|Nic Hamilton - Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Tires|
JW: Nic, the 2012 is underway and you just finished the Merco Cycling Classic in California. How did things go for you there?
NH: The Merco race is a great opening event for me as it features a variety of races which expose how my preparations have been. I am happy with what I have done in the offseason and felt very comfortable at Merco. It was great to get a big day in on Sunday.
JW: What goals have you set for yourself this year and will you be given some chances for some greater glory?
NH: I have certainly raised the bar for myself. My aims will be winning stages and chasing jerseys at the bigger races. I am heading to Taiwan on Wednesday with Jelly Belly p/b Kenda and will be looking for some stage wins there. Every race I do I am able to read it better, so I am expecting some breakthrough results in 2012. The event is a UCI 2.1 and is 7 days long. which certainly is my preferred style of racing.
JW: What about North American races?
NH: I am really hoping to race at BC Superweek again this year. That is a race that has been essential in my development and racing at home is such a treat. If the scheduling work out, I would like to have a go at defending the White Rock win last year.
JW: Gastown is also back this year. Will you be getting some team support?
NH: Several team mates have expressed interest in coming up to race. Gastown is so well known that the inclusion and reinstatement of that race is causing a big buzz in the peleton. It willnot be a team event but I expect we will have a few guys coming to race. It shows the quality of the event when pro riders are eager to come race even if it is not a "team race". BC Superweek has a great reputation for fun challenging racing and I expect this year will get a large turn out from US Pro riders
JW: In June, Victoria is hosting the BC Provincial Road Cycling Championships as part of the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series and is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Condo Group Bastion Square Grand Prix. Any hope that the home crowd will see you with some Jelly Belly's at the start line?
NH: Any chance of racing at home is a big appeal to me. If it is at all possible I will try to be there..I have never won a provincial despite a couple close calls, so to take another crack at that would be an exceptional opportunity. I will certainly have the date on my calendar and emphasize trying to get home for it. I have heard rumors of the course and all of the routes have certainly got me excited.
JW: Great! last question: Earlier in February you kicked off a fundraising Spin Class at SpinCity for the Victoria Academy of Cycling. How important is it for you to give back to the community and to support local development?
NH: It is a huge priority for me. I have had so many people help me along my foray into the cycling world. It is difficult to give back in the early years of cycling, but I am finding every year I am part of the sport my chance to give back increases. Cycling requires a lot of guidance from a variety of angles, as it is such a unique sport, and I hope to be able to give a new angle to some of the young atheltes in BC. Also, riding with the young guys in Victoria has helped me to keep my goals in focus and revisit the basic but essential parts of my training. That, and they are chompin at my heels on the road so it is motivating me to keep getting faster..
JW: Any final words of wisdom for our new and upcoming youth cyclists out there?.
NH: I always emphasize BALANCE. It may seem counter-intuitive but if you are hyper focused on your sport you will not always perform better. I would recommend participating in other sports and activities as maintaining a rounded lifestyle will pay massive dividends down the road if cycling does become a full time endeavor.
JW: Thanks Nic. All the best and good luck to you in Taiwan.