After a long season on the road, racing to a new National Title and numerous C1 and C2 wins, Jeremy is finally taking some down time. But we wanted to catch you up on what’s been going on behind the scenes in the last few weeks.
After Worlds, we didn’t hear a lot from you outside of the last episode of the Book of Cross. How are you feeling about how your last European campaign of the year went?
I tend to think that if you don’t have something nice to say, you just shouldn’t say anything. And there wasn’t a lot of positivitity surrounding my worlds or great things to say—I was looking for answers about what happened. I felt like there was a moment before we went back to Europe where I believed I would get some great results, but in the end, I wasn’t able to do that, especially at Worlds. The 23rd at the World Cup in France was OK, but it wasn’t my best. Now I’m working towards being able to do better in this period next year. That’s what I’d like to do. Looking back at it, it was a great season and we had a lot of victories. If I have to look back now, we did a lot of great things and in the big picture, I’m happy. But Worlds was tough and I’ll change strategies moving forward in how I approach those post nationals races. I might have bitten off more than I could chew, and I need to look at the approach going forward with regards to travel & such that will allow me to perform to my best.
After Worlds, though, your season didn’t end: you headed to Tokyo the next week and won there. How was that race, and how did it feel to end the season with a win?
I suffered to win there. It was a great event—the organization does an awesome job putting things together. The fans in Tokyo are insane—in Belgium, fans have specific riders that they cheer for, but in Tokyo, it’s similar to Portland 10 years ago. Fans are having a blast, dressing up, coming out, partying, having fun and enjoying the environment and the racing. The race was really hard and two of the Japanese riders Yu Takenouchi and Hikaru Kosaka who caught me halfway through the race after I was solo for the first part. In the final laps, Yu Takenouchi bobbled in the sand, which opened a big gap and Hikaru got away, butin the final sand section I made a big pass and left it all out there, but I didn’t even have time to post-up I was so blown! It was great to end the season with a win, I think it was a great race for the Japanese riders, and I think we put on a show for the fans. Cyclocross is getting primed in Japan and it might be time to think about having bigger races there! Bill from CXHairs.com was there and wrote a nice article for Rapha, you can read that here: http://pages.rapha.cc/racing-2/tokyo-in-the-crosshairs
You’ve mentioned a few times that you had back problems starting after Nationals. What’s the status on that now that it’s the offseason?
After the pre-ride at the French World Cup the day before the event, I had a lot of back pain after my ride. Something happened to it after Nationals but we don’t know what I did. But I’ve had a lot of imaging done and there is something going on. It doesn’t look like anything more than some serious physical therapy to get it 100%, But there is a problem with the left side, and those last three races in Europe were really hard because of it. I was doing everything I could to rehab it as best I could during that time. Now, I’m home and doing physical therapy and a lot of things to get on top of it. It’s not a career-ender, and I believe I’ll be able to get on top of it. It’s more than I initially thought it was, though, and I’m surprised by how long it’s taken to get it back in line. It’s weird because I never felt a specific moment when it happened, but I think it’s from a high speed dismount at Lignieres-En-Berry, France. Even then, it didn’t feel like a lot. That, combined with the travel to Nationals and to Europe, something was tight and it happened, I messed up some ligaments. It’s too bad, but my offseason ahs been focused on getting to the bottom of it and to 100%.
You’re in the offseason now, but what’s next for you?
I’m changing up my training a bit in the next few weeks during base building, putting in some new things and taking some things away that didn’t work for me this past season. If your not changing it up, your stagnating! I’m starting with Sea Otter out in California, doing some fun stuff with Nuun and FOCUS USA, DJing, pulling coffee shots, some rides, hanging out with people, then I’m out there again for the Tour of California, plus some trips to Boulder for some altitude training and things like that. I’ll do a few clinics, and of course, we have the JAM Grand FUNdo coming up in July. The cyclocross season kickoff will be in Rochester again for me.
And last question: anything people should be looking forward to with Aspire Racing for the upcoming season?
Well….. We have some really significant updates regarding the program and exciting partnerships that we’ll be talking about soon, check back in the next few weeks and I’ll have more to say!