Season Opener: Tour Down Under
It’s been 9 days since I’m officially a CCC-Liv rider!
The excitement of signing with a brand new team has only built over the last few weeks. For the first time in my career I had a pre-season training camp so, in December, I had an early taste of what was to come: new equipment, new teammates, new management, new race schedule. Contracts only officially roll over on January 1 so after camp I had to wait. I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas and when 2019 finally arrived, the build up did not let me down.
A week after the New Year we all jetted down to Australia for the Tour Down Under. After the million-hour long flight, we all crashed at the hotel while the time change crashed into us. Thank goodness there is a strong coffee culture in Australia because the next day it felt like I needed a constant supply of caffeine just to keep one eye open. The other eye, thankfully, was being kept open by spending time with teammates, exploring Adelaide by bike, and snuggling baby kangaroos. (Hey, when in Australia, right?!).
I couldn’t think of a better way to start with a new team then with a new race. It will be my first time competing at the Tour Down Under. Since it’s also our first race as a team, the goal is just to start learning how to race together over the four-stage event. We’re all professionals with a very professional set up so everyone knows what they are doing but there is sense of unspoken communication in racing, a rapport, that just needs to be built on the road in a race. It’s learning how your teammates react to race situations, what each riders facial expressions mean, and even who likes what in their bottles. In other words, it’s all about bonding this week but, if an opportunity arises, whether that’s snuggling a kangaroo or grabbing a podium, you can bet we’re going to take it!