“I have some close friends that race for the team. And it just generally seems like the team itself has a good vibe. I also met with [Vaughters] earlier this year and really connected. One of the major reasons is to work with Cannondale, as an American bike sponsor. My first bike I got was a blue Cannondale that I got from my parents. My family, we used to have closer ties to Cannondale — when I was a kid, those were the bikes that we rode as a family. So it’s cool to return to that.
This opportunity presented itself to bring my career into a full circle in one way. It definitely feels like a fresh new start, which I’m excited about. The last few years have been pretty trying, though super rewarding. But at the same time, I’ve been putting a lot of energy into recovering from this ultra-broken leg that I had in 2014. And BMC supported me through that whole process, and I’m really grateful to them for that … But I’ve changed the way I see things, the way that I approach things, the way that I appreciate things. Once the idea came into my mind of making a big change in my career, trying something new, trying a different environment, it was just something that felt really right to me.
I just want to win. Because that’s what it’s all about. I feel like I’m to an age where I’m more comfortable with myself and who I am. I really feel like recently I’m coming into this vast, general acceptance of exactly who I am. And not feeling self-conscious about embracing who I am. I find that by sharing that and just being true to yourself you can inspire other people and unite a group around a certain cause. I love the idea of being able to step into that role a bit more also and let my personality shine through in a new, fresh way. I’m doing it already, I’ve been doing it my whole career, but I’m more mindful about it now.
I feel like I just got back to a point with my body that I’m able to think about goals and not just think about surviving these races. And that’s powerful. It’s easy to set goals. Yeah, Roubaix, Tour de France. Because everybody says that. But I want to get that hunger back, that fire, that real commitment to what I’m doing — that fully engaged, intentional, every-second-of-the-race, you’re in it. But if I think about the coolest thing I could do next year it would be to win the opening time trial at the Tour de France. To race the Tour de France. Because I’ve never done it.”