Nothing like making something internet official, last Sunday was most likely (never say never) my final MTB race in the Elite category. I've always loved racing bikes and everything and everyone that comes along with that. In the past couple years my passion for coaching and supporting other racers has overtaken that. I now get more satisfaction and pleasure from coaching and seeing other racers perform well, improve, challenge themselves and find their own place in the sport of cycling.
From my time spent at the 9 am races with the Rad Riders this season, and other races like the Canada Cups and Nationals where I could watch my athletes race, I know the best way for me to learn from my athletes and help them improve isn't to be on the course at the same time. It's on the side of the course watching them make mistakes and conquer new territory at the same time.
I will continue to race select races hopefully for many years to come, but its time to focus to the best of my abilities on the athletes I coach.
Lots of thanks coming up.
Big thanks to the athletes I've worked with the past few seasons for always understanding and supporting me still toeing the line sometimes even racing each other. A huge thanks to Norco Bicycles and Live To Play sports for their support the past 7 seasons. They are an amazing company and group of people who support racing in Ontario and the rest of Canada in a huge way.
Maria and Robert J Watson for always supporting my racing, driving me to countless races even across the country, buying me books on bike repair so I learned how to do it myself....but were always there to take me to the bike shop when I snapped a bolt or messed something up.
Kevin and Sue Haviland, for their love of the sport and support of the Norco Factory XC team. I wouldn't have raced for as long as I have without the support of Kevin and Sue.
My early sponsors and shops that helped me along the way, Mike Britten at Cyclepath Newmarket, Aarif Suleman and Bike Depot in Thornhill, Mike Doble at Roces/Bianchi Canada, Kevin Wallace and Ira Kargel at Gears, The Barrie cycling community who pulled together for me when I didn't have a ride in 2008.
Every organizer, club, group and individual and volunteer that put on a bike race. I know that's vague and a lot of people but over 20 years the list would be 13 pages long.
Rob Holmgren and Steve Neal my first coaches whose first/toughest job it was to convince me I needed a coach. Other coaches I've worked with along the way or on projects that have inspired me and helped me both as an athlete and develop more as a coach, Kevin Simms, Dan Proulx, Mike Garrigan, Brendan Arnold, Sean Kelly, Scott Kelly and the rest of the rocky bottom coaches.
To my teammates: Lespy sorry about the Cutlery, Haley sorry about Lespys cutlery, McNeely keep that new van fresh son, Guthrie keep the whips coming, Peter I promise (to try) to stop saying wrong all the time. Havy that well was as dry as the Sahara. Your all awesome people, I will miss our adventures in bike racing together.
To Paige you inspire me everyday, thank you for your support in life, business, adventures, riding bikes and eating really awesome food.
Two things I'll miss a lot and were always special, one is sporting that Maple Leaf and wearing it in Canada at St Anne Worlds in 2010 as a member of the National Team. And two was finishing World Cups on the lead lap. I know its not the highest bar by any means, but there's just something about it. It was a close one this year but making it through for my final world cup at St Anne where I first experienced a world cup at 18 was a nice feeling.
20 years of racing and I can even say I got to the dress rehearsal of the big show the London Olympics........... Test Event. And whatever I did on the bike I did clean and it is something I am immensely proud of.
See you at the races,