Same Team, New Job

I sound like a broken record but this was truly one of the greatest years of my life. I found happiness, I found a life I enjoy and I found out a lot about myself.

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But every once in a while we need to stop and look at what is going on in our lives.  Is the path we are on going to take us to where we want to be?

I asked myself a lot of questions after one year of working an office job after graduating from university that brought about the change to move overseas and pursue a career in cycling. They are also questions that I have recently asked myself after my 28th birthday.

It is safe to say; I found my happy place in cycling. But despite this when I turned 28 I went through a major evaluation of where my life was headed. I had just finished the final races of the season and with that I had beyond achieved the one-year goals I had set out for myself. It was time to look further into the future.

Once the season unwounded and I had the opportunity to spend some time by myself at Kris Dahl’s family holiday home in Canmore, it was a great time sit down, breathe, look at the past year and have a honest moment with myself about where I wanted to go in my career.

Having a background in Communication Studies, I undertook the role of Media Coordinator for Team SmartStop in 2014 and although I absolutely loved every minute of it, I knew I was only touching the surface of what could be achieved and I knew I had stretched myself to the limit on multiple occasions. So what did I really want out of this career? What was going to be the big goal in the long run?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved looking after all the SmartStop boys as their Soigneur, but massage is not my strong point and although I am willing to do more short courses to learn more, I made a decision late this year that I am not willing to take two years out of my career to go and finish my education in massage. I knew that there was so much more I could do for the team by utilizing the skills that I already possessed and putting all my efforts into one role.

With that, Team SmartStop were also looking to further the role and were discussing bringing on a media director role within the team. After talks with the owners of the team, I knew that this new role was something that I wanted to get into. It aligned with my long-term goals, but they were still going to give me the opportunity to travel with the team and go to any race I want to. Something I was not yet prepared to give up just yet.

Although I am going to miss the hands on aspect of the Soigneur role, I am still going to be mum to those boys, I will still be with them every step of the way and I will still take on Soigneur tasks when required to ensure they get the best possible care that they need to achieve even more greatness in 2015.

I am so thankful to Pat, Jamie, Joe, and Creed who saw the talent in me this year and can see the potential in what I can do for the team in 2015 by creating this role for me.

2014 – All Wrapped Up – Cascade, Monkey Suits and Yellow Jerseys

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 21 states, six provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

 

After a week of hanging out in Vancouver, riding my bike and being “mechanic” at BC Superweek, it was time to take the team car and head south of the border for the Cascade Cycling Classic.

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2014 – All Wrapped Up – 5,000 km across Canada

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, five provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

 

June saw Team SmartStop travelling north across the border to Quebec, Canada where we would relocate ourselves for the next four weeks. We arrived in Quebec, three days before the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and were greeted by something we hadn’t experience in a long time. Cold weather. It was a shock to the system, and it was the first time I realized I didn’t really own any appropriate clothing for colder temperatures.

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2014 – All Wrapped Up – Part one of who knows how many..

15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, four provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.

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The first of many selfies for 2014 (Team Camp, January)

What a year it has been, I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe with the disbelief I still feel about what Team SmartStop achieved this year, with the sense of pride I have for the team who defied all odds against them and proved what they are capable of, with the sadness that I now feel that the season is over.

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Six Weeks in Canada…Part One

May came and went, we won the USA National Championships, we went to the Philidelphia Cycling Classic, a race with a rich history in American cycling, where Jure Kocjan finished second to UHC’s Keil Reijnen and we bordered a plane to head north to Canada much to the despair of the Americans.

 

The Canadian/American rivalry reminds me much of the Aussie/Kiwi rivalry, although we enjoy busting each others balls every now and then deep down we are family. Or at least that’s how I see it. I love Canada, it is where my journey as a Soigneur in North America began and it is where my desire and passion for this sport and this job was cemented within me.

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Welcome to the National Championships

“Welcome to the National Championships.”

“Many of you haven’t been here before but you all deserve to be here.”

Two sentences we heard over and over again during the two weeks we spent in the south preparing for and racing the USA Pro Road and TT National Championships. This was my first Road and TT National Championships also, having only previously been to the NZ Criterium National Champs.

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Becoming Nurse Astrid – Tour of the Gila Part Two

Waking up on the morning of stage two, I was anxious, what would the day bring? Will Julian and Joshua be okay to start? What will the mood of today’s racing be after yesterday’s carnage?

We headed over to the rider house not knowing what to expect, soon to find out that both of the guys would not be starting stage two. We were officially down to six men. It was heartbreaking, but the day must go on and there is still a job to get on with.

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Becoming Nurse Astrid

When Creed and I left Silver City on Tuesday I knew the team had left a part of us behind, not only had the Tour of the Gila been yet another incredible experience for myself, we left so much of our bodies on those roads…literally.

 

Having come off the Joe Martin Stage Race where we had a few crashes, I was sure our bad luck was over. We were in a really good position to have a decent crack at some stage wins and the GC for the UCI 2.2 Tour of the Gila and I was looking forward to what the week would bring.

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Redlands Bicycle Classic – A roller coaster

A roller coaster – that is how I would describe my week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. What a ride it was! An incredible ride that bring out excitement, nerves, fear and happiness but at the end of it all you just want to ride it all over again.

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