Cyclingnews' US Women's Cycling Development Program diary has a new entry with Kori Seehafer describing her feelings arriving in Italy for a full 2008 season of European racing. Seehafer signed with Menikini-Selle Italia-Masters Color directed by Walter Zini after winning the opening time trial of the 2007 Route de France, and can now prove her worth in the Euro peloton.
"I can't believe I'm finally here. I've been so nervous about planning for this trip that it's never occurred to me what I'm actually doing. I've just arrived in Italy, and it's the first time excitement has hit me; otherwise, I've been filled with trepidation.
"I've never been without my hubby for more than six weeks. I've never had my finances in limbo. I've never lived abroad. Now, here I am totally in the dark, ready to have new encounters in all facets of my life, all because I want to give myself every chance to try and reach for my dreams - to be in the Olympics. My husband has always given me support in trying to reach my goals, but now I have to stand alone with this choice I've made. It's hard to step away from those I know and love and to follow my dream; especially, when it doesn't include my dear ol' hubby!
"This is my first rendezvous with an entire European racing season and with a European team. It's time to see if all the preparation pays off. In October 2007, I signed a contract with a UCI European Team called Menikini-Selle Italia-Masters Color. Since then, there's been no time for any excitement because my life as I know it is changing. This off-season I've been trying to prepare myself for this great change and who knows when I'll digest the reality of my choices. I know it will be a hard road, but I'm ready for the challenges.
"In 1998, I graduated from College with a Math Education degree. I started bike racing in college and I really enjoyed it, but I never thought I'd race beyond the local level. I never actually knew what lied beyond the regional level of racing until I read about Tour de Toona and decided to try it for the first time in 1998. Once I saw that scene, I quickly learned that there was a National Circuit beyond local racing, so I wanted to try and get myself to other key National races.
"My focus was still school and teaching, but in my senior year of college I tried teaching eighth-grade students and it freaked me out. I have no behaviour management skills and it showed. Middle school is such a tumultuous time - a time for great changes - and I had a hard time dealing with this whirlwind. I decided to just race my bike during the summer, and then I'd decide later on if I wanted to enter the school system. I worked part-time (and currently work) for Sylvan Learning Center and began the sport that I now know and love during the 1999 year."
To read the full diary entry, click here.