Coach & Residency Assistant

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I’ve not walked on this earth for very many years, but I’ve been in a full-time relationship with Cycling from before I learned to ride in 1999, and since ridden enough kilometers to circumnavigate our little planet many times over.

Not many people know this, but my dad turned down his first professional cycling contract because I was born.  Although he continued as a domestic Elite rider into my early teen years, it was around this time he turned to coaching.  I'd been to almost all of the Texas road, mountain, and track races by the time I could speak.  The year after I learned how to ride, he became a founding board member of TXBRA.  Due to demand for his coaching services, that quickly became how he supported our family full-time.  Shortly thereafter, he founded GS Tenzing as a team originally exclusively for his athletes to be used as a tactical testbed and first-wave power meter data collection pool.  Thousands of files collected from his athletes at the time, back when an SRM was $10,000 and the PowerTap might be the next great thing to hit the market since indexed shifting, served as the actual data pool that many of the current widely accepted power training theories were created from.  He and Chloe then created The Racing Post, a regional cycling magazine, and ran that out of our house for a few years before selling it to it’s current owners.  I’m not really sure how they even had time to pick me up from school.  That was just my environment. I didn’t know any different, and it wasn’t long before I was pinning on a number myself.

If I didn’t know before racing though, I found out real quick that shaved legs and road rash in 5th grade makes you weird, not cool.  I didn’t really care.

I have a few memories from my early races at 9-10yr/old, but the timeline in my head starts with competing in my first National Championships at racing age 11 in Pennsylvania, and being on the podium the following year at both Road and Track Nationals.  By racing age 14 I was a Cat 3 with several cross-discipline State Titles under my belt, and multiple National Championship Podiums.  During this time I would be fortunate to frequently compete with the likes of Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga.   At the end of my 2009 season, just before I turned 15, I earned my Cat 2 upgrade and we moved from Bartonville, TX to Wimberley, TX the following summer, arriving two days before the start of my Freshman year of high school.

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Picking up the jersey for the Stage Race Win in the 15-16’s at Hotter N’ Hell, as a 14yr old.  I owe this one, along with almost all the others, to my teammates. Wichita Falls, TX - 2009


 

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[middle] 2010 National Championships Call-Up, we didn’t know at the time, but us three would  be racing in the same colors the next season.  Some may notice the Toyota United gloves Ivan Dominguez gave me.  Race day only.  Bend, OR - 2010

 

The very next year, 2011, we opened the first Williams Racing Academy house to accommodate, firstly, the growing number of elite level Junior riders on the WRA client roster that needed a place with safe roads and careful guidance to reach their desired potential, while conveniently being centrally located to most Texas racing, but also because many of our riders were running into issues with Texas school attendance laws when we’d attend international races or national camps.  Around that same time, members of our GS Tenzing Junior Development Program were being recruited to merge with the Garmin-Slipstream Junior Development Team (now solely Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling).  As we were doing our introductions, we learned that the team was also hiring a director and coach.  Not really thinking I would be taken seriously, I offered that my Dad had previously directed and coached the entire program they were trying to absorb in order to bolster their own roster, why not take the brain behind it too…and they did!

Once we went Garmin, I knew I wanted to be an elite rider to the fullest extent that I could.  This was when I first invested in having a full understanding of a proper training regiment.  We bought a scientific grade V02max and RMR testing apparatus, typically reserved for University usage, and I spent a few days reading through the manuals and setting it up.  After running a few tests on myself, Dad, and Payson, we had corrected all calibration and subsequently ran as many of the Garmin athletes, our own clients, and even folks who just wanted to see what their V02 was through the protocol to start compiling data.  I must’ve run 100-120+ V02max tests alone, and found calibration errors on almost every single University reported V02max results sheet somebody brought to us for validation.  Beyond that, I was digging in deep with the science of power and heart rate training.  There were many times I was running WKO3 right next to my English papers, Biology Powerpoints, etc. in High School.  Didn’t think it was weird at the time.

 

 

Hurt Locker in the Breakaway at Valley of The Sun.  This picture was featured prominently in Sidi’s Interbike booth that year.  AZ - 2011

 

Track Nationals, 2011 - Head game prep w/ the head gamekeeper. I’m riding a hand-me-down one-off Felt prototype TT Bike factory converted into a track/pursuit setup for Taylor Phinney’s World Record Individual Pursuit Run.  


 

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[second from left] After a hard training ride with Chris Horner at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA - 2011

 

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[top right] In our inaugural year as a team at our first international Stage Race,  Le Tour de Rimouski,  Canada.  We won every stage with a different rider, the Yellow Jersey with our youngest rider, the Points Jersey (green) with our TT guy, and all the ladies’  hearts.  Our van broke down there and we had to leave it,  so it wasn’t all glitter and glory. - 2011

 

I had already spent several months in Europe with our own Williams Racing Academy Belgian Race Camps and done stage races in Canada before the first National Team Invite came down the line in 2012.  It was to be 4 of our Garmin riders with Dad directing, and two other National Talent Pool riders competing on road and track at the UCI Junior Pan-American Games in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  In my younger year, I placed 7th in the Time Trial, 6th in the Individual Pursuit, and we had all of our riders in the top 12 in the Road Race but somehow didn’t manage to cross the line first.  Central American tactics and parcours are unlike anything else.  That same season I placed 4th on Stage 2 of Tour of the Gila and 7th in the crit, putting me in the unofficial white jersey until I bonked out of a 7 minute lead breakaway on the last stage.  At Track Nationals, we took first and second in the Team Pursuit, adding the first and so far only National Gold Medal to my personal collection.  I was invited on another National Team trip that year as well and raced for ‘Murica in Switzerland in the UCI Tour du Pays de Vaud, Germany at UCI Trofeo Karlsberg, and the Netherlands for a few kermis races alongside fellow Garmin teammate Greg Daniel.

