Huy, Belgium

DATE: 17 April 2013   TIME: 2:23 PM   SUBJECT: Mur de Huy

Fans from Belgium (primarily) and around Europe line the steep streets of Mur de Huy for eight-plus hours not just to see the race for a few minutes, but to socialize over any number of Jupilers.

La Flèche Wallonne

Binche, Belgium

DATE: 17 April 2013   TIME: 9:37 AM   SUBJECT: Sign-in

Team Garmin-Sharp domestique Alex Howes files towards the introductions stage.

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 6 August 2012   TIME: 6:59 PM   SUBJECT: Pre-Race

After I won the Baby Giro, my phone really started going nuts. At that point I had maybe 15 different offers, mostly from