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I've just returned from our team training camp in Thousand Oaks, California. This year marks a new beginning for our team, as we will be stepping up to the Pro Continental level. What does this mean for me as a rider? New challenges and more responsibility!

I decided to step up my winter training, so in December we left our house in Boulder and drove out to Shell Beach, California. Nineteen hours in the car with a dog and a toddler was less than fun, but the training was spectacular. My wife and I had no friends or family in the area, so I was able to completely focus on training for an entire month.

We created an environment based on training, eating, sleeping, and recovery. Our days and nights were monk-like, but the riding in that area was some of the best I have ever encountered and I look forward to returning to the area next December!

The team is heading into the unknown this year. We have new riders, directors, staff members, and races. Building this team took some time and effort. The directors and staff do not simply go off results of the past year because you cannot throw a team together and hope for the best. Results are important, but so are attitudes and opinions from former teammates and directors. Everything is looked at before a decision is made about team suitability.

We came together as a team for the first time last week at camp. It often takes time for a team to click when changes have been made, but we are heading in the right direction. It was great to get to know everyone and train in the sunshine. We have an amazing group this year and we have already shown that we will be a winning team!

I am home in Boulder for a few shorts days before departing for Europe. My family will join me there as we begin a new adventure. I am looking forward to getting to know my new teammates a bit better and coming up with some good results!

Thanks for reading,
Rory

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Follow the adventures of our Australian as he hits out from his Southern California base to the biggest races in the US.

Rory Sutherland is back on the North American circuit and better than ever with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis . Riding alongside teammates like Chris Baldwin, Karl Menzies and Tim Johnson, Sutherland will work to bring the team to the top of the heap in the Americas.