Andrew “AJ” August is again within the US after an eventful few weeks in Europe, from turning heads at a street coaching camp with Ineos Grenadiers to catching consideration together with his shredded Group USA equipment whereas racing on the Cyclocross World Championships.
In the beginning line on the stacked junior males’s championship occasion in Hoogerheide, August was one of many favourites to seize the rainbow jersey. In any case, he scored a momentous victory at Koppenbergcross in November, a primary for any US male rider. Subsequent, he gained the junior males’s title on the US Cyclocross Nationwide Championships. Previous to the Worlds, he went four-for-four in European ‘cross races, together with a fourth-place end at Benidorm World Cup.
The Hoogerheide look would mark his last ‘cross race as a junior, so all alerts gave the impression to be inexperienced for ‘go’. A lot for well-laid plans. An enormous crash in the beginning of the race modified the whole lot.
“It was an odd crash. I had gotten off to a fairly good begin, however shortly after the beginning, I pulled out of my pedal. Due to this, the rider behind me overlapped my rear wheel, and he started to crash, and his weight fell on my rear wheel. This despatched me throughout the course, and from there, many others piled on prime,” he defined to Cyclingnews.
The huge pile-up left an enormous chunk of the 72-rider area in full-on chase your entire race, together with August and his 5 US teammates. With a lot of his equipment lacking after the exhausting crash and scrapes uncovered, the 17-year-old unleashed a livid assault on the course with among the quickest lap instances. In his pursuit to make up the hole of 1 minute and 38 seconds to eventual winner Léo Bisiaux of France, August put within the quickest time on the second lap and once more on the sixth lap. However with simply seven laps, he ran out of turf and time.
“I knew that I used to be setting quick laps,” the upstate New York native stated. “I got here by means of the end each lap, and I noticed that the hole to the chief was holding fairly regular. At that time within the race, I knew I used to be out of competition, however I simply needed to maintain preventing.”
He completed 1:41 behind Bisiaux, twenty second total, simply behind David Thompson in sixteenth, Magnus White in twentieth and Miles Mattern in twenty first, whereas Dan English was one of the best of the bunch in thirteenth, and Ben Stokes crossed the road in twenty ninth. It was a disappointing finish to his ‘cross marketing campaign since he completed fifth within the junior race the 12 months earlier than and was in prime kind.
“Race carried out. I’m transferring on,” is what August advised Toby Stanton, his street workforce sports activities director, simply hours after the Hoogerheide expertise. In truth, when Cyclingnews requested August if he saved the tattered workforce equipment for future inspiration, the temporary reply was, “Haha, there wasn’t a lot left of it. I did throw it away.”
Rolling on the street
In keeping with Stanton, who can also be the founding father of the Sizzling Tubes Improvement Biking Group, which can have August in a lead position once more this season, the younger US rider is “calmly analytical with out being boastful,” and for the reason that workforce started 31 years in the past “he’s an exceptional child, nearly as good as I’ve ever had”.
“It was a race he might have gained,” Stanton advised Cyclingnews about August’s means going into Worlds. “Afterwards, he advised me that he undoubtedly might have stayed with the French rider [Bisiaux] and would have needed to be good to beat him.
“He has a superb sense of what his capability is, and when he screws up, he is aware of what he did. He acknowledges it like when he crashed it Hoogerheide. He was like, ‘I used to be too [aggressive] there, and I went too quick. Yeah, let’s do this one once more’.”
Eventually 12 months’s three-day Junior Vuelta, August caught the eye of a number of WorldTour groups together with his second total using for Sizzling Tubes. That led to an invite to hitch Ineos Grenadiers at a coaching camp whereas he was in Europe for cyclocross in January. It was a workforce that already had one US rider on its roster, which occurred to be a Sizzling Tubes alumnus and a task mannequin for August, Magnus Sheffield. Each are from the small city of Pittsford, New York.
“One in all my position fashions in biking has been Magnus Sheffield [Ineos Grenadiers]. He grew up only a few minutes away from my home, and it has been very inspiring to look at what he has carried out,” August advised Cyclingnews in December.
Stanton stated the 2 are bodily totally different, Sheffield having a a lot greater construct, however the inclinations and skills are very a lot the identical.
“It is certainly one of his largest strengths for AJ, and he rolls with issues very a lot as Magnus does. AJ may be very a lot that very same form of mentality, the place he is very organized. He is very versatile, however he thrives in a excessive construction,” Stanton stated, glowing in his accolades about each riders from New York.
August participated for a couple of days with an Ineos camp in Mallorca earlier than he completed his junior marketing campaign at Cyclocross Worlds. Days later, he was again within the US and headed to Arizona for transition to the street, races starting with the domestic-level Valley of the Solar Stage Race, a Sizzling Tubes coaching camp in north Georgia in March, per week of racing in California at Redlands Bicycle Traditional after which a European marketing campaign throughout occasions in Czech Republic, Netherlands and Switzerland earlier than US Junior Nationals in June.
“For positive, I’m undoubtedly excited and prepared for the street season,” August stated. “I believe the change and the brand new alternatives will actually get me excited for the street season. Additionally, I’m trying ahead to getting again with my teammates on my street workforce.”