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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

May 14, 2009

Chris Winn is one of the elite few who have raced their way onto the Nature Valley Pro Ride team. His excellent performance at Hillsboro-Roubaix earned him a spot on the NVPR team for the upcoming Nature Valley Grand Prix. From now until the race ends, Winny will be writing a few entries on how he got where he is today and where he hopes to be in the future.

I guess I was one of the lucky ones. Hold on…scratch that. I’m not a big believer in luck; I’m one of those guys who believe you make your own luck. So sitting in a Subaru for 13 hours from Denver, CO to Hillsboro, IL for one of the Nature Valley Pro Ride selection races (Hillsboro-Roubaix – Ed.) took some dedication. But in the end it all worked out, I qualified and here I am, deep into the final month’s preparation for the race. Making the “Pro-Ride” team was a nice little goal to set as an amateur trying to make the transition into the professional ranks, with the reward of the exposure it brings and the level of support we receive for the week.

As this is my first entry, I am keen to share a little background on how an Aussie from a tiny mountain town east of Melbourne ended up living in Colorado. Competitive cycling is, of course, the easy and straight forward answer, but my first foray on these foreign shores was actually spent with two wheels on the dirt, not on the tarmac. My main focus ever since I began competitive cycling was as a cross-country mountain biker.

Courtesy of Chris Winn

In fact, 2009 is only my second season full time on the road. So first time racing here was in 2007, chasing mountain bike races with my brother living out of an R.V. Each year since then, my commitment has grown, to the point where now I am living and working for a professional cycling coaching business….and still chasing the dream of a professional cycling contract.

I’ll fast forward to the present: my training has resumed this week after taking a short break the week before. Recovery was much needed after racing the Tour of the Gila down in New Mexico at the end of April. With Lance, Levi and Horner (plus pretty much every pro US team in attendance), it was a tough week that’s for sure, but an important one to get in the legs before the big one in June.

Courtesy of Ben Raby

In recent days I have managed to meet up with Ryan Parnes, a fellow member on the Pro Ride team, spending a nice 4.5hr today up in the mountains. This is his first time training out this way, and today was a rough introduction doing intervals up at 8000ft! Nonetheless, the sun has finally decided to come out to play here, and days like today were near perfect.

Stay tuned for more updates to come, and an inside perspective during the race.