- Matthew Busche
January 13, 2012, 12:53 GMT,
January 13, 2012, 13:00 GMT
Training hard with the new team in Spain
Happy New Year and hello from the Spanish island of Mallorca!
The off-season is officially over, and we are back at it at the first of two training camps for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. Camp actually started in Luxembourg with the team presentation to launch us into 2012. It was a great event with really good crowds. It was fun to see all the excitement for the team. I don't know if it was majority Luxembourgers there or a mix of people/countries, but either way, we are going to have a great following and fan support for the next year.
The morning after the presentation, we all jumped on a plane and headed for warmer weather. Here in Mallorca, it has been business as usual. We do the daily ride and follow it up with massage, relaxation, dinner, and sleeping. It may sound boring, but sometimes that is all a guy can muster after a long day's training! We've had five solid days of training with both the road and time trial bikes, and there are plenty more to come over the next week. We've done some group efforts with rotating pacelines, as well as an individual test up a climb. These exercises are mostly just to gauge where the team's fitness level is in general.
Another big part of this training camp is getting all your new stuff: kit, bike, shoes, etc. It's basically all the essentials for training and racing. I'm really excited to be riding Trek Bikes again. This year they have done some really nice paint jobs to match our kits. The shoes and pedals from Northwave and Speedplay have been fun to get dialed in, too. This is also my first long-term exposure to the Shimano Di2 shifting, and I have to say that it is pretty slick. It has taken me a bit of time to change my muscle's motor memory for how to shift, but the functionality of the product is very nice. The team is wearing Craft clothing again this year, and it is fun to have new things to try out. Bottom line is that we've got some really great sponsors to help us perform our best this year.
We've occupied our free time with things like interviews, photos, and lactate threshold tests. The resort we're staying at has a lot of things to do as well, with a nice sauna, workout room, and an array of activities put on by the staff, not to mention the different themes in the cafeteria for dinner every night! It is quite incredible with many options and a large variety of flavors to satisfy, which is particularly nice because we spend a good deal of time in there eating, talking, and laughing. It's been only a few days at training camp, and the team atmosphere is awesome. I am extremely excited to be a part of this team and see what we can do in 2012.
- Matthew Busche
October 17, 2011, 18:43 BST,
October 17, 2011, 19:45 BST
Busche brings his second year as a pro to a close
The 2011 Lombardia has brought a close to my second year as a professional cyclist. It's hard for me to believe I have completed two years already. I haven't had much time yet to reflect on my first two seasons, but I know I have grown tremendously as a cyclist, person, and husband.
It was whirlwind for my wife and me when I signed my first contract for the 2010 season. We were getting married in January, and I was set to take on my first European adventure in February. We navigated 2010 as a team, learning as we went. This year, we were able to spend more of the season together in Spain, and we felt much more at home as we found our routine. I owe a great deal of my success to the support I receive from my wife, family, and friends.
Now that 2011 is finished, I am ready for a rest and some relaxation. I know it will all go too fast, but I am hoping for a few good backpacking trips, maybe a hunting trip, and some good BBQs. Perhaps a bit weird to some, but I am really excited to put on my down jacket and feel some cool Midwest air. There is something about it that refreshes me mentally and physically.
Maybe it is that my roots are the Midwest, but I find the changing of the seasons revitalizing (at first at least!). I know I have been craving some off-season, autumn weather because I have lain in bed many nights recently just dreaming of the woods, falling leaves, hunting, hiking, campfires, and sleeping under the stars. I hope it will be only a matter of days until I start one of these adventures!
Reflecting on 2011, I am generally happy with how it went. The competitor in every professional cyclist strives for more than we achieve, so there is always something that can be improved or that we wish had gone differently. I have plenty of things I would like to improve upon, so as I look forward into 2012, I will certainly be hoping to continue to build and grow for the betterment of my cycling career.
As far as successes in 2011, the first and foremost is my general health and happiness by avoiding major crashes and carrying on a happy life outside of cycling. Then the obvious is my US Pro Road Race Championship where I narrowly defeated the legendary George Hincapie. It is a moment and day I will never forget.
My performance(s) in California are also highlights for me in 2011. The confidence that Chris Horner had in me to perform my job was inspiring and motivating. He has been incredibly influential on my short career. And a last major accomplishment was finishing my first Grand Tour. I hope it is the first of many more, and the experience and strength I have taken from that race will boost my riding to the next level.
For now, I am happy to put a close on 2011, take a few weeks off the bike, and enjoy some of the other good things in life. See you all back here soon.
- Matthew Busche
September 07, 2011, 2:14 BST,
September 07, 2011, 3:14 BST
Busche focuses on the journey to Madrid
Hey Cyclingnews! Many before me have done similar, so it is my time to write a blog about my cycling experiences. I have followed Cyclingnews for many years even though my cycling career is short. It began in earnest in January 2008 when I moved to Tucson, AZ for winter training. I had just finished my collegiate running career in November 2007 and had not yet decided on a job or graduate school pursuit, so I decided to follow what was pulling on me hardest at the time, my bicycle. I passed the 2008 season as an amateur with the Wisconsin based IS Corp Cycling Team and began the 2009 season the same. In August, I was given an opportunity as a stagiaire with Kelly Benefits. That season I completed four races with them and had the intention of continuing with them for 2010 until I received a phone call from Johan Bruyneel asking if I would be interested in joining Team RS for the 2010 season. Realizing this was a huge opportunity, I happily accepted the offer, and so my professional cycling career began.
In 2010, I raced a very good program with huge opportunities for growth and learning. Having almost no real cycling experience even in the US, moving to Europe to pursue this job full-time was a big decision and big change. With the full support of my family, friends, and team, I made it through the 2010 season learning heaps about training, racing, life, and myself.
Thus far in 2011, I have had another great race program with highlights including Vuelta Pais Vasco and Tour of California victories by Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner respectively. Then I had a dream victory at the US Pro Championships road race in May. It is a huge honor for me to race in the Stars and Stripes. I hope I have been, and can continue to do it honor. Now as the season enters its final few weeks, I am here at my first grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana.
Having the US Championship jersey and wanting to promote cycling in the US, I would have loved to race Utah and Colorado, but it was decided that racing here was the logical choice for my further development. Coming into the Vuelta, I had no expectations besides getting the grand tour experience. There were no expectations for stage wins or breakaways or this or that. My only goals were Madrid and helping my team as best I could. I have had many experiences from the sensation of extreme heat baking my body, to a breakaway to Sierra Nevada, to a water bottle cap in my face at 65km/h, to seeing all chances of team and individual GC slip away in a nightmare day for us. I have seen and felt the good and bad of both physical and mental emotion in the first two weeks.
Despite my own physical and mental fatigue, I will keep fighting all the way to Madrid. It is only one week of racing right! I do that on a regular basis, so what is the big deal? Oh right, it is one week after two others in front of it! The grand tour has definitely been a different sort of challenge from single week stage racing, but the experience is great, and I look forward to the gains I will get from this.
- Matthew Busche
He may be a relative new-comer to professional cycling, having switched to two wheels after a successful collegiate running career, but American Matthew Busche has been quick to make a big impression.
The 26-year-old is in his second season with RadioShack and triumphed in the USA Pro Cycling Championships for his breakout victory, defeating George Hincapie in a photo finish. The 2011 Vuelta a Espana marks his grand tour debut.
In 2012, Busche will join the newly-merged RadioShack-Nissan-Trek.