Irish cyclist Martyn Irvine believes he has got his just rewards after signing for the US-based Pro Continental team UnitedHealthCare.
The news of Irvine’s contract came just days after he won two silver medals at the UCI World Cup in Glasgow and will be another huge boost for the cyclist who finished a disappointing 13th in the Omnium event in the London Olympics.
"It’s been a long few years of chipping away and it finally all flooded in, in one weekend," the Newtownards man said on RTÉ’s Sport At 7.
"It’s another spark. It’s very monotonous – cycling itself. You need certain goals to keep your chin up and to keep chasing something so it’s just a new lease of life, it’s a really nice feeling to have bigger goals.
"I’m overwhelmed with the team set-up, it’s a privalage just to get the opportunity and I have to just be as serious as ever this year and commit to doing whatever I’m asked."
Irvine revealed the extent of his disappointment at his performance at the London Games but that his medals at the UCI World Cup and the vote of confidence UnitedHealthCare have given him, have helped lay those ghosts to rest.
"To be honest this year after the Olympics I was on a bit of a downer, that’s the way I felt. I was just going through the same motions and not getting anywhere.
"So with the help of Grace, my fiancé, she kept giving me a kick in the backside and it keeps you getting up every morning, doing the same thing and finally it clicked so it’s a nice feeling. It’s justified a lot of hard work.
"I had my dream of the Olympics launching me and I then had one of the my worst days on the bike. It just shows you that it’s not all said and done on the big goals,” he added.
When asked if he ever considered just walking away from cycling Irvine was extremely candid and admitted: "Honestly probably a couple of times a year I’d get like that in my head and it would take over me, when you’re tired and hurting. You talk yourself out of it and do the best you can.
"It’s a bug, cycling, and once you’re bitten you’re made for it. After a few miserable days, you refocus again and for me anyway, you refocus and get stuck in again. The results this weekend proved I can do it and I’m not out of my depth so I’m happy now."
Irvine revealed that he is focused solely on establishing himself within his new team and won’t be going into his new dressing room with any delusions of grandeur.
"It’s a hard world and I’m in no way team leader and I won’t be thinking like that so I’m going to rock in and do what I’m told.
"As long as the team’s happy and I do what they want and keep them happy then hopefully next year I’ll do more and then maybe get a bit of free reign and see what I can do."
Irvine will have a least one familiar face greeting him when he joins up with his new team as fellow Irish cyclist Philip Duignan already has a year with UnitedHealthCare under his belt.
"I haven’t spoken to him but in fairness to him he sent me a message when it was on the grapevine and the news went out in the cycling bubble first. I know Phillip on and off these past few years so it will be good to race with him, train with him and see how he works because he’s world class."