After 51 races started, 32 races finished, 3 crashes, 4,500+ miles, 8 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds, and 7 other top 10 finishes, I can finally say I'm done, and this is my reflection on it all.
Having never raced before, the learning process was long and tedious. It was really hard for me to accept the fact that the strongest guy simply does not always win, thats the plain truth of the sport. I made plenty of mistakes and bad choices along the way but I also did a lot of things right and proved a lot of people wrong. The crashing, and the losing, and the failing really, really hurt but the feeling you get from winning and reaching your goals makes it all so worth it.
Photo Credit: Tim Kelley
I went into the season as a Cat5 with the goal of coming out as a Cat2. I've never been more happy to say that I reached my goal. I doubt I'll ever forget that experience, seeing that email from USA Cycling in my inbox, opening it, seeing the word "approved" and then just sitting there in disbelief. It was a really awesome feeling, to reflect on everything I've been through these last 7 months and knowing that it was all worth it, that it all paid off.
It hasn't been easy, in any sense of the word. Its been the hardest thing I've ever put my body through. The amount of mental torture you have to deal with in this sport is just insane, but that part of it is what makes me love it so much. Theres no one to blame but yourself if you don't succeed. The more you can suffer the better you are than the next guy, I love that.
To wrap this up, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the season. Enjoy.
Photo Credit: Joe Dombrowski
Photo Credit: Anthony Skorochod
Photo Credit: Bruce Fleming AKA "Pops"