I got a contract! After a tense fall with a lot of uncertainties, I'm pretty excited to be racing for the Hong Kong registered team, X Speed United, for the 2019 season. I'm very proud to take the next step to a new pro team and this is obviously a huge opportunity. The team consists of 6 Hong Kong riders, 4 Australians, and 5 other Canadians (2 of whom were on RaceClean with me), and is headlined by Ryan Roth, who'll be our hardened vet and trusty road captain.
This is XSU's first year continental and a lot of logistics are still being fleshed out. It's pretty bare bones right now, but what's important is our access to the Asia Tour's massive calendar, where we can earn precious UCI points. My calendar is slowly taking shape and I'm starting the year with Tour de Iskandar Johor in Malaysia in late April. It looks to be a sprinter's race so I'll hope to do a bit of damage in the field sprints. I'm definitely not a field sprinter, but I know I can get gnarly and mix it up.
Currently I'm in Spain and training like a lunatic. I've never done so many hours, kilometres, intervals, watts—whatever metric, I crushed it. Last week I had an itch to scratch and did a 3 day trip where I rode 215km to Andorra - spending a full day there, where I ripped up and down some massive bergs. I then put myself in the dumpster and took the scenic route 260km home. If you ever somehow convince yourself you’re a climber, I implore you to go to Andorra where you’ll quickly be proven otherwise! You can call yourself a climber when you're braking going UP the switchbacks and you're so malnourished that your extra small jersey hangs off you like a coat rack. My only glimmer of hope to climb fast lies in the fact that I was born prematurely, and am thus unforgivably short. Apart from this, I'm not winning any alpine stage races anytime soon.
As for the track this year, I'm optimistic I'll have more opportunities to ride more world cups and other track races with the national team. My coach (who is also the National team coach) (inconsistent capitalization with “national team”) is excited by the gains I'll be able to make this year because of the high end road calendar I'll see. He thinks XSU is a great fit for my goals and abilities. XSU is especially handy because I'll have a lot of time in China, a country where I can get that surgery where they break your legs for them to grow back longer. Early estimates says this time next year I could be a whole 4 inches taller!
If anything, I think I've been humbled by going "pro". Even though I'll have continental stamped on my license, Asia Tour printed on my jersey, and get to start in some glitzy races, I'm more grateful than ever for all the help I've had to get here. Now it's up to me to make the most of it. I want to thank Juventus for 12 (twelve!) years of support, Pedalhead Road Works for sponsoring me with new equipment for the season, and Alberta based Seagate Contract Management for directly sponsoring XSU.