Racing on this team is different than any other team I’ve been on. On other teams, I was told, “Andrei, you do this, and then after that, you’re done.” On this team, I’m allowed to think—to be creative. With this team, at the beginning of the race, we don’t have orders. We have a preliminary plan, but at the end of the day, it’s still up to us. As cyclists, we appreciate that freedom.

Thomas, George, and Rich have always told us that they chose us specifically to play an important role on the team. Thomas has a knack for putting the right people together—he can see the bigger picture with all of us, and it works. We all learn each other and really understand each other. This is important because we really only see each other about 10 times a year, so when we do come together, we have to know quickly how to work with each other.

My experience on this team has really made me interested in how sports are organized, so when I’m not racing, I’m working on my Master’s in Sports Administration and Technology. I’m learning about sports business, sports law, advertising and sponsorships … really how everything comes together when running a team. I’m always looking to learn more, to discover something different.

Eventually, I want a family and kids. That doesn’t mean I have to give up racing. George (Hincapie) is a great example of who I want to be. He showed me that everything is possible; I just have to be committed.