1. When did you start racing and why?
I’ve competed my entire life; wrestling and football were the cornerstones of my adolescences and after playing college football, cycling seemed to be a natural progression. I always loved mountain biking and in 2008, I wanted to start racing because I loved to compete and I want to have something to aim my focus.
2. What makes you love cycling so much?
For me, cycling started out as an escape from all other things. There were no expectations to live up to or pressure from anyone else- just me. There’s nothing better than escaping all other aspects of life and ripping it on a bike, be it some lonesome single track and smooth stretch of asphalt. Cycling is something I truly discovered when I 15 years old and I’ve never lost interest.
3. What different cycling disciplines do you participate?
Cross Country MTB, Ultra-Endurance MTB (never again), Road, Cyclocross
4. What do you take on long rides in jersey?
Stroopwafels (the precursor to Honey Stinger waffles)
5. What piece of cycling equip is your favorite?
I’ve developed a special relationship with each of my bikes. My Santa Cruz Superlight was a custom build. I painstakingly hand selected each component on that bike by hand- which was a ton of fun. My Giant TCR Advanced1 is an awesome ride with a great build- together we’ve shared a lot of pain and a lot of fun. My Ridley X-fire is just so much fun to ride- it makes me feel like I’m a kid learning to bunnyhop parking lot curbs every time I ride it. Each bike reflects and aspect of my personality.
6. Which pro will you cheer for?
It’s impossible not to be taken by the panache of Peter Sagan of hopefully for Fabian’s final season. I even cheer for Cavendish in the sprints because I’m not ready to admit he’s past his prime. But for me, it’s the domestics that ride aggressively that I enjoy the most- Daniel Oss or Thomas DeGent of the cycling world- those are the guys that I get most excited for.
7. What pro matches my style?
Put it this way, I climb like Mark Cavendish and sprint like Andy Schleck.
8. What do you eat after a long ride?
A Coke and a Chipotle burrito bowl.
9. What is your favorite race memory, what race was it and why do you remember it?
I used to live in Chicago. I raced a criterium in the parking lot at Soldier Field. At night. Under the lights. Incredible view of the city. My performance was certainly forgettable but this was as close to Friday Night Football as guy can get on a bike.
10. What advice do you give to your team member or a new team member?
Don’t be afraid of getting dropped, it’s going to happen- just keep fighting.
11. What are your 2017 goals?
I relocated to Columbus from Chicago at the end of last year, so I’m anxious to be a part of a great cycling team, contribute where I can, and have fun racing cross.
12. When not pedaling, what do I like to do?
I love spending time with my amazing family- My wife and I have two young kids and a dog that are so much fun.