J-Pow’s Journal: Jeremy Powers, talent scout.
Editor’s note: Jeremy Powers is a pro road racer with the Jelly Belly team, and races cyclocross for the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team. Powers provided VeloNews.com readers with an inside look at the cyclocross scene last fall and winter, and now, after a few months’ vacation, he’s back to provide a look at his season on the road.
Last time you heard from me I was finishing up my cyclocross season in Belgium, trying to conquer the world championships.
I went incognito after the world champs and took a break from the bikin’ scene. No blog posts on JPows.com, no Twitter updates, nothing. I came home from Belgium this year and made sure it was all different from past seasons. Anytime friends or family ask me about my time at home, I always say “every single day I’m home I’m on vacation because I’m never here and I always wish I was.” So this year, I didn’t want to go on vacation to another foreign place and continue stressin’ out with flights and travel, just to wish I was home laying around, sleeping and doing the things that I really wanted to be doing anyways!
Mannnn, let me say, it turned out to be the best break I ever had! I just hung out at home with friends and caught up on every small thing I had back-burnered for months. It was awesome.
Fast forward to May and things are back in effect 110 percent! It would be hard to tell you everything that’s gone down.
But one of the coolest things I’m most excited about is an idea I followed up on during my break. The story goes, I was doing an opening-up work out for an upcoming ‘cross weekend last November: five minute efforts at 400 watts and I noticed this young dude with a cut off t-shirt, Vans sneakers, Camelbak and a 1980’s Motobecane with down tube shifters. I rode by and said ‘yoooo’, focusing on the task I had in front of me. After five minutes I glanced back and I hadn’t lost my man with the Motobecane. “WOAAAH. REALLY? Could that have just happened?” I thought to myself,”I need to get this guy’s info because he’s talented — he just kept up with me on a 30-pound Motobecane and Vans sneakers.
So months after our first interaction (I never lost interest in the project, but I was already over my head with commitments) … So when I finally got home I looked around for his number and somewhere in the process I lost his number and I thought, “crap how am I gonna find this guy??” I called local shops asking if they knew this freak on a Motobecane that raced mountain bikes. No one did. A couple days went by and I had an idea. I decided to look up previous results he told me about and Bingo! Anthony Clark. I nailed it, last name and city was right there for me. I looked up his parent’s info in the white pages and made the call. Obviously his parents were a little skeptical of who I was and why I was calling, but at the end of the day, they did relay my info to him and we re-connected.
That weekend Anthony, who is 22, came over to the house, I hooked him up with a couple sets of legit riding clothes. He showed up for a ride in shorts and a t-shirt, when it was barely 40 degrees. From there it was group rides, a training program, power testing, etc. Just as I had thought, he smashed the group ride. Then in testing, we found out Anthony is a freak, literally. He’s got more energy then I do on my best days and untrained he puts out well over 5 watts per kilo and he’s won every race he’s entered this year. Bam! So imagine this tiny guy who can puts out 350 watts at about 130 pounds. Untrained. On a 30-pound Motobecane and Vans sneakers.
So what next? The goal now is to continue to get Anthony to be the best he can be and take this thing to the top! We all know cycling is not an overnight sport, but with so much raw talent and the creation of opportunities, my hope is we’ll be seeing a lot more of Anthony in the coming months and years.
Until next time, keep your eyes open for raw talent on Motobecanes …