Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nationals countdown - 11 days to go!

Eleven days until the 2011 USA Cycling Junior Road National Championships in Augusta, Georgia. Teammate number four of 14 as we count down to the first day of championships.

Matt Valencia (racing age 15), hometown: Los Altos, CA, 2nd year with Team Specialized

Matt Valencia brings a lot of attention to the team, and not always in a good way. Let me explain. Matt is one of the youngest and smallest riders on our team. He races often. Eighty times in 2010 and 37 so far this year. He often races with his category 3 peers, which is to say very few are 15 years old, most are in their twenties. Well, when a junior rider is completely comfortable in the middle of the pack of riders going through tight corners at 30 miles per hour it offends riders that have been trying to perfect these skills for so many years. The truth is, adults don’t mind competing with children, they just don’t want to lose to them!

Thankfully, Matt is gracious when he beats them to the line, as he often does! Matt has enough points to upgrade, he's just waiting for that big win.

For our team, we want to see our juniors get comfortable in large packs of riders, we want them to race often so they gain as much experience as possible and we want the juniors to be gracious when they win, place or get dropped.

Matt is heading to Augusta with a solid confidence. He medaled twice at the 2010 Road Nationals, and is the current Track National Champion. He also has helped to execute perfect teamwork with Diego and Phil. We’re looking forward to the show!

Good luck in Augusta Matt Valencia! Cheers, Larry Nolan, Team Specialized Director

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