Today I won the Category IV State Championship Road Race, which also qualifies me to upgrade to Category III--my primary goal of the season. On the ride home I was thinking of how much help it took to put me on the podium. First, my wife for believing me when I said I told her I could win a race this season even though I hadn't yet and was still spending all her part-time job money on new tires and race fees.
My team for teaching me how to race and how to ride and repeatedly reteaching me every time I learned it wrong, especially Matt and Aaron and Trevor and Paul and Jason who pushed me on every ride and taught me to suffer and what sprinting actually looks like. It's because of y'all that I'll be ready to hang with the IIIs next season.
My coach has set me on a collision course with this day all season. It's almost eerie how precisely his training plans played out for today's victory. Every race he believed I could be on the podium and he coached me with that expectation. My family cheered me on the whole way, bringing us to Austin, suffering me in my stinking kit at restaurants and visits, coming to races and putting up my team during events.
And all my friends in the peloton. Dragging me to the points and money at Chappell Hill, accidentally leading me out at the Driveway, and all the elite riders beating me up on the Saturday ATC ride and not complaining when some small-jersey'd walking stick is sucking their wheel for two hours.
I'm so stoked I get to advance to harder races, harder training and more food.