Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling has picked up Mike Creed on a one-year deal after the American parted ways with Team Type 1. The 29-year-old is the first in a series of new additions set to be announced by the American Continental squad in the coming weeks.
"My aim for next year is just to race, race well and enjoy myself as a bike rider. The past three years haven't been that enjoyable, especially this last year as I've only had around 20 days of racing. I just want to get a solid year of racing and enjoy racing again," Creed told Cyclingnews.
Creed is also looking forward to joining up with the likes of Andrew Bajadali and Alexander Boyd.
"The team is really realistic in their approach and aims but at the same time have some good ambitions. It's certainly an underdog team and they relish that role. They got second at the nationals and they've won a lot of races, with some good guys. Across the board they're a strong team."
Creed has raced for a number of US domestic teams during his career, including Garmin, Prime Alliance - where he raced with Kelly Benefit Strategies' team director Jonas Carney - and Rock Racing. He revealed that the team had tried to sign him several years ago but that the circumstances and timing had never quite been right.
"Jonas and I have always had this relationship and he tried to get me on the team in the last few years and it's been kind of cool to see the team develop. I think I'm more comfortable coming to a team like that."
The signing will give Creed motivation heading into the winter. After an initially strong start to his Team Type 1 career cracks began to develop between him and the management, culminating with him only racing 20 days in 2010 and being left off the roster for last week's national championships.
"I still ride every day but I've not ridden my road bike in two or three months. I've been on my mountain bike every day," Creed said.
"For sure the first couple of races are going to be a shock to the system but hopefully Jonas turns a blind eye to that and I'll find my legs as soon as I can."
Despite the falling out with Team Type 1 Creed isn't willing to lay blame for his poor season this year.
"I've let go of all that. It's always the default mode to think I have to prove it to this guy or that guy or myself and not to sound self-centred, I know when everything is good I can race my bike well and people like Jonas know that.
"No matter what anyone else thinks, whatever Team Type 1 thinks or the other teams that won't return my emails think, is not relevant to me. I know when I come back and ride well, those emails will be returned and everything will come back around.
"I think it just came down to us both, me and Type 1, expecting something different from both sides. Both sides leave disappointed. I'd rather not go into it that much because it would just be my side and I'm often wrong and I'm aware that I'm often wrong but that doesn't change how I feel so what happened there stays there and to be honest I'm sorry things didn't work out and I'm sorry for them too.
"They picked me up half-way through last year and they didn't have to do that but at the same time I think I repaid them with some solid top tens and saving the team in some crucial areas. I do appreciate they got me out of the Rock Racing situation."
Creed wasn't short of offers though, with a number of US teams and one high profile European entering the fray to sign him for next year.
"I was pleasantly surprised by the offers. I had the chance to go back to Europe at a very high level and at a team that a lot of people would instantly jump at. However I had to be a little more realistic that I've only raced 20 days this year and that would be a really high level. I want to have a good year."
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