A new team and time to look back and forward. As you might have noticed, I have changed teams this year. 2019 is in front of us with a lot of cool things on the horizon.
But first I want to take some time to look back at the 3 years with my former team Sunweb. I started to race for them in 2016 and they gave me the opportunity to live in the USA while racing in Europe. That year I will never forget in my entire life. As a family we became really close because dad was home a lot more than the years before. I saw my 1 year old and 4 year old boys grow up to be cool California Kids. We discovered the fun of weekday BBQ parties, I discovered gravel racing by doing the Grasshopper racing series and Leadville 100 became my very first mountainbike race ever. The season was closed off with the Grinduro weekend, which lead to the very first LtD Gravel Raid last September. And in between? I raced the Tour de France, the race I dreamed of as a kid and never stopped dreaming of.
The two following years were awesome results wise: three grand tour podiums with Tom D. and in between a Tour de France with four stage wins and two classification jerseys . In all honesty I couldn’t have asked for more.
But all the good things come to an end, as they say, and I took to opportunity to jump on a new bandwagon. The CCC train passed by and I hopped on it. They give me the opportunity to race as a free spirit again and go for my own results. It gives me that bit of focus to perform well this season, the ‘Rocky Balboa’ camps are already planned and I am convinced the results will follow.
I did my first race for CCC already. I was in the front group at the Egmond-Pier-Egmond Beach race, which I was happy with. But with only 6 km to go, a flat ruined my chances. I bet there are pictures on the internet of me walking the stairs with my front tyre blown out. At least I learned from my Leadville experience (where my rear tyre exploded on the start line and instead of fixing it I put my hand up) and I could fix it myself this time.
So far it’s been more ‘Live Fast’. On the ‘Live Slow’ side we have a bunch of things coming up this year. First of all, me and some friends are planning a crazy bike packing trip. Unfortunately I cannot say too much about it yet, because the problem is to find time which doesn’t sound much ‘Live Slow’, but hey, It’s me who wants to race two grand tours this year.
Next, a family camping trip will lead to Galicia. A place I always wanted to return to. In my ’black book’ chapter number 4 it says: ‘Vuelta Espana places to come back to with the family.’ Oh my boys will eat a lot of goat cheese around the Lagos de Covadonga and me and Thessa will be low key drunk every night on the white Galician wines. Holidays after two grand tours are well deserved.
And how about the Swag? In 2018 I introduced coffee and t-shirts. In 2019, we are going to extend the merchandise a bit with new cool caps and maybe a hoodie. No worries, the Gravel Grinder coffee will stay the same. And I am planning something that has something to do with my favorite hobby: BARBECUE. Stay tuned. It will be cool!
And last but not least, the LtD Gravel Raid. We stopped marketing it. It markets itself. 500 spots. Half of them are filled already. Just be there 28th September!