Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 6 August 2012   TIME: 2:02 PM   SUBJECT: Hotels

"Traveling during the race from town to town and hotel to hotel is really not that bad, I think it definitely adds color to your life being able to see different parts of the world. For example Ogden, I've been here a couple times before for the race but I've never seen it like we did today; it was cool to really see the town itself, and now to have some down time here. If you start looking at hotels as a chore and all that, your job gets pretty brutal. You have to look at it from the bright side, be positive.1

I was in that mindset a month and a half ago at the Tour de France and then I crashed out, and all of a sudden you have a completely different perspective where you want to be checking in and out of different hotels every day.—Tom Danielson


Tour de France

Champs Élysées

DATE: 21 July 2013   TIME: 7:56 PM   SUBJECT: Kittel Family Tees

Evan Murphy, Regarding Comportment

Philadelphia, PA - New York City, NY

DATE: 2 June 2013   TIME: 9:22 PM   SUBJECT: Comportment

Evan Murphy is in Emiliano Granado's car. They are driving home after the finish of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic.

I have to be nice to everybody because I'm at a really critical point in my "career",1—it's not just the DS who determines who rides for a team, it's the guys on the team too. That's why I'm on Foundation, Neil liked me, Dan liked me and I did well at Milan2. If the guys on Bissell don't like somebody that somebody is not going to get on the team, even if that somebody won a stage of the Tour de France. I'm not sucking up to anybody, it's not that, but I can't just be like, "Ah man I fuckin' hate that guy" or, "That guy is so sketch" or ride up to somebody and tell them, "Yo your teammate was really jackin it back there." You have to be careful.3


  1. In concert with the word "career" Evan Air Quotes vigorously. []
  2. The Red Hook Crit in Milan []

24 July 2013

El Retiro, Colombia

Ignacio Velez, former General Manager and current Business Advisor of Nairo's amateur team (formerly Colombia Es Pasion and now Team 4-72), had this to say about Nairo Quintana's recent successes in the Tour de France:

I have no words to describe our feelings. This is a huge step for Colombian cycling, but not the last. We are, together, building a new generation of escarabajos1 who have grown up with the strictest ethic standards, and who are helping with each of their pedal strokes to build a better image of Colombia, which in the end benefits a country that has suffered a lot. Nairo, thank you for your professionalism, thank you for your humbleness, thank you for being Colombian!

  1. Escarabajo is the Spanish word commonly used to refer to Colombian cyclists, climbers in particular. Though the word literally translates to "beetle," it was first used to describe the climber Ramon Hoyos when he won his first Vuelta a Colombia in 1953. His steady climbing style was described as that of a beetle by the local press, and the name stuck. Though Hoyos was the original escarabajo, the term today has come to encompass all Colombian cyclists, who are commonly climbers by virtue of their upbringing and the topography that surrounds them. []

Tour of California

California, United States

DATE: 15 May 2013   TIME: 7:15 PM   SUBJECT: Blending In

"When my family watches the Tour of California they'll know what a big opportunity it is for me to race in a Pro race, and they won't expect results. They're mostly just looking for me in the big bunch. They are accustomed to recognizing me when they stand on the side of the road in Belgium, but not yet to spotting me in the peloton. They've realized next year will be like that. It will be harder to get close to me. They won't be able to touch me and share in my happiness. I will be far away."—Jasper Stuyven1

  1. Photograph from Amstel Gold []

Tour of California

Escondido, CA

DATE: 10 May 2013   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Waiting

The Bontrager Pro Cycling Team has been staying in Host Housing in Escondido, waiting for the Tour of California to start. After a morning ride with the team, Jasper Stuyven plays some basketball and lays out by the pool.

Tour of California

California, United States

DATE: 14 May 2013   TIME: 1:07 PM   SUBJECT: Peloton Chatter

"Women & Cars. Cliché, yeah, but at the Tour of California I talked mostly with the Belgians: Gilbert, Van Keirsbulck, Vandenbergh, Meersman, and they were talking about girls and cars, so I went with it. They also asked if I was moving up in the professional ranks, but that question didn't take too long to answer. Then we were back to talking about women & cars."

JASPER STUYVEN, on Peloton Chat

The Colombian Landscape

Boyacá, Colombia

DATE: 28 January 2013   SUBJECT: Andes Mountain Range

The Andes dominate the landscape of ten Colombian1 departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Huila, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander and Tolima. Within those departments, the Andes are divided into three separate mountain ranges: Western, Central and Eastern.

Not surprisingly, the majority of Colombian cyclists who have been successful as professionals come from those departments whose landscape is most dramatically influenced by the Andes.

  1. The highest peak in the Colombian Andes is the Nevado del Huila, which stands at 17, 602ft/5,635m []


Medellín, Colombia

DATE: 21 January 2013   TIME: 9:22 AM   SUBJECT: Colombian Corporate Support

EPM1 is a utilities company that provides water, electricity, gas and internet services throughout Colombia. They have a longstanding relationship with cycling, sponsoring both teams and races. The company’s headquarters in Medellín are housed in a building popularly and affectionately known as the “Intelligent Building”, or simply “The Intelligent One”, due to its efficient and innovative design.

