The level of improvement I went through in cycling even surprised me, all due to growing and having a great winter of training along with new-found knowledge of how to race. I came into the season attempting to focus on cyclocross since that seemed to be my ticket in progressing the farthest, but as the first road races in Southern California rolled by, I could tell I had changed. Simply, my legs moved. This sudden power had me second guessing what I was capable of, turning my dreams into goals which by the end of a long season had come true. I traveled to Belgium in early June of last season with a northern California team, Above Category. I came in not knowing how good the Europeans were, which turned out to be very damn good. Two second places(kermesses) paired with winning the green points jersey at an Interclub stage race (Ster der Vlaamse Ardennen) took my mindset and pain tolerance to a new level. After that successful trip with Frank Eeckman’s team I was invited to race in Canada(Tour de L’Abitibi) with the US national team. 2nd,3rd, and a 4th place on individual stages in this six-day race was the outcome, along with shepherding my teammate Colby Wait- Molyneux who won the best young rider jersey. Some mistakes and not being able to sit in the pack waiting for a bunch sprint during that race left me more motivated than ever to get a big win. I was invited by USAcycling to race for practically a month in Europe living the life of a pro: Eating, racing, recovering, and sleeping. The learning curve was incredibly steep due to the playing field of the best riders from the titan cycling nations. A couple podiums is all I can show for the summer of last year, but after a few races that shocked the system, I started becoming more than pack fodder. Mirroring the best riders was my challenge, which taught me so many things that I’ve been able to use this year. The whole season was a massive cake, with the Junior World Championship( In Copenhagen, Denmark) selection being the icing. Everything about that time was surreal, eating and talking to some of the best professionals in the US, having a junior “conference” where huge names such as Phillipe Gilbert spoke to us, and most of all racing (watching the elite race wasn’t too bad either). A small crash in front of me with about five kilometers to go ruined what could have been since my legs had felt wonderful, but the experience was incredible nonetheless. This has been said many times but not for one second in the beginning of the season did I think I would be a part of the national team or racing in the pinnacle of junior racing. I can’t thank everyone enough who have gotten me to this point, but hopefully I can repay them with some big wins this season and beyond. Thanks for reading!