Monday, December 14, 2009

Alistair's year in cycling

2009 was my first year on Team Specialized Racing Jrs. I really wanted to be part of this team and when my dream came through I was overjoyed. I learned a lot this year and I really enjoyed being part of such a great team.

The highlights of my season were the Sea Otter Road Race, where I was able to break away from the pack and finish first. This would not have been possible without the help of my teammates, and of course the superlight Specialized SL.

I also had a great time in the Gold Nugget Stage Race. Unfortunately they did not post the results of this race on the web, but it was very hard. I won a stage and finished second in the others. But most of all was the unforgettable experience of riding a stage race. Every day you have to be there and work hard or all is lost. That was very clear to me before the last stage, when I was leading by only a few seconds. I not only had to race hard, I also had to race smart and it was a great lesson for me.

Unfortunately, I had a serious mishap at Nationals and was unable to finish the road race even though the course suited me well. A few days later I still had a sore hip and that affected my time trialing quite a bit. And then on the very last day, in the crit, I got stuck in a major crash right in the very first turn.

A real highlight of my season was the chance to race in Belgium, where I quickly found out how tough it can get. The roads were narrow and bumpy and the pack was large and agitated. During my second race, I crashed again and was left with new wounds on top of the old ones. My beautiful Specialized helmet cracked when I hit the pavement and the glasses that Billy gave me got lost. Fortunately, a bystander brought them back. Despite the bandages, I stuck to my guns and finished a third race one week later.

Overall I look forward to racing with Team Specialized in 2010. We had a fantastic camp in Napa and I learned a lot while there. It is so much fun to hang out with teammates and friends. Happy Holidays everyone.

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