As they say in Game of Thrones, winter is coming. Except it’s summer. And, instead of summer, I mean nationals. From June 24-28, the Amateur Road National Championships will take place in North Lake Tahoe, California. As is the custom, elite amateur and development teams from across the country converge on one spot to duke it out over the course of three separate events: the road race, time trial, and criterium. Unlike a stage race, there is no general classification to contest. These are just one-day races, and the winner takes home a stars and stripes jersey to wear for the year.
So why am I writing about this, you may be wondering? Not all who participate in nationals are hopeful and aspiring professionals. Some (such as yours truly), simply wish to see where their best shot gets them and to compare this year’s efforts with the last. Cyclists like me who go to school full-time and work a job know that they just do not have access to the time it takes to be on a truly competitive level with the likes of 2014’s time trial champion, TJ Eisenhart, who averaged around 31 miles per hour over an undulating ~30 kilometer course. But, guys like me should be okay with that. TJ, and most other riders in the top 5 or 10 are a phenomenon. They have gifts and talent that they are smart enough to capitalize on with a tremendous work ethic. I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to toe the line with these guys and see how we all stack up. Wish me luck!