The 17-year-old Elite Junior cyclist from Colorado took a few minutes to talk to Bicycling.com about winning his second National Cyclocross Title, training over the holidays at Euro Cross Camp IV, his plan for Cross Worlds, and, oh yeah, trying to be a teenager on the side.
1. Now that you have had a month to reflect on your repeat win at the 'Cross Nationals, tell us how you feel and how the second one was different from the first?
"I think that my second cyclocross national championship was different from last year first of all because of the conditions and that it was a much faster and a lot less technical course then the year before. Secondly would have to be the fact that I had and have a much bigger goal in mind this season which is doing well at Worlds. So, unlike last year, doing well at Nationals just so I could go to Worlds was not so much of an issue. Don't get me wrong though, of course I enjoyed winning a second cross title but it was most of all just icing on the cake I think when I look at my overall focus which is of course to ride well at Worlds."
2. How will your experience at Euro-cross Camp 4 over the holidays give you some confidence going into Cyclocross Worlds?
"I think that seeing that I can make it and hold my own in the lead group was the biggest and best thing I learnt this year in Europe. I remember last year how it was always Bjorn (Selander) in the lead group and myself in the chase group. But now it is my turn to be the most watched US junior over there and that's given me confidence which will really help the most at Worlds."
3. What will your approach be for the racing you'll do when you head to Europe for Cross World's at the end of the month?
"I plan to do the World Cup the week before as kind of a final tune up race before Worlds just to shake out the last bit of the airplane legs left in me. Then I will have several days of very focused training with Noel and Geoff Proctor before the big race on January 27th."
4. After World's what does 2007 hold in store for you?
"Just getting back in to the road scene and, just like I focused on cyclocross Worlds, focus on road Worlds as well as possibly hitting a couple of the big calendar races along the way."
5. What do you do to maintain some sort of balance between having a life and competing at cycling's highest level?
"I think the biggest thing I do to balance my life would have to be hanging out with family and friends, going to parties and doing normal kid stuff to help keep me in check with reality when I am home and not traveling."
Keep up with danny and the rest of the TIAA-CREF/CLIF BAR Cyclo-Cross Team at Eurocrossers Blogspot.com.