Nearby businesses have adopted this moniker as well, resulting in names like “The Intelligent Empanada Stand.

  1. Empresas Públicas de Medellín []

Alto de Letras

Fresno, Tolima, Colombia

DATE: 22 January 2013   TIME: 10:42 AM

“Throughout most of Colombia, you simply have to go uphill to get anywhere. Climbing is a necessity.”

Pacho Rodriguez, winner of stages at the Vuelta a España and Dauphiné Libéré

Alto de Letras is probably the longest cycling climb in the world: over the course of 83 kilometers (52 miles), it climbs 3,195 meters (10,482 feet)—not the steepest ascent there is, but given the length and overall elevation change, large difficulties are present (climate changes and differences in oxygen availability compound the sheer physical effort required by an 83km climb).

The Alzates: Tío y Sobrino

Medellín, Colombia

DATE: 23 January 2013   TIME: 1:22 PM   SUBJECT: Colombian Cycling

A poll by WIN/Gallup International Association at the end of 2012 stated that Colombia is the happiest country in the world.1 Not only are Colombians happier than the rest of the world, they actually came close to doubling the global average.2

  1. PDF (565KB), p. 22 []
  2. 75 compared to 40. []

Carlos Alzate

Bogotá, Colombia

DATE: 24 January 2013   SUBJECT: Colombian Cycling

What I really care about is winning races and winning money. I couldn't race bicycles just because I like it recreationally. This is my profession. I also do it because I like it but that can't be the only reason.1 I wouldn’t have a way to live, a way to support myself, a way to get ahead.

I know that I have the ability, I just need the opportunity to move forward.

In the next 5 years I want to get to a World Tour team. I know I have the skills; all I need is someone to help me get to the teams. Once I am on a team, I know I alone can support myself and adapt to the lifestyle there.—Carlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar

2013 National Criterium Calendar Men's Pro Standings

  1. Carlos Alzate Escobar 1101 pts
  2. Hilton Clarke 961 pts
  3. Luke Keough 585 pts
  4. Shane Kline 562 pts
  5. Karl Menzies 510 pts

Colombian Development

Bogotá, Colombia

DATE: 25 January 2013   SUBJECT: Club Esteban Chaves

Presidential Decree

Belisario Betancur, President of the Colombian Republic
Bogotá, 11 June 1984

Article 1.
The national government considers cycling a sport of special significance in Colombia, and in promoting Colombia abroad. Consequently the government, by means of the Colombian Institute of Youth and Sport, and the relative regional sports administrations, shall encourage the practice of cycling, as a recreational activity and in the organization of competitions and sporting events in all their forms, in accordance with the regulations emitted to this effect.

Article 2.
This decree shall take effect from the date of expedition. To be communicated and implemented.1

On Monday 24 June 2013, Manual for Speed will publish the first in a series of essays about Development in Colombia: from institutions, agencies, clubs, academies and teams to individual riders, friends and families.

  1. Rendell, Matt, Kings of the Mountains, London; Aurum Press Ltd, 2002 []

Tour of California

Murrieta, CA

DATE: 13 May 2013   TIME: 8:01 AM   SUBJECT: Stage 2

Written and Photographed by Emily Maye

Bob Jungels is 20 years old. He’s one of the most impressive young talents in the Pro Peloton. Really. He’s incredible on the bike, he’s sociable off it. And not a bad dancer, I’ll add. Jens Voigt is 41 years old. And he’s, well, he's mutherfuckin’ Jens Voigt.

Their birthdays are 5 days apart. 5 days and 21 years.

Music is generally of the Euro dance variety on the Radioshack Leopard Trek team bus. Even early in the morning, which struck me as odd while riding with the team at 8:01 AM, transferring to the start of Stage 2 in Murrieta during the Amgen Tour of California. The bus is equipped with 12 stacked bunk beds and a lounge area in the back, but surely the music transcends all spaces. It’s not the bus they use in Europe—which has bucket seats and plenty of room for each rider to sit—which has nowhere to sleep, and at 8 AM, the beds make more sense. The music, not as much.

Two riders take the back area, one takes the desk booth area, connects to the bus wi-fi on his iPad and pins his race number to his jersey. The others take to the bunks. Jens takes a bench up front, opens a newspaper, puts his feet stretched up against the opposing bench and assures me, “They’re not sleeping, they are just conserving energy. It’s important to save as much as possible.”

Euro dance club music plays as we head north.