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A test of focus before setting off at the Panamerican Games TT, representing USA - 2012

 

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[second from left] Climbing Camp (US National Team) Col de la Croix, Suisse, before Tour du Pays de Vaud.  We would go on to claim several stages, the Green, and the Yellow Jersey - 2012


 

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[back left] First and Second in the Team Pursuit at Nationals.  Yep. - 2012

 

 

Podie at a Kermis in, Haaltert, Belgium.  - 2012

 

 

 

In 2013, my last Junior year, I was able to take the win on both days of La Primavera Lago Vista, my favorite Texas race in the Cat 2’s, and was in the lead for the Elite Men’s Texas Cup Points Competition until the State Championships, the last race of the season in the Fall, despite not racing in Texas AT ALL after March that year.  I also did one more tour with the National Team in Europe, representing in the Czech Republic at UCI Course de la Paix (the Peace Race), Germany for UCI Etappenfahrt der Rad-Junioren, and Netherlands once again.  When all the National Team riders were taken to the airport to go home, Dad picked me up and I prepared for the next month of racing in our second home- Kerkem, Belgium.  As a direct result, I earned one of the youngest Category 1 upgrades- a few months before my 18th birthday.

After making the podium on multiple occasions, I won my first Belgian Kermis in Overmere just days before my 18th birthday.  Then, as if by magic, my Facebook Messenger Inbox and Email filled up with different team offers for my first season as an Elite U23 rider.  Having fully embraced the idea of the “Blue Collar Route” and cutting my teeth in the Belgian Domestic Pro circuit rather than the US Domestic Pro Circuit, I rejected several offers to race the UCI North America Calendar for the 2014 season.  Myself and another teammate and inaugural Academy resident left Belgium with signed contracts for the following season.  After returning home from Europe, and much procrastination, I shifted my focus to the American Junior Hour Record.  I was to do it fully Merckx-Style (Drop Bars, Steel Frame, Box Section Rims, No Aero Helmet) in the spirit of the event and the rules at the time.  Including coming to a full stop to fix a slipping seatpost while the clock was running, I completed 38km at the Alkek Velodrome in Houston.  My final Junior race was a solo hour on a former Olympic Qualifying Velodrome closed just for me.  It didn’t feel as poetic as it sounds.  We later learned it was actually a world record, but a month after completing this challenge, the rules changed back to allowing aero equipment (and now another WRA rider, Luke Mullis, now holds the national record, keeping it in the family).

 

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[right] The best team camps happen at the Williams Racing Academy in Wimberley. - 2013

 

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I guess I fancied myself a climber there for a little while.  Chugging along to an early season stage race victory in Mineral Wells, TX (Cat 2) - 2013

 

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As you may have figured out by now, I’m a big fan of getting first and second.  Here’s my teammate Jake Silverberg and I on day 1 of Lago Vista in the 2’s (Nobody cheered louder than my brother, who also has his hands in the air.) - 2013

 

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Winnaar Noah Williams, Overmere, Belgium. This one was special. - 2013

 

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[front center] Cobbles for brunch, Lovendegem, Belgium - 2013

 

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Contracts Signed. Kerkem, Belgium - 2013

 

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Warming up for a National Hour Record. Houston, TX - 2013


 

I spent 2014 living in Belgium racing for a professional development team.  I was 18 years old and hungry.  However, doing all of my own cooking, having only a basic understanding of Dutch, and living in an 8’x8’ unfinished attic with an Israeli and Estonian in downtown Brugge was where my real life experience came in a hurry.  With a girlfriend back in the States, struggling to finish races, racing in races that were over my head at the time, and then having to be the team’s truck driver, too (it’s a long, dumb story), I started to crack.  To grab some sanity, I would make and find friends to couch surf until I could arrange better accommodations.  Among the couches were Belgian National Paracycling Champion, World Champion, and Olympian Kris Bosmans, a mechanic for Team Sky, and others.  In the meantime, every time I’d leave to train or race, my food would disappear from the pantry or refrigerator, and my kit would disappear from the drying line… and I totally came apart.


