Most people get to celebrate their birthday with friends, family and cake. John Murphy however isn’t just like most people when it comes to birthdays. The Athens, Georgia resident is a member of the BMC squad and is attending a pre-season training camp in Spain which just happened to coincide with his birthday. However the team didn’t forget and surprised him with a cake. Not only were Murphy’s teammates attending his birthday celebration but the greatest cyclist to ever throw a leg over a bike, Eddy Merckx stopped by to wish him a happy 26th birthday. All I ever had was a clown…
Thankfully Murphy took the time between bites of cake to answer some questions for Carolina Cycling News about the upcoming season.
Murphy’s 2011 season will start early with Australia’s Tour of Down Under followed by races in the Middle East, notably Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman. “I want to start the season strong,” said Murphy. “Obviously I want to improve on 2010 that was slightly marred with some illness and injury. I’m working hard to be ready and will make a showing at Down Under I hope.”
The injury (a dislocated shoulder in August) is what kept Murphy watching the race action on the side of Paris Mountain during this year’s US Pro. “I could have rushed the recovery and maybe started the race, but if I crashed on it again the longterm usage of my shoulder would have been compromised. The team and I decided it was best to call it a season and think about 2011.”
Not all of the BMC’s riders are in attendance at the Spanish camp; however, according to Murphy the vibe is positive about the upcoming season.
“We have a mixed breed of new riders with no more than two riders coming from the same team. The riders are really fun to hang out with from riding to dinner to air hockey! Nobody can touch me at air hockey though!”
Previously Murphy had been sharing a flat with Garmin-Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar but he now has his own in the Belgian city of Gent which is not coincidentally far from the Classics which are on his radar for 2011.
With a year of European style racing under his belt Murphy has discovered a few things about himself.
“I was well prepared for 2010, but I think I was lacking in distance,” explains Murphy. “Looking back on my training, I did a lot of shorter, more intense efforts to be prepared for the harder races. The problem was after 200km, I was cooked. So I’ve worked hard the six weeks already to expand my aerobic capacity and will have more time to hone the intensity. It’s gonna be a much better year coming up. I have done most of the spring classics once now and I’m taking everything I learned to heart. I’m ready for another throw at them. I hope to turn some heads this year.”
Check out John Murphy’s coffee, the JP Murph Blend here.