Five days later we leave the San Jose Airport Garden Hotel, which is not in any way reflective of what you find on their website btw, and the entire vibe has changed. Jens won Stage 5 in an incredible late attack into Avila Beach and on the ridiculously difficult Stage 6 Individual Time Trial, while I followed him in the car, he took time to high-five fans along the road. He is wearing the Number 1. I’ve never heard the audible support for a rider that I heard passing fans on that day. It’s funny, you think the energy would be in his approaching, but in a follow car you hear what happens just after he’s passed: “That was Jens!,” “Go Jens!,” “I love you, Jens!,” “Shut up legs!” Over and over. He touched them, high-fiving anyone that stuck a hand out on the climb. Hell, he’d won the day before, he knew he wasn’t going to win that day during the TT.

Sometimes Pro Cycling should be about having fun. It might be too hard without it. Even for Jens Voigt.

As I get on the bus at the San Jose Airport Garden Hotel, two days after Voigt’s victory, metal music is playing—much to mine and everyone else’s surprise. There’s a slight change to the seating arrangement of the riders. Jens is up front, as before, and I show him the photo I took of him high-fiving spectators. He asks for the photo and I send it to him over Whatsapp.1 He tweets it. Bob Jungels sits across from me on a bench and pins his race numbers for the day. Bob and Jens at the front of the bus. 20 and 41.

At some point, the metal music has been changed. There’s a remote and someone is apparently in control. Jens doesn’t like the music change. It’s Justin Timberlake now and he complains about the whining, “I lost my girl,” cheesy tune. He goes on about it for a bit. Quite a bit. Whining doesn’t really appeal to Jens. There’s not really anyone but Bob to engage in the argument. At some point, the topic turns to dancing. Bob listens and Jens pins his race numbers.

“I don’t know how to dance, but like most things, I do it with passion. And it turns out ok. I don’t know how to make love and I have six children. I don’t really know how to ride a bike... but I do it with passion.”2

  1. Whatsapp is an extremely popular mobile messaging service in Europe. []

Basecamp International

Basking Ridge, NJ

DATE: 30 May 2013   TIME: 5:43 PM   SUBJECT: Kids in the Back of the Bus

While everyone is scrambling to get to the front of the start, and dudes are upset about not getting call-ups, etc., these two guys are 10 meters behind the last guy. I ask them why and Bobby Traksel from Champion System Pro Cycling Team says, "I want to do some little extra training today."1

  1. FTR #26: JUST RELAX []

US PRO National Road Championships

Chattanooga, TN

We had the pleasure of documenting the moment Freddie Rodriguez came back to professional racing with Team Exergy two years ago. Today, he won his fourth US PRO National Road Championship. We probably had something to do with it. Congratulations.

Photo from the 2012 US PROs in Greenville, SC.

Giro d'Italia

Isola d'Ischia

DATE: 5 May 2013   TIME: 10:14 AM   SUBJECT: Stage 02

In Stage 01 Laurent Pichon (second from left) crashed on a seemingly innocuous stretch of road. After taking some time to get back on his bike, and receiving medical assistance from the Course Doctor regarding a bloody mouth and possible missing tooth, he finished the stage. Later that night he was taken to a hospital where he received stitches. FDJ DS Martial Gayant described the condition of his mouth as "very poor".1 Sunday morning he showed up to the start in kit and raced. He is still in the race.

  1. Props: VeloNation. []

Giro d'Italia


DATE: 4 May 2013   TIME: 12:50 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 01

The crowds in Naples around Stage One (and the team presentation the day prior) included vast numbers of Italians in limited dress—including all the ages, types and demographics you might imagine.

Manual for Speed 2013

Plans and Developments

In 2013, Manual For Speed is focused on Alex Howes and Team Garmin-Sharp, Development (Colombian, American and Belgian), the Giro d’Italia, Domestic Racing, and Cyclocross.

PRO TOUR: For a more intimate and in-depth look at the Pro Tour scene we are working closely with Team Garmin-Sharp’s Alex Howes: following him to Belgium for the Ardennes Classics, to California for the TOC, visiting him training in Colorado, et cetera. We will also chronicle Team Garmin-Sharp’s Giro d'Italia Campaign.

DEVELOPMENT: This spring MFS travelled to Colombia (Bogotá, Medellín, Urrao, Manizales and Tuluá) to interview and photograph Colombia’s extensive (and effective) Junior Development program – from Clubs & Academies to U23 to Pro World Tour. We are also following Bear Development, a Northern California grass roots based development program, as well as several individual stand-out juniors and U-23 kids from America and Belgium.

THE GIRO D’ITALIA: MFS is chronicling every stage on-the-ground and day-for-day, during the entire 2013 Giro d’Italia. In addition to documenting the Enterprise that is a Grand Tour, we have special access to Team Garmin-Sharp and Team Colombia, Colombia’s national team.

DOMESTIC: In addition to documenting several key Domestic races like Tour of Califronia and Tour of Colorado, MFS will check-in with several ex-Team Exergy athletes still racing at the professional level – Carlos Alzate, Ben Chaddock, Morgan Schmitt Matt Cooke, Connor and Kevin Mullervy.

CYCLOCROSS: MFS is documenting Cyclocross from the perspective of Team Cannondale p/b Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, Jamey Driscoll and Kaitie Antonneau.