Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stay tuned.... :)

I always thought that I'd have more time once I am done with my PhD and turn full-time cyclist, lol. Well, it has been a crazy few months since I started my trip to the USA to race for Team TIBCO. I arrived here thinking I will be doing one stage race and stay for the training camp and then go back home to Ireland. By now I have raced 4 stage races, 9 crits, 2 one-day races and one TT, travelled to California, Georgia, South Carolina, and Illinois in the States, and inbetween to China and Canada. I've changed my return flight to Ireland twice, but now it's nearly time to get back home. I only have another 2 crits (Airforce Classic, Washington, DC) to do before I go home. Talk about getting around.....

When the opportunity to ride for Team TIBCO came about while I was on training camp in Gran Canaria, I was a little bit hesitant at first. Was I really ready to race on such a good women's pro team? I knew I was throwing myself in the deep end...... Physically I was just getting back into shape. I had had to cut my 2012 season short by 3 months to get my PhD thesis finished. This meant I had lost a lot of fitness by the time I started back into winter training after submitting. Going out riding with my friends, they pedaled up the hills with ease, but I was suffering - I couldn't give into the embarrassment of being dropped! My yearly November training camp in California was marred by illness and bad weather. Back home in Ireland the bad winter wasn't helping with the base miles either. Then I finally got in a stretch of good, consistent training in Gran Canaria in January, while finishing my thesis corrections and setting up my own racing team. And then I got the call from Team TIBCO....

Well, I am not getting any younger and I have no time to waste. With Ryan racing abroad as well as a first year pro I thought it was the right time to do the same. So I went for it. I still think it was the right decision, and I learned a lot, but it was also tough at times to adjust to being on the road, new people, new expectations and responsibilities. I still consider myself very lucky to have been given the chance to become part of this team, and privileged to live the pro-cyclist's lifestyle.

Stay tuned for my next few blog posts, where I'll try and summarize my experience so far as a neo-pro with Team TIBCO!

Team TIBCO is ready for business!

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