US road champion Matthew Busche is getting the first chance to wear his new stars-and-stripes jersey in his home country this week at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, and the Trek Factory Racing rider told Cyclingnews he’s hoping to do the jersey justice.
“It’s nice to have the jersey back first of all, obviously, and then getting to wear it in the US is extra special,” he said. “So it’s good to debut it here in Utah.”
Busche finished second at the race in 2012 and obviously would like to match or better that result. He’s back in Utah this year with a team that includes Frank Schleck, who said in the pre-race press conference that he’s using the Utah race to prepare for the Vuelta a Espana. But Busche said he and Schleck are sharing leadership of the team at this point.
“Basically we have co-leadership,” Busche said. “I think both of us are hopefully riding well, and at the end of the week hopefully one of us for sure can be on the podium and hopefully both of us can be, who knows, top five or something.”
This year’s win at the US pro road race in Chattanooga is the second national title for Busche, who won the jersey 2011 when he outsprinted George Hincapie in Greenville, South Carolina. Busche said he’s trying to better appreciate his year in the jersey the second time around.
“I think it feels different for sure,” he said. “When I won in 2011 it was more of a surprise, more of a shock. And that year just kind of went by quickly. Since then I thought I could in again and been trying to win again.
It feels sort of right, or a little more normal I guess you’d say. Winning this year was sort of validation for 2011, so yeah, it’s good. It doesn’t feel so uncomfortable or whatever. There’s a little extra pressure with it, but I’m doing the best I can.”