Mountain biker Neal Kindree is back on track after a few tough years. In 2012, he will race with the grassroots Specialized / EMD Serono team. The Canadian had injured his knee while training in 2008 and required surgery to repair it, but it was nearly two years until he could ride again without pain, and it wasn't until 2011 that he made a resurgence with his national-level career.
Speaking of his knee, Kindree told piquenewsmagazine, "I don't notice a difference week-to-week or even month-to-month, but it's definitely getting better and it's not impeding my ability to train or race at all," he said. "The only time it bugs me is when I'm walking or standing on concrete for extended periods. I'm better off hiking a technical, rugged trail than trying to walk down a city block - figure that one out. I can't understand it, but if I can ride then I'm happy."
In 2010, Kindree finished fourth at the Canadian cross country national championships, and he won several stages and finished third overall at the BC Bike Race. He was named to the Canadian Worlds team, but later removed after an appeal by other athletes. Racing under his own expense, Kindree had not been able to afford to travel to enough races to secure his spot on the team.
Thanks to the support of his new team and also Ryders Eyewear and Corsa Cycles, Kindree will be training and racing full-time in 2012 although he will probably not be racing the World Cup circuit due to his limited budget.
Kindree expects to commence racing in March, likely with the US Pro XCT series. He'll also compete in Canada Cups, the Test of Metal and the UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne as he tries to make the selection for the 2012 Worlds squad.
"I think it's just a matter of staying happy, staying health and training smart, and then it shouldn't be a problem," he told piquenewsmagazine.com.