Winning in Tennessee!
With over a year since the last blog posting, you could certainly say this one is well overdue. The last year or so has been mainly characterised by loyalty and integrity (or the lack there of them). Unfortunately it lacked some of each at key times where as other times provided a nice reminder that both do still exist. As someone that truly values both you can understand why the times with both proved more pleasurable. Early on in this blog-less period was a period of time that didn’t exactly leave me with inspirational words to fill a blog posting with. However I will focus more towards the positives now, but once again stories that you simply couldn’t make up and stories im sure will go in the book sometime down the line.
One day I will write a book!
It was unfortunately a lack of loyalty and integrity that saw me starting the 2014 season in new colours. However my season did get underway in the 2 week long stage race, Ronda Pilipinas with the Asian Continental squad of Team 7 Eleven by Roadbike Philippines. As it turned out this would be the only race I would do with this group of riders but what a race we had regardless. With everybody committing it truly was a great team performance and i'll always remember and take that from the race as well the good people met along the way. Day in day out we controlled the race which was hugely satisfying in its own right but it also meant wins and podiums would also come our way in the team. I also made the podium with a 2nd place finish on stage 5, after committing to a breakaway which also contained our team leader Mark John Lexer Galedo, then escaping in the later stages from the breakaway taking second behind Chun-kai Feng. The rest of the time the enjoyment truly came from all of us taking control at the head of the race each day and as always being a loyal domestique and carrying out those duties day in day out. Not knowing what to expect before this race, it was a nice surprise to see how quickly everyone gelled together and raced in such a manner. Unfortunately these would be the only experiences racing with these guys, but regardless the people I met both on and off the bike and the experiences that came with made it worthwhile.
Hugely satisfying teamwork day in day out!
And still time for a breakaway!
The next 3 months of the season unfortunately saw no racing and after allowing time for things to change, unfortunately there were no signs of this happening and so the rest of the season had to be planned for. A no-show season at this point was certainly not going to help in anyway and so I needed to be able to race again, even if that meant alone. With 3 months of no racing at that point of the year, I aways going to be chasing condition, but regardless it was certainly nice to be racing again and doing so in the country where I have spent so much time and have such a loyal connection with, that country being Belgium. Loyalty and integrity will always exist when it comes to Belgium and me. 22nd in Verrebroek proved to be the best result of the period, however without racing and in very good company, to still be in the hunt for the win right until the closing kms was certainly respectable. Still riding in the colours of the team I was able to ride the pro kermesses which lead me to the summer, at which time I was I was officially free from the team. After some discussion with good friends across the pond I decided to head back Stateside, which is where the rest of the season would be spent.
Always great to be racing in Belgium..and with great company such as the National Champion Stijn Devolder!
Always great company in Belgium!
Safe to say and never in doubt, loyalty and integrity continued both on and off the bike throughout this period, which im truly grateful for. You know who you are! During this period I would be racing for Cycletherapy/VOmax, based once again in the beautiful state of North Carolina. I would also guest for United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project and even extend my stay in the US/take a trip to the Caribbean for the first time to guest for Incycle-Predator to finish the racing season in Trinidad and Tobago. I had 3 wins and 6 other podium/top 5 placings, but once again huge satisfaction also came from being/riding with and for others, especially when the others have become such good friends. Though I won't give detailed race reports on this occasion, getting the first win of the season after such a stressful previous 12 months certainly came with huge satisfaction. It came with a road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee for the two day SRS event. The first day saw a downtown criterium which I was very strong in and rode very aggressively. Unfortunately sometimes you can ride that strongly and that aggressively and it still not lead to a result. However I knew the sensations were good and so it proved as in the next day's road race I went solo for the last 50km to earn my first win of the season. Backed up by a couple more wins in the following weeks and an abundance of enjoyable moments with great people, spending the last months of the season in this way, being in the places I was and with the people I was with, it was certainly time well spent and something I am truly thankful for.
Once again a huge thank you for the support over the last year, both family and friends. Once again you know who you are! Im back home, off season break has happened and now already starting to lay down the foundations for 2015. The plans are in motion and im looking forward to whats on the horizon so stay tuned for an announcement coming soon and more blog postings in the future.
Until next time!