Hailing from Texas, Kyle Swanson is a new addition to the Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team for the 2019 season. A talented sprinter, we sat down with him after team camp with a few questions:
Welcome to the team! What was your experience at team camp, and impression of the team and the season ahead?
Thank you, Elevate-KHS was my top target last year and I couldn’t be any happier to be on the team ! I was actually pretty nervous heading into team camp. I didn’t know really know what to expect and didn’t know anybody on the team. That went away very quickly! Everyone was really cool and welcomed me onto the team with open arms.
The 1st few days I struggled a bit, but I felt like I continually got better physically and mentally as each day passed and was able to finish the camp on a strong note.
I think this season will be really special. I’ve been lucky to be on the teams I’ve been on so far but nothing like this one! It almost feels like I was welcomed into the family.
Sunday of team camp you got the opportunity for your first race with the team at the Roger Millikan Criterium. You landed in the winning move with Ulises Castillo, who ultimately won the race. How did the race pan out?
The plan was to attack until the casket drops. The race started and we did just that. Maybe even too much! About 40 minutes into the race Ulises was up the road in the break. I saw teammate Brian McCulloch and he said we didn’t have the numbers we wanted and told me to go. So I launched an attack and was able to make it up to the group without dragging the peloton with me. From then on it was full gas. I thought the sprint was better fit for Ulises so I was constantly telling him take it easy and let me do the hard work. In the final laps the peloton was closing in on us. With 1 lap to go we still had enough of a gap so I went to the front and did an all-out pull to the bottom of the hill with 1 corner to go. Somebody attacked from there and Ulises finished it off!
That’s a solid start to the season for you – what were your expectations going into the race?
I set myself some high expectations. My Grandpa and Aunt were there and it was there 1st time to watch me race. I felt like had something to prove not only to myself but my teammates as well. So I was gonna make sure I had something to do with the team victory!
With the season just about to fully get underway, what are you looking forward to the most?
I’m looking most forward to having such awesome support at the races. I got to experience what it was like at the Roger Millikan Criterium and it was great. I remember being at Nationals last year and didn’t have anyone but a friend that drove up with me in the feed zone. I missed my feed and cramped out of the race I had been targeting all year. So I’m super excited to have the awesome support that we have!
Any words of advice for a rider looking to make the jump up in the ranks?
My word of advice would be to listen and absorb what the experienced riders tell you. I was able to learn a lot from the people around me and it made me the racer I am today!
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