I know it has been a long time since I have updated anything on this blog. I will try to do a better job with this next year and hope to have at least one update/post every month. I finished up my season this year at the Anderson Rev3 in mid October. It was my first professional race, but I went in hoping to at least be in the mix for most of the race and to give it a good shot on the bike. Starykowicz and Collins went off the front early on the bike gaining minutes on everyone else in the field. I got out of the swim about a minute down from the lead pack with a few others including James Hadley and Rich Allen. We were able to bridge up to the lead group about 15-20 miles in and I felt great in the early stages of the ride. It was quite a large group of about 10 guys, which made it a bit tricky to remain staggered the whole time. Everyone ends up constantly zig zagging across the road trying to stay in a legal position. The biggest difference I noticed from my experience in the age group ranks, was the constant changing of pace in the group. At one point I would be sitting there almost soft pedaling and then someone will surge at the front and I would have to stomp on it for a bit. Around mile 40 or so, Richie Cunningham went towards the front and started to get a small gap. It didn't seem like anyone was reacting at the time, so I went to the front of the group and was able to close the gap a bit to Richie. Unfortunately, around mile 48/50 a number of guys put in a good surge and the group really started to split. After this acceleration, my legs were fairly toasted and I really suffered the last 5-6 miles of the bike just trying to limit my losses as most of the group rode away. I think I ended up losing 1.5-2min in the late stages of the bike which was a bit frustrating at the time. The run was a painful one and I ended up in no-mans land for most of it getting within a minute of 9th by the end but unable to catch anyone.
After finishing my first professional race, I can't say I'm ecstatic about 11th place and certainly thought I was capable of finishing higher on the day. But I don't think I would have raced any different. Maybe I could have monitored my effort a bit better on the bike and just sat in the group the whole time. But that's not how I want to race. I wanted to put myself out there and see if there was a chance of getting away from the group and gaining some time. I knew I wasn't going to out run the likes of Terenzo Bozzone and Richie Cunningham so I didn't want to sit back. I learned quite a bit from the race and look forward to a full season racing as a professional next year. I want to give a big thanks to Hincapie Sportswear and Blueseventy for supporting me this year. I am very excited to be working with a few new companies in 2013 and hope to announce them soon.