|Rob after awards Presentation in San Dimas|
JW - Rob, Congratulations on an impressive 3rd place finish overall at the San Dimas Stage Race.
JW - What was your original plan going into this race? Did you reach your objectives?
RB - well, when you're a guest rider on any team usually you come in as low man on the totem. Fair enough, right? I knew I had some pretty good form coming on, I had been training down in Santa Cruz for about a month before the race and things were looking good on paper. I hadn't done any racing prior to San Dimas (hereafter known as sandy mess) so I didn't know just how well the training would equate to racing... BUT, if I were to have had a plan it would have gone something like: tear it up in the TT and see where things lie when the dust settles. Potentially tall order with the talent amongst my own team let alone the whole field! So, gave it my all, felt good, couldn't have gone harder and then upon arriving at the car Gord congratulates me...I was in 2nd! Sweet..
Next up was the road race. The wet, windy, cold, road race. Many would say that it was one of their hardest worst days on a bike. I think the term epic was thrown around a lot. Basically think of your average wet spring series and add about 5C! So, Not that bad. During the race Kenda did a great job defending and riding the front. In the end they would come undone but they had the last laugh. As the overnight mellow Johnny would receive a time penalty and relinquish his lead to Andy Jaques-Maynes. I would slip to 3rd going into the crit. Which, was pretty much uneventful and at the end of it all I would come out in 3rd in GC. Mainly thanks to my new temporary teammates keeping me safe and moving me around where ever I wanted to go. Awesome guys!
Not a bad start to the year...
JW - What do you attribute to your improvement from last year's 13th place finish?
RB - I was 13th last year!? Huh, didn't think I had done that well. There are a lot of things I changed in the last 12 months. Just having one more year of hard racing probably helped. But I think I just did a much better job of training this fall/winter. Usually I stay off the bike until Jan1. Late for most people but worked for me. This year I took things much more serious and began in Dec with really quality rides with a good mix of Victorias finest. I think just starting up a month early and then hitting Santa Cruz hard just kind of let me build a much nicer base and smoother approach to the season. Also, not having a "pro" contract in my pocket probably adds to the motivation a little...
JW - As a result of this great start to your season, will you be adjusting your racing schedule? What are your goals moving forward?
RB - the plan for the year was always to come out guns blazing, thankfully that equated to some success but for now the schedule remains the same. Next up is Redlands then I head back to Vic for a few weeks for a little home time. Following that will be a return to Walla Walla, joe Martin and then tour of Gila. I've had some good rides at all these events in the past so I hope to do so again this year. As for goals, you'll just have to wait and see...
JW - Going into the 2012 season, the understanding was that you were going to race part-time with Competitivecyclist and also Team HR Block? Is there any indication that this may change and that you may have a window to get a full-time contract?
RB - that is pretty much accurate. HR is my official title but they have been great so far with lending me out to Competitive cyclist for a few races so that I'm able to get to the races I need to do so I can bounce back next year. While I am completely committed to fulfilling my obligations to H&R Block, they also understand that if the right opportunity comes along I would have to take it, and for them thats what they hope for. Helping riders move onto the next level. As of right now though, there's no sign of things changing anytime soon.
JW - Thanks Rob and all the best.
RB - Thanks Jon.