US Pro road champion Joey Rosskopf returns to racing this week at the Tour Poitou-Charentes in western France. The race runs from August 24-27 and will be the first outing for Rosskopf in his new national champion’s kit.
Rosskopf won the iconic jersey in Knoxville, Tennessee back in June before taking a summer break. The chance to wear it on the road is a realization of a long-held ambition.
“Growing up as a casual cycling fan, one of the things that designated a rider as good, was a national champs jersey. They were the first set of riders that I looked up to because it’s an easy concept to grasp for someone new to the sport.”
The jersey symbolizes a connection back to the States for Rosskopf as he begins his late-season European calendar.
“Wearing the jersey means a lot to me, even more so being this far from home. It gives me extra motivation going into every race. I love the jersey and there will be eyes on it.”
Rosskopf’s home life has changed significantly since his victory in Knoxville with the birth of his son Miles in late July. Tour Poitou-Charentes will be his first time away as a new dad.
View this post on Instagram
“I’ve only been at it a couple of weeks, so this is the first test of trying to be a dad and a cyclist. I’m trying to balance it but I’m sure this race will put it to the test.”
Like so many parents, the arrival of his son has meant new adjustments in Rosskopf’s personal life and training schedule.
“I think it’s just about finding a balance. A little less sleep and fewer hours on the bike. There’s a lot to take care of on rest days but those little things don’t seem important anymore. I think it takes out the time wasted.”
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove. The team has been phenomenal over the last few weeks, so I hope to carry that momentum.”
The Tour Poitou-Charentes is a happy hunting ground for the 31-year-old who finished third on GC last year.
“It doesn’t need to be me who gets third on GC. Obviously, I’d love to repeat that performance, but I can’t be certain of my form after changing diapers at 3 am.”
Whilst Rosskopf and the squad compete in France, the other half of the men’s team will race Germany’s Deutschland Tour from August 26-29.
Poitou opens a slate of European races on the Rally Cycling calendar with riders competing on the continent into October.
Upcoming European calendar
Deutschland Tour (August 26-29)
Classic Grand Besançon Doubs (September 3)
Tour du Jura Cycliste (September 4)
Tour du Doubs (September 5)
Tour of Britain (September 5-12)
Tour du Luxembourg (September 14-18)