2017 Year in Review

2017 by numbers-mg.jpg
Image: ©TDWSport

Favorite stage race: Amgen Tour of California

Favorite one-day race: Strade Bianche

Favorite Race Memory: Tour of California and Volta a Catalunya

A few moments stick out as peaks and high points but definitely being selected as the team leader for the Tour of California was one of those standout moments for the 2017 season. It was my first time in a leadership role at a World Tour race and it was the perfect fit because I take so much pleasure racing in my home country.  With a stacked team like we have at BMC, any guy on the squad is physically capable of being a leader, so it was very inspiring to have a great group of seven guys standing beside me and looking to me to convert on their hard work.

Another great race memory was winning the team time trial at the Volta a Catalunya.  It had been a while since I lined up for a TTT and it was as shocking as ever.  The distance and nature of the course were extremely demanding. Most of our team that day wasn’t directly a part of BMC’s multiple TTT world titles, so we showed the depth of our team. It was immense amounts of suffering and riding that fine line between recklessness and in-control, so it felt very gratifying to notch the stage win.

Favorite New Race: Colorado Classic

We’ve had some great racing in Colorado over past few years, so it was exciting to be back racing in the Rockies after a year away. I thought the new format yielded some unpredictable racing and it didn’t hurt that we brought home the overall GC win with our Italian Manuel Senni!

Favorite Overall Memory:

When I think back to the year as a whole, I have such good memories of simply being out on my bike, which is really the backbone that continues to inspire me year-after-year. I love riding.  Whether it’s a frigid solo marathon on my road bike, an altitude training camp with my teammates, a pressure building course reconnaissance leading into a goal race, or a soul building mountain bike ride through the forest, I continue to gain perspective on how fortunate I am to be out on the bike in our natural world as a fundamental part of my everyday life.

Favorite Training Ride: Bookwalter Binge

I don’t think I could call it a training ride exactly, but my favorite ride on my own time was definitely this year’s edition of the Bookwalter Binge.  After a long season, it’s a perfect homecoming to my favorite roads. I love sharing them with an amazing crew of people from near and far and watching the Binge grow year after year.  Our weather wasn’t perfect, but that made me appreciate it even more. It reminds me why I love riding—the community that supports and drives our experiences on the bike. I’ve been doing this for a long time and often cursing wet days during the season, but when I’m together with this community, I can enjoy myself even when I’m a little damp. 

Favorite New Place I Visited: Andorra Pyrenees Mountains

One of my favorite travels of the year came without my bike while I was recovering from my concussion.  I wasn’t able to return to riding as quick as I wanted, but this allowed for me to slow down life and get out on my two feet for some hiking and exploring.  I was fortunate enough to overlap with some of Jamie’s ecology research that was taking place in Andorra.  I had never been to the Andorra Pyrenees Mountains outside of a race, much less without my bike.  Seeing those breathtaking mountains from a new perspective and with a unique purpose was extremely invigorating and enjoyable.  It was impactful to see up close what Jamie was working on and the demanding hiking gave me a much needed physical challenge and mental boost during my healing.

Favorite TV Binge Watch: Portlandia

I made quick work of the latest season of Portlandia and am psyched to hear there will be one more.  I often find myself in weird foreign hotel rooms, which makes me really appreciate the small sliver of American culture and quirkiness of the show—despite being a bit absurd--- it’s something I find myself missing, and provides me with a little piece of home.

Most Eaten Food:

Unwillingly: oatmeal, rice and pasta

Happily and willingly: coffee, pancakes and curry