Today I want to tell you about few people who I have the greatest respect for.
People who are not necessarily big winners, mega talents, but have affected my or others' lives positively.
There's many I'd like to talk about, but today I'll talk about only a few that are my favorite humans.
1. Jonny Clarke
Jonny was my teammate when I was racing for UHC Pro cycling team.
From the outside, he looks like a tough guy, always ready to crack a joke.
But with time, I got to know him better, his story of growing up and getting to the point where he is now.
And let me tell you something: This guy came a long ways from where he was as a young kid. From a very unpromising childhood, to U23 rider, racing in Italy with AUS team, to a road captain.
He's married, and became a father now long ago.
His passion for cycling was bigger than any problem he's faced in the past, from personal problems, to WT riders bulling him at Tour of California.
We were roomies at almost every race we did, he made me a better person, and I think, I also had an effect on his life, his riding and performance.
I've had many, many good teammates, but nobody even came close to Jonny.
I love the guy, and honestly, I miss him a lot.
2. Tsgabu Grmay
Tsgabu was my teammate in 2017.
He's such a grateful guy, always happy and in positive mood. He comes from the part of the world where people live on few dollars a day.
Having an opportunity to race on the WT team, was a big thing for him, his family and friends. And he definitely deserved it. Nothing was given to him, everything he's been given, he's earned.
And it wasn't easy for him. There were times when people called him the N word, from riders, to staff, just for fun. Yes, maybe it was meant as a joke, but that doesn't justify called a person N-word.
People are so uneducated, primitive, and plainly stupid. Nothing justifies their behaviour, nothing....
He seemed not to be bothered, saying, "it's ok, no problem", but i'm sure, deep in his soul it affected him.
Tsgabu is a person you want to have by side, he lifts the team spirits, making everyone a better person.
3. Reed McCalvin
Most of the young riders know who Reed is.
Simply, he's the person you want to have by your side, being a young or older rider.
For those who don't know him, he's been working with US Axeon team and USA national team for years, taking care of the riders, from massages, to moral support, feeding them, making sure their hotel rooms are clean, door handles disinfected, AC grill clean and disinfected, etc, etc....
His Axeon team made more WT riders than any other team.
That I believe, speaks or itself.
Thank you Reed, for everything, you rock.
4. Peter Sagan
Everybody knows Peter, I don't doubt that. And he IS a big winner. But I can't leave him out of this. I'm not gonna talk about his achievements, public persona, it's all widely known.
But there was one thing that made me realise he was genuinely nice person.
Couple years back, I was flying to Quebec City via Toronto.
I was the only cyclist at the gate. Then Peter came.
Me being a very asocial person, I didn't approach him. I was kinda shy and at the time I wasn't in a good mental state.
But then he saw me.
He waved, came to my, said hi, and we started talking. It was humbling. He genuinely wanted to talk, talk about everything, training in Colorado, family, life...
He's a good guy, a person cycling need. In fact, we need more Sagans, riders who inspire people to get into cycling, racing or just riding with family.
Peter does it perfectly.
That's it for now, I want to keep these short so now, maybe I'll tell you about some other awesome people in the future....Out UHC soigneur Niki, some DS', GM's and team sponsors come to mind.
Thanks for reading