This year I did not make the Tour de France team. 

Of course, I’m disappointed because that was my goal and well, “the Tour is the Tour.” But on the other hand, “the Tour is the Tour,” and there are a number of positives to my new program.

First, my director said they are happy with my form and believe I am on the same level as one year ago. The decision came down to having different roles to fill. Like any other team sport, they needed riders with a different skill set to complete the roster, especially considering a different style of course in this edition. 

Second, my new schedule (Austria, Utah, Vuelta) will mean a more relaxed midseason. Altitude training and racing in Utah will set me up for the Vuelta which is better preparation for the World Championships in Richmond. 

Third, this is a chance to experience another of the three Grand Tours. I speak Spanish and zero French.  

In the meantime, I’ve continued riding, but have been able to take some mental vacation in Lucca with good friends.

If you’re reading this then I’m glad to have your support and hope to entertain you with stories from these new opportunities.