For the last four years, I’ve been a domestique for some of the best people I can ever have hoped to ride for, something that I have been very proud to be a part of, we might not have won the most races or stages, we might not have been the best – in fact I think that there are times where we were probably the worst in the peloton!
The past four years have made me a more confident rider. It’s taught me how to make quick decisions which could make or break our race – something that I have been able to take into my life outside of the bubble of cycling. And I think that not only have I become a better rider thanks to the coaches and the staff, but also a better person.
Although we’ve had our ups and downs as a team and as individuals (such as the time the entire team fell foul of a cross wind and ended up in a ditch ending our time in the race and breaking a few bones) we’ve all progressed and we’ve all come out better people and better riders because of them.
It’s been an honour to work for Mika for the last year and this year, and for Marco the two years before, I’m proud to say I’ve been a domestique for them and I’ve seen not only Marco, but other members of the team go onto bigger and better things. I’m not going to lie, it has been hard juggling school, college and performances with training camps, day races and tours, along with the inevitable injuries my clumsy self has gotten. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, not even the stress that it has brought because it has brought me friendships which I will value for the rest of my life.
But now it’s time for me to leave, it’s time for me to go onto different things, it’s time for a change. That’s why this season will be my last with this team. I am sad to leave, but also excited to see what the future holds, I don’t know yet whether I will have found a team for the 2018 season, or whether it will just be full of training rides and college work, but I feel that now is the right time to leave. I’ve contributed all that I can to this team and watching the team grow and the riders grow and progress since its inception has been a wild ride.
I wish the best of luck to all the staff and the riders and hope that this season we can finally go out on top, that this season we can show the GC and peloton what we can do and that we aren’t just the team who shows up and in comparison to everyone else is mediocre, let’s show them this season that we can ride just as well as they can, and who knows, maybe we can even make the podium.