Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. What a year we had with our FinKraft team.
After numerous wins in the early season, we managed to get the Pan American jersey with David Thompson, and then at the US Cyclocross Nationals, AJ August took the Stars and Stripes.
We are now heading into the Kerstperiode (Christmas race block). David and Dillon already raced Mol last Friday (December 23). Dillon raced in Gavere December 26 and AJ and David will join him at Zolder. Finley, Haylee, and Ben are with Euro Cross Academy this block and start racing in Diegem on December 28. Loenhout, Baal, Herentals, Koksijde, Gullegem and Zonhoven are all to follow.
Six of our juniors are in Belgium. Jack and Alyssa, after solid podium finishes at the nationals, are ready to move up into the UCI 17-18 category and start their European experience next season.
We have achieved many goals this season, on and off the bike. First, we have created the most powerful team dynamics with riders, partners, staff, parents, ECA programs, and a European race block as well as a US race block. We have basically been able to follow our plan and our vision. Looking back, what an incredible experience and achievement by everyone who is part of this team and journey. This of course comes with a lot of work, support, and determination.
The riders have all performed exceptionally well and have consistently been improving and learning as athletes and human beings. We have a balanced race program for everyone. We are managing the race stress, travel, pressures, logistics, plans, equipment requirements, and infrastructure like a professional team in many ways. The results are not the only thing that shows. Finkraft is one of the best junior teams in the US right now, maybe the best, and also getting noticed in Europe, which is a big part of our long-term plans for our riders, creating a pathway and more opportunities.
We are now starting a very busy second part to the season with the Christmas block, then two more World Cups, and finally the World Championships in Hoogerheide on February 4-5. We have three riders already automatically qualified for the worlds, which is a tremendous achievement alone. Obviously this part of the season we are moving into is super hard, but we are prepared and we are in a good place with everything.
Moving forward into the next year and beyond we have proved that this is a highly successful team and everyone is 100% committed. We are talking to more sponsors and donors continuously. We have accomplished a lot of infrastructure goals this year so our goal is to improve on more financial support, have a team bike brand next year, and keep building our team brand.
Thank you for reading. I will give everyone an update again as we proceed with racing in Belgium these next two weeks.