AFTER a busy first season travelling across the United States, Horsham cyclist Jake Magee is enjoying some down time back in his home town.
The 29-year-old Magee made the jump to race in the USA Crits Championship Series last year.
The seven-month long series sees riders travel across America to race professionally. He said he had enjoyed his first year in the series, where he ended the year the top-ranked criterium rider in Texas and the sixth best in the US.
“I had a year that I did not expect,” he said.
“They race a bit differently over there. Their races are double the length of what I was doing in Australia.
“I quickly realised I had to change my training a little bit because they race just as hard for a longer time.”
After riding with the Elbowz team in his first year, Magee has jumped across to Texas Road House for the coming year.
“It’s great because one of their restaurants is just down the road from where I live in Colorado,” he said.
“One of the other riders in the team is the defending champion so we should do pretty well.”
The teams racing in the series put in a lot of work to plan for each event.
Magee said working to get your teammate a win was just as important as doing well yourself.
“We work together a lot, and we know our opponents well too,” he said.
He started cycling later than most after spending years racing motorcycles.
The late start meant Magee feels he has a few extras years still in his legs.
He has no plans to retire in the near future and cannot see himself leaving the American series to race anywhere else.
“The culture over there is so similar to us and there is not the language barriers that there would be Europe,” he said. “And they just love Australians as well. I can tell them anything and they’ll believe me.”
Magee is only one of about 20 riders not from the Americas in the series, and one of a handful of Australians.
He said sometimes that made him a novelty factor because people wanted to interview the ‘international’.
At other times it works against him because people want to sponsor Americans first.
“I’m still trying to secure more sponsors for the coming season,” he said.
“Most of the money will go to local riders first.”