Patience and Persistence

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Touchstone Climbing is always eager to support local organizations in our community. This year, we are proud to sponsor Team Specialized Racing, a Junior development team based in the Bay Area. Larry Nolan, the Team Specialized Junior Director, profiled three riders because of their ‘Patience and Persistence.’ “Development, confidence and humility are values that we discuss as a team,” said Nolan. “But reminders are always a good thing! In sharing these three stories I hope to remind our juniors to be patient, yet persistent with their dreams and goals.”

Matt“Cycling, like any sport, comes with frustration, anger, determination and glory. This season, I have raced my bike 36 times and have only won once. 36 times where I can say I gave it my all, and tried my best. Even though winning one race so far this season seems to be discouraging, it actually helps put things in perspective. I know I am on the right path to achieving my goals. The win came at Cat’s Hill Classic in the Juniors 17-18 Category last weekend. Although it is not the biggest and most important race of the year, it is surely one of my favorites as I now have won this race two years in a row. This win meant more to me than the last because I was determined to win it the “Billy Innes” way – ride away solo from the field by attacking on the climb, which I did. The win at Cat’s Hill Classic has fueled me to work harder, to never give up and to keep on pedaling.” said team rider Matthew Valencia.


GageThe second Junior rider Nolan highlighted is Gage, who lives in Parker, CO. In 2011, he attended the USA Cycling National Championships at the age of 13 years old. He placed 17th, 20th and 23rd in the criterium, time trial and road races. “Where’s the story in those results?” said Nolan. “Well, if Gage lost patience or his love of the sport, he may never have started the 2012 USA Junior Road National Championships!”

In 2012 Gage traveled to Augusta, Georgia and proceeded to win the USA Junior Criterium, Time Trial and Road National Championships as a 14 year old. Three National Titles in three attempts is very rare. Racing at the bottom of your age-group can be difficult, but not impossible. “Sometimes patience and persistence takes years to come to fruition,” said Nolan. 

NickThe 3rd rider highlighted for his ‘patience and persistence’ is Nick, who lives in Upland, CA. He races with the team in Northern California, along with many of the races held in Southern California. “Problem is, the majority of the So Cal races are criteriums,” said Nolan. “When you are a climber with good endurance you need to be patient for the events to come onto the calendar.” The Devil’s Punchbowl Road Race was held last Saturday in Lancaster, CA. With 420 meters of climbing in each of the 25km loops you need to be a strong climber and smart too, as the finish is 18km after the climb.

“Nick and I had talked about his forcing the pace, taking a few breakaway mates with him and then how he might dispatch them. Nick thought this one through and imagined a good number of scenarios. But, on race day Nick wasn’t feeling 100%. Temperatures were climbing into the 100’s and he was almost dropped on the second of four climbs. He felt better on the third climb, and on the 4th climb he felt good enough to attack. Patience to wait out a period when you don’t feel good is one definition of persistence! On the 4th climb Nick forced a small break so that he would have riders to work with and some possible teamwork behind him. Closing in on the finish he had ditched his breakaway mates except one, and then easily outsprinted him,” described Nolan. 

Cycling, like climbing, is an exercise in mental strength. When is a time when you reached your goals by being patient and persistent?

Congratulations to Team Specialized and all that they are able to accomplish.