After a turbulent start to the season last year, Shawn Milne (Kenda p/b Geargrinder) is hoping to kick off the New Year with good form and strong early season performances. The New Englander is preparing for the upcoming season in warmer climates in North Carolina, Florida and California with a mid-term goal targeted at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships held in May in Greenville, South Carolina.
"I talked with Frankie [Andreu] and Chad [Thompson] a few weeks ago about my schedule and goals," Milne said. "I told them that I just want to be raced. My goal early this season isn't to train my way to become flying by March. My goal is to put in a solid foundation now so that I can get in 60 plus races in this year. If I can race that much, I have no doubt that the results will come and be numerous."
Milne has raced for notable US-based outfits such as the former Navigators Insurance and HealthNet. He spent the previous three seasons with the US-based squad Team Type 1, a team that secured a UCI Professional Continental license for 2011. His contract was not renewed for a fourth season and he found a new opportunity with Kenda p/b Geargrinder.
"Last year certainly wasn't a good year for me," Milne said. "From getting a virus in Morocco in April, to not being selected to Tour of California, to the team cutting back on races during the summer so I wasn't racing much. I would consider it a very frustrating and tough year. It mentally took almost everything out of me just trying to survive the year. I have cleared my head this off-season and am really hoping to reach the level that I am capable of this year with Kenda p/b Geargrinder."
Milne started last season with food poisoning followed by a crash at the Tour du Maroc. He ended the year having competed in a total of 35 race days. He earned a respectable sixth place at the USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships and is hoping to improve on that performance this year.
He is also aiming for strong performances at the Tour of California, should the team receive an invitation, Philadelphia International Cycling Championships and the Nature Valley Grand Prix during the months of May and June.
"I am trying to not really focus too much on any specific goal other than to have a very consistent season where I get to race often," Milne said. "I know that if I am racing often the results will come sooner or later. Of course, I would love to be on top form for Nationals as I feel I am a better one-day rider and that course suits me well if I am at my best."
Milne recently traveled to the east coast cycling destination of Asheville, North Carolina for some early winter training. He will join his teammates at the Kenda p/b Geargrinder training camp held from February 19-27 in Clermont, Florida. Following camp, he plans to travel west to sunny California to get in some additional warm weather training time.