With my Skyline teammates having enjoyed some successful early seasons south of the border, I was very eager to get racing myself and got that opportunity at the first two races of the season in Quebec. With some strong competition lining up both weekends, the races served as great tune-up events ahead of the Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago in two weeks where I’ll join up with the rest of the team. This was also the first opportunity to race my brand new Basso Diamante Disc with Continental GP5000 Tubeless race tires. With Campagnolo electronic at that so all in all some of the coolest pieces of tech available to race.
Race number one was the Grand Prix des Maries. The race was defined by some strong crosswinds that caused splits to happen across the road. Among the greater than 120 starters in the field, there were only 25 who made it to the finish. With three riders in a breakaway, I was happy I found myself in the same first chase group with my experienced teammates Adam Carr and Ryan DeWald. Both of them helped me during the race, giving me advice throughout that helped my stay on the right side of all the splits to finish 11th at the line.
The race was also my first time to see behind the scenes how much effort Ryan puts into managing his diabetes to be able to compete. Racing isn’t easy to begin with, so I have a lot of respect for Ryan, Justin and all the diabetic racers out there and what they are able to achieve!
The following weekend was the Grand Prix Très-Saint-Rédempteur. The race was made challenging with not only another strong field but also a selective hill each lap. Ryan again was super helpful for me, giving insight before the start that helped me be able to ride comfortably in the front group throughout the race. A late breakaway ultimately stuck and took the first few spots but I launched a late attack of my own to finish inside the top ten.
As always, the support of the team was incredible. Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors who make all of this possible for us. Lots of laughs while travelling to the races and some amazing food afterwards topped off the weekends perfectly! Happy with my current fitness and am looking forward to learning more each race and building into bigger events down the road this season.
Thanks for reading, until next time!