I wouldn’t say there are a lot of “Nate Archetypes” floating around. Everyone’s story is different, and everyone races for different reasons. There definitely needs to be a special mental and circumstantial cocktail that gets mixed up for a 20-something to embark on the Pro Cyclist career path, it takes a particular brand of masochist to get seriously involved in the sport. ((Manual #5: BE A BIT CRAZY)) I’ve met a lot of people who want to be the Pro/Elite Cyclist type, but can’t get to that level for some particular reason, most often motivational. If you want to race at that level, you’ve gotta be willing to grind yourself into the dirt and suffer more than you ever have before, both mentally and physically. Not only that, but there’s no guarantee of success even after doing everything right when it comes to training and racing. It might sound self-aggrandizing, but ask anyone at that level, and they’ll respond in a similar manner.—Nate King

Photo: Carlos Alzate after another podium finish at Speed Week A Manual for Speed