It's 2019 officially, we've been talking about it, thinking about it, dreaming of it - now we're here. What's on tap for you with cycling in 2019?
2019 is gonna be a big change in direction for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have raced the national scene in the US for the past four years. This year I’ll be taking my talents to….Germany! I’m very excited to be racing for Team Dauner Akkon in 2019. It’s a pretty young team with some big talent. I have yet to meet my teammates as I’ll see them at team camp in February. The current team schedule has me foaming at the mouth with excitement. I’ve always loved a good boxing match in the European gutter so time to lace up!!!
How has winter training been going? How are you feeling, what have you been working on?
My winter training has been bar none so far. I’m in a great place for January and looking forward to more hard work. One thing I’ve been working on is that late race sniper move. The one that really puts the nail in the coffin for other riders. In addition to on the bike power I’m constantly trying to improve core strength and flexibility. I think anyone can ride tempo all day but it matters where you can go after doing that, especially against the best in Europe.
Do you have a workout that is your favorite - either because you just love it, or you love it where it takes you?
I’ll take a bite of anything Nate comes up with for training. It’s hard to pick a single workout as he’s great at keeping it interesting and pushing the limits on what I feel like my potential is. If I had to pick I’d actually say the recovery day spin. Anyone can do the hard days and grit their way through a hard session but actually taking it easy and letting your body recover is sometimes over looked. The best recovery days are spent with friends on the bike and just enjoying the capability to ride a bike. Sometimes you just need some wind in the hair no matter how fast or slow you’re going.
You've been chipping away at this cycling thing for awhile. It's been a lot of fun to follow your progress. Personally, seeing you put the hands up for a win at Intelligentsia last year was an awesome feeling. I think you've had a lot of strong rides that haven't always resulted in the result you wanted put across the line, but that you day you saw it through to completion. Can you tell us a little bit about how that day worked out, what it meant to you, and maybe what you learned from it?
Yeah! That day was pretty sweet. My year really didn’t start out as expected with getting food poisoning the night before Joe Martin Stage Race and not getting my legs back under me until the final stages of Redlands so I didn’t really have any, “runs on the board". This day in particular was super cool as I’d been asked by one of my best friends to be his best man in his upcoming wedding. First thought was, “it’d be cool if I could win this bike race thing today”. Super smooth race track outside of Chicago was the location of the race. Long story short, I made it into the break with my teammates Winston David and Ricky Randall as well as about 8ish other riders. Our lead started to get pretty large until the field simply let us go and we ended up lapping up on the final lap. The legs were pretty good that entire week so I just needed chaos to break loose to shed some other riders. My teammates worked selflessly in the break all day so I needed to, "bag one for da boyz”. 3/4 of the final lap done and some bombs were being dropped. I knew my old teammate Matthieu Jeannès was gonna hit it before the cross wind section and bam there he went. I counted 3 seconds in my head until I ripped it past the other guys in the break to make the bridge to Matt. Caught Matt, recovered then had the snap to come around him with 300 meters to go. Got a sweet photo of the post up and got a bag of Intelligentsia coffee!
Top 3 favorite things Georgia?
Southern Food, Creature Comforts Athena, and holding doors open for others.
Favorite place you've ridden and/or ride you've ever done?
I’ve ridden in some pretty sweet places but one place I always enjoyed because of growing up there is Decatur, GA. Not the most flash place to ride/train but if it was all about training we’d all ride on trainers!
Top 3 favorite songs at the moment?
1)Pure Water- Skepta
2)Everything Apart- Fox Warren
3)In My City- Killer Mike, T.I.
Favorite race you've ever done and your favorite teammate - not necessarily from that race?
Sunset loop of Redlands when it inevitably rains maybe hails. I’ve had amazing teammates and I’m too nice to just pick one. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn how to be a great teammate from them. I always try to be the best teammate I can be and it’s a tip of the hat to the great teammates I’ve had.
Favorite sport other than cycling? What would you want to be doing if you weren't cycling?
I was a soccer NUT growing up before I got into cycling. I don’t keep track of the standings as much but I’m always up for a game of FIFA or kicking a ball around.
You've just finished a big day of training, you can go wherever you want to eat - but it can't be Chipotle - where are you going?
I don’t know if there are many people know the hype around Publix chicken tenders sandwiches but it’s real and they’re amazing. For sure a 12 inch sub with some chocolate milk. Spicy chicken tenders if I’m feeling well, spicy.
Open forum shout out to the homies - GO:
There are so many people to shoutout! I can’t say enough about how the crew behind Catalyst Coaching! Nate took me under his wing when I was in a transition period in my racing career. He’s kept me humble and always chomping at the bit. I distinctly remember being dropped like a bag of bricks when I first met Nate back in his racing days. It’s great to have some one in your court who’s got the knowledge and experience required to thrive in this rat race we call bike racing. The combo of Nate and Jim Peterman is killer. Jim is a Georgia boy so we connect over all things south. Jim’s got a plethora of physiological nuggets and I always tried to pick his brain about all things physiology.