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Game on

By:
Sam Schultz
Published:
April 02, 2011, 5:22 BST,
Updated:
April 02, 2011, 6:48 BST

Heading in the right direction

Catching some huge air for the camera

Catching some huge air for the camera

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After months of anticipation the racing season is back in full swing. It kicked off two weeks ago with the opening round of the ProXCT series in Bonelli, CA. The first race coincided with our team camp/photo shoot and there was a lot going on; including getting to know my new teammate Emily Batty, dialing in sweet new bikes, catching up with the other riders and staff, photo shoots, riding in a tank at Oakley HQ, and the minor detail of shaking six months of cobwebs from the racing legs. It felt like a combination between a family reunion, Christmas, and a test.

When I pulled up to the team trailer and saw the shiny new bikes, my locker full of goods, and the smiling faces of the team staff; it struck me, as it often does, just how lucky I am. I was overwhelmed, humbled even, by the hours of work, thousands of dollars of gear, and the care that goes into getting everything set up for the season. It is amazing to have the type of support that the Subaru-Trek team offers. Eventually when I wrapped my head around all of the sweet new gear and how spoiled I am, I headed out for a ride and attempted to get back into racing mentality after my long off-season racing sabbatical.

I didn't have the race of my life in Bonelli, but I was psyched to find that I was really close to where I want to be. I was missing that little bit of 'pop' that is needed to hammer the power climbs and accelerate out of the corners with the race leaders. I feel like there is a lot more horsepower to tap into with just a little bit of fine tuning and that is right where I want to be. The second race of the year has come and gone now too, and I felt some good progress so I am heading in the right direction and the big races are yet to come.

As I type I am sitting in an airplane on the way to Bogota, Columbia to race in the Continental Championships. I have never been to Columbia so I'm excited to check out the scene. The race starts at around 8,000 ft and I have heard that it has been super rainy so it could be interesting. I have my mud tires packed and I am planning to do my best to ignore the altitude since I've been spending the winter living the dream at sea level. I'll let you know how it pans out.

Author
Sam Schultz

Sam Schultz, 25, is a regular at US National Series mountain bike events and on the World Cup cross country circuit. The Subaru-Trek racer is back at it again for the 2011 season. In 2010, he had a break out performance - winning the Subaru Cup, a US Pro XCT series event in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin. It was Schultz's first national series event. "I am really hoping to step it up another level in international competition," said Schultz of his 2011 ambitions. Schultz hails from Missoula, Montana, where he lives for most of the year although he can be found from January through April based in San Luis Obispo, California, where the climate is more hospitable to gaining pre-season on the bike fitness. When not on his bike, the good humored Schultz enjoys skiing, hiking and cooking and eating good food.

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