One of American cycling's big young talents, Saul Raisin took his first pro victory earlier this month; more wins are surely on their way. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes caught up with Raisin just before the Tour of California to find out about that first pro win and his next moves in a promising career.
As much as an ability to read a good race and pedal a bike quickly, making it as a European professional can depend on the rider being able to handle frequent travel, adapting to changes in climate, timezones and weather conditions.
American Saul Raisin is an example in point. He flew to Europe earlier this year to meet up with his Credit Agricole team, then traveled to the Tour de Langkawi to compete there. Immediately after the race he boarded a plane for the US, going from the sweltering humidity of Malaysia to riding in a snowstorm in the mountains prior to the start of the Tour of California.
Raisin doesn't mind too much, though; when talking to Cyclingnews in recent days he nominated travel and meeting new people as part of his motivations in cycling and for life. That's just as well, as competing in such a tough sport is all the easier when you derive satisfaction from what you do.
"I would say that I am easygoing," he says over the phone from California. "I enjoy living, I race bikes for fun, for the pleasure of it, and that is how I live. Racing used to be my life, whereas nowadays I see it more as something I really like doing. I enjoy seeing the world and meeting new people…having fun."