Seasoned 'crosser puts roots down in US before departing for Belgium
Jonathan Page has had a busy year setting up a new house in Utah and managing an ongoing search for a new title sponsor, which he has yet to land. "My secondary sponsors are supporting me again: Lazer Helmets, Verge Clothing, Spy sunglasses have been really helpful. Clement tires will be back in now, I've picked up some smaller sponsors but I've just missed the big one," said Page before the start of racing at Day 2 of the Trek USGP of Cyclocross Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. "I've said it before, but that was due to me not saying anything about Planet Bike not being a sponsor. It became too late, and now I don't have a major sponsor."
Page has had to juggle a lot as he searched for a new sponsor and worked on the house but it hasn't been without some reward. "It's been fairly stressful for me, but that is not all due to bike racing and things like that. What’s really great is that we have a house in Utah. It's the first time we've ever had a house in the United States," said Page who is heading to Boston for the upcoming New England races in Gloucester and Providence before heading back to Belgium.
For the 36-year-old Page, who was a competitive skier in New Hampshire before picking up 'cross, the dry weather and mountains of Utah are a welcome contrast to the Belgian weather he has dealt with the last several years. "I went there (Utah) for a Blue Bicycle dealer and press camp, it was in Deer Valley and Park City. I said this might be the place we can settle down, check it out, and go skiing."
To keep things going Page has to enlist the help of friends and family, which is a mixed blessing. At the Planet Bike Cup he was supported by a full network of old friends which included Bob Downs, founder of Planet Bike, Dave Kohli, a former ProTour mechanic that resides in Madison, and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), who drove Page from Chicago to Madison for the weekend.
Page described the experience of relying on his extended network as "kind of fun in a way" but was growing weary of being the sole American 'cross racer trying to blaze a trail in Europe. "What has it got me, is what I am really coming down to. I'm a guy doing the same thing in the United States. Traveling, putting this and that together. I've got a support team, but I don't have it going from race to race to race.
"There is more to it than just bike racing. Actually the bike racing is fairly easy compared to other things," said Page as he discussed the challenges he's tackled over the last year. Going forward Page seems intent on ensuring the future is centered around letting his wife choose pursue her interests and making sure the family enjoys life in Europe while they are there.
"On one hand it's great. I go bike riding, I see the world, and I take my family along with me. That’s the cool part. That’s something we are going to focus more on when we get back to Belgium. We are going to take advantage of the places we haven't seen. That might be a good approach to things."