Linda Jackson, the team director, is giving me a chance to show what I can do. Team Tibco is a UCI pro team with the goal of being one of the top teams in the world in 2013. So, the pressure is on! This season I will be racing in the NRC events across the US. I most likely won’t be racing in Europe this season unless I do extremely well. No races are guaranteed and riders on the team will constantly need to prove that they’re on form. I will be racing with some amazingly talented teammates, including two women who raced in the Olympics this year. There is no question that I am going to have to work extremely hard. Now that my offseason is officially over, I need to seriously start getting ready for team training camp in March. Time to put down the chocolate chip cookies and start putting some kms in the legs!
There is no doubt that I would not have been able to sign with Team Tibco if I hadn’t had the support of many people. My coach,Warren “Wazza” McDonald, has been absolutely amazing. Not only has he been a coach but also a friend and sports psychologist. Unfortunately for him, he’s had to deal with all my ups and downs that come with racing, training, and uncertainty about the future. He has always been encouraging and supportive and I couldn’t have done it without him. A big shout out also goes out to my husband, Luke, who has always supported, encouraged, and believed in me. He has been the one who has had to deal with my moodiness after coming home from five hour rides, hungry and tired and that isn’t easy! As always, my family has also been extremely supportive and I’ll never forget my trip to Augusta, Georgia with my mom for US Nationals. The fact that she was willing to go to Augusta with me says a lot. Yes, the city is that bad. Also, a big thank you to the boys at Bike Gallery who got me into cycling in the first place and whipped me into shape. There is no doubt that training with the guys in Melbourne helped me immensely. You all know who you are! Thank you to Bill Nicely for taking me onto Stevens p/b Pactimo this season and always believing in me. Also, thank you to Specialized Australia for the awesome bike and gear that powered me through the season and to Jules Knuppel for the support and opportunities in Australia. Thanks to Mike’s Bikes in Los Gatos for looking after me while I’ve been back in California. Finally, thank you to my Stevens p/b Pactimo teammates who made me look good this season. If it hadn’t been for those girls, it would have been a lot harder to win races.
So, I am now a pro cyclist and it is time to start eating and training like one. I have a lot of motivation and there is no question that I am going to have to work extremely hard if I want to have a successful 2013 season. It’s time to get back on the bike! Oh wait… It’s raining and windy outside… Maybe back on the trainer?