Athlete Diary: Daniel Eaton

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Athlete Diary: Daniel Eaton

Blog by Daniel Eaton of  Klean Team USA’s Sponsored Pro Cycling Team, AXEON CYCLING TEAM

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is an annual bicycle stage race that first took place in Colorado in 2011. It has quickly become one of America’s most important bike races, among the likes of the Tour of California and Tour of Utah. Axeon Cycling Team is a professional cycling team owned and directed by Axel Merckx and sponsored by Klean Athlete. Their mission is to develop young, up-and-coming riders for the world tour and professional ranks. This season, they were accepted into the three top American races and have made quite a name for themselves.

On the road, recovery from each day’s training and racing effort is essential. Daniel Eaton of Klean Team USA’s Sponsored Pro Cycling Team, AXEON CYCLING TEAM explains how and why:

“Racing 14 of 21 days at altitudes pushing 12,000 feet stresses every fiber of your body both mentally and physically. It’s not just the racing either. It’s the transfers, the crowds, different beds each night, and if you’re lucky, podium ceremonies. Recovery has to be a constant. It’s the first thing you think of when you wake and the last thing before bed. I believe it’s one of the main factors that gave us AXEON boys such success at Utah and Colorado. We have the best recovery nutrition with Klean Athlete, best staff for massages and logistics and compression products for transfers. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “ Well most teams have those things as well.” Yes, but it’s how we utilize them and how we are constantly looking for the edge over the competition that sets us apart. Need proof? Stage win, multiple top tens, lead in team GC, Best Young Rider jersey, days in the points jersey, missed the break once in 14 days, Most Aggressive Rider jersey and KOM jersey. What more proof do you need that as a group we have our recovery dialed? We know that when it comes to stage racing recovery, the stuff that happens behind the scenes is the name of the game.”

deshkaPhoto © Davey Wilson

Daniel Eaton, 2015 U-23 National Time Trial champion, is en route at the USA Pro Challenge and shared the following stage 1 and 2 diary entries with us. Stay tuned for more updates as they make their way through Colorado this week!

USA Pro Cycling Challenge is one of my favorite races on the calendar. The fans are incredible, the scenery is unreal and just the overall atmosphere is top notch. Day one was 156km of flat out no bs racing! It took 35 minutes for the break to roll and at one point during that time period the peloton was in four groups. With 35km to go we hit the last KOM (King of the Mountain) climb and the field shattered. I just couldn’t push the gear at that altitude and was dropped. The group I was in fought hard to get back but in the end we where 4 minutes down from the leader. The sprinting legend from Axeon Cycling Team that is Logan Owen was 6th and slotted into the best young rider jersey. All I can remember about the finish was rolling though, seeing Jim, our soigneur, and grabbing my Klean Athlete® Recovery and thinking, “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted!”

After cleaning out the cobwebs on day 1 it was onto day 2. With 185km and 9,000+ feet of climbing, not to mention periods of over 10,000 foot elevation, it was going to be a big day to say the least. The day started out up Rabbit Ears pass and had the potential to be seriously hard. Luckily the break went within the first kilometer and it was an easy ride up. I made sure to drink and eat as much as I could during that time, with the stage being as long and hard as it was. With 35km to go I could feel myself getting a little glycogen depleted and slammed a caffeine gel. Coming into the finishing climb it was more or less a sprint. Everyone was fighting for position and knew it was crucial to not have to bridge gaps on the climb at such high altitude. Our GC (General Classification) favorite, Tao, was 15th and now sits 14th on GC. With Greg up the road all day as well, it ended up being another successful day for the team. It’s about bedtime as I’m writing this so I’m going to drink some Klean Recovery™ and prep myself for another day of high altitude racing here in Colorado!

Axeon Cycling Team in Agoura Hills, California. Photo: Davey Wilson.Photo © Davey Wilson

Klean Recovery is the official recovery drink of Axeon Cycling Team. To learn more about its 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, hydrolyzed marine protein and delicious milk chocolate flavor, click here.

You can follow Axeon Cycling Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  for their latest updates.


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