Ian Boswell hopes that 2015 will be the season all the pieces in the jigsaw come together as he looks to establish a place in Team Sky's future. The 23-year-old signed a three-year deal as a promising young rider at the start of 2013, and with one year remaining is well aware that he must make the most of next season.
One development that has already taken place in the American's life surrounds his coaching, with ex-professional Dario Cioni set to mentor him next year.
"I'm going to be coached by Dario and before I went on holiday we spoke and went through the last two seasons and what worked and what didn't work," Boswell told Cyclingnews.
"One of the reasons I'm going to work with Dario is because while I've performed really well in training, it's a matter of performing in races. Dario has obviously raced himself so he'll be able to give me his experience. I saw some improvements this year, mainly in my consistency, and at every race I learnt something."
"Next year my contract is up so now it's really time to start putting all the pieces together and getting some results."
While Boswell stresses his passion and enjoyment at riding at Team Sky he also understand that opportunities to make the rosters in the biggest races can be challenging. Team Sky, despite a difficult year, packs their Grand Tour line-ups with seasoned professionals in a bid to often challenge for the overall. It has, at times, meant that the younger members of the team struggle to pick up experience in racing three-week events. A recent raft of new signings for 2015 could make that challenge even harder.
"That's one of the things I spoke to Dario and a few other people on the team. I love Team Sky and I think I could stay here. If I could re-sign now for another three years I would do it. If you look at the recent signings we made, they're all pretty big names but one of my ambitions this year was to do a Grand Tour. I was on track to do the Vuelta but obviously with the changes after the Tour with Chris [Froome] I was taken off that roster. I understand why but next year I want to make sure I get a Grand Tour in but again we've signed five more big riders who all want to do one as well."
"If Froome or Richie then want to rider multiple Grand Tours it's going to become even harder to make those teams. So with the team I wanted some clarity on what they want from me. If you look at a couple of my friends from this year, they were signed on two-year contracts and they were doing a similar job to the one I'm doing and when it came to contract time they had no results."
Team Sky's entire programme for 2015 has yet to be finalised. A lot will of course depend on which races the likes of Froome, Porte and Bradley Wiggins are selected for. Boswell, who finished second in the U23 version of Liege-Bastogne-Liege and fifth overall at the Tour de l'Avenir – both in 2012 – has sat down with the team and talks have been productive. He appears eager to learn and improve but wants to make sure that he and the team are working towards the same goals.
"When I spoke to the team I asked for a more detailed plan of what's expected of me going forward. If they want me to win or be competitive then you need opportunities but if they want me to develop and commit to the team then we're both on the same page," he said.
"So I may do a few more races next year and perhaps focus on some of the smaller ones outside of the WorldTour team. So guys like Seb Henao, Nathan Earle and me will perhaps be going to Austria, Route de Sud, and races like that with the chance to be competitive."