Where are you originally from?
I still seem to call New Hampshire home even though I don't get there more than a few sporatic weeks per year. I was born and raised there and the folks are still in town.
How did you get into bike racing – Who were you inspired by?
I can thank my older brother, Robbie, for my entry into cycling. He's three years my senior and went away to a prep school that had a cycling team. I watched him race successfully for a few years but I didn't think very highly of the whole spandex gig. I then cruised up from Middlebury where I went to school to watch him win a collegiate national championship hosted by the University of Vermont. I guess it sort of donned on me that I might share some endurance specific genetics and jumped right into it from there. Honestly, Robbie is one my biggest inspirations on the bike. He tooled on me pretty handily for a few years before I could keep pace.
Off the bike, my parents are an enormous inspiration to me. Dad suffered a stroke while I was in college and it rocked our world. Instant retirement and a life-changer like I never could have imagined. His strength is perseverance - it is inspiring. My Mom is absolutely solid like a rock. So yeah, I guess that keeps the inspiration in-house among the King family.
What is your best memory of Exeter Cycles?
Exeter Cycles has been an institution throughout my life. I remember getting the local neighborhood rigid MTB cruisers - ideal for taking off sweet jumps and bombing into the woods - through my childhood. I then went on a few year sabbatical from two wheels, but then one of the best memories is from the Exeter Cycles Wednesday night road ride. It's famous throughout the state for the brutal pace and I was thoroughly dropped on my first Wednesday Worlds. Geeze, I still remember exactly where I was when I got popped. I don't get dropped from that ride anymore, if I'm ever home mid-season, I make it a point to ride with the guys Wednesday nights.
Toughest training/climb in NH?
I've been told Hurricane Mountain Road is fierce. Although I've never seen it. I'm partial to a lot of the punchy, dirt roads in the north/central part of the state. And you can't go wrong riding the Kan'k (Kangamangus Highway).
So, how's your Italian (language) coming along?
I seem to be replying with, "Migliore" a lot lately - translation: better. It's far from perfect, but I can nearly always understand what is being said and I can always get my point across - even if I sound like a six year old.
Can you compare your feelings on racing in Europe vs. the US?
No, not really. You need to live it yourself. In lieu of that, though, I'll say that European racing is just an absolutely wacky extreme of the sport. It's the fastest racing, the longest racing, and hardest racing on the planet.
There is no shortage of talent in America, there are some of the world's best races in the likes of California, Utah, and presumably Colorado, so I'm not taking anything away from the States. It's just a whole different ballgame in the land of Euros.
How has it been working with Cannondale?
Cannondale is a top-notch company across the board. Having been on Cannondale bikes from the beginning of my riding career, I know just how awesome the bike are. Then, having a handful of contacts and truthfully good friends at Cannondale makes the experience of riding for this team all that more enjoyable.
Who eats the most on the team?
Mehh, no one stands out, so there's no fun, witty answer to that one.
We all eat a pretty inordinate amounts of pasta.
What was your best line-crossing victory celebration move?
I sometimes do this sort of diagonal, back to front, throw an arm in the air. It's almost like my hand is in my rear pocket (although it's not actually in the pocket) then I toss that arm in the air. It's very asymmetrical and excellent. It's a good thing that I'm the consummate domestique or else I would have to use it a lot more often. Phew!