 

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[center] There were more than a few 40km ride to the race, 120+km race, and 40km ride home days. Blue Collar.  Assebroek, Belgium - 2014

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The tremendous support of my Academy brothers helped fuel me through my low points.  Here pictured assisting me with mechanical issues at 10pm (yes really) before a race day.  I’ll never forget their willingness to help, despite having their own races to worry about. Bertem, Belgium- 2014

 


I took a break that Fall once back in the States, and that break stretched and stretched until it became two years off of the bike.  I gained 50 pounds.   I wasn’t working out or training, but I poured all of that focus into starting a new a company, NARA Speed. During this time I directed camera crews on set and on location for Pilot shows for Esquire and others (that I can’t mention yet) across the country.  I was also taking college classes and working a real job (apart from NARA), with a cubicle, incandescent lighting, and quotas.  

 

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At “Work” getting a Bugatti Veyron rigged for a 200mph pass. Colorado Springs, CO - 2016

 

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[left] Producing an interview piece with the extremely talented Steven Aghakhani. Los Angeles, CA - 2016


 

While things have been going well in these areas, I missed being fit.  I missed Europe.  I missed the ritual of pinning on a number.  I missed the smell of embrocation.  And then my Dad would send me texts from races saying one of his riders was in the break, or won, or just did something significant.  I began paying more attention and becoming a fan of those in the coaching family, particularly those who were living in the residence program and headed to Belgium and Italy with my Dad.
I started asking questions about how certain riders were doing, and my Dad would share interesting tidbits about their training, how he was pulling some more out of the athlete...and it just flowed back into me.  The more I thought about it, the more I missed it all.   I started reaching out to some of the WRA clients, offering up my experience and help for races and in the training and development process.  
My Dad is constantly doing research and crunching data and basically out in the forefront of training.   And with Chloe', the family is one of the very few ways that Americans get over to Belgium and Europe in general to race, train and live.  I’ve been able to work with some of the best people in the television and video production industry, and I’ve been around some of the best car builders in the world...and I realized then that I’d been sitting next to one of the best coaching minds whenever I was at my desk, at the dinner table, or in the van on the way to the race.   I just never really thought about it, because it was...Dad.
The more we talked about it, the more interested I was in where the science was headed and how to get the best out of athletes.   The more we talked about it, the more I wanted to get back to Belgium and use my experience living there and as a racer to help those in our program.  I wanted to take more and more exercise science courses at school.  I’m attending webinars and re-immersing myself in training, coaching, and sports science.   
While taking my License to Carry class, I ran into the president of the University of North Texas cycling team.  I spoke at the next meeting, talking about training, development, team building, and all of the pieces that make up a program.  I was drawing from my first hand experience of teams at the highest amateur level, including national teams.  I was drawing from group workouts we’d done in our residence program.  Their enthusiasm was infectious, and my fuse was already lit anyway, and I left that meeting with a couple new coaching clients.
As I write this, I’m getting fit again.  I do strength training workouts, but I’m also getting back out on the bike again.  I have a completely different body than I did when I was racing in Europe, but my passion is rekindled.   I’m a beginner in jiu jitsu, and I’m exploring fitness from many angles.   
Returning to racing is going to happen.   I don’t yet know where I want to take it, and I fully admit that I struggle a bit with coming at some races I’ve done  several times, but now as just a shell of the rider I was.  I’m passionate for the sport, but I’ve realized that coaching really is in my blood, and I want to develop as a coach with the same intensity that I used to make the US National Team, compete at the Pan Am games, and ultimately land on a team in Belgium.  I want to share my experiences and help athletes pull the best out of themselves.   I will be working with our program in Belgium and Italy this summer and beyond, which will enable us to expand and reach more athletes.  

So, I’m 21 years old, former cat 1, and I’m out of shape and also a coach.  I get it.  I’m young.  But I also have 10 years of racing experience from the youngest junior category to the cat 1’s, and I’ve raced at the highest level you can without a pro license.  This is also 8 years of using a powermeter.  I’ve made mistakes.  It takes a lot of them to get that far.  I’ve done some things the hard way.  I’ve also had the good fortune to live this sport and do so with one of the best coaches and programs on the planet.  I’m working on a degree in sports science, and I share an office with the head coach of the Williams Racing Academy.  
My current position as a coach is to work with any athlete.  Most of my experience is as a junior, obviously, but I have a thorough understanding of the training involved at any level of this.  I will also be serving as an intern of sorts, helping my Dad with analytics and modeling from powermeter data.  I will also serve as an assistant director to our European race camps (summers).
I’ve taken the time to write my bio here (and I appreciate that you got this far), because I want you to know where I’m coming from as an athlete and as a coach.  You may not want to work with a coach my age, and that is understandable.  I’ve known the coaches we have on our staff since they came to WRA as athletes.  I have the utmost respect for them as athletes, coaches and people, and I know that we, as a coaching family, have a coach that will suit you from a personality standpoint, speciality, and skill set.  That being said, my passion is to turn my experience into the tools and guidance you need to reach your goals, or even your dreams, and I’m already excited to see your potential realized with us.

 

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My girlfriend, Elizabeth (also a Kinesiology major), and I atop Mt. Baldy. Wimberley, 2017

 

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“I hear her voice in the morning hour, she calls me, the radio reminds me of my home far away.
And driving down the road I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday, yesterday.” - John Denver

Valsassina, Province of Lecco, Italy - 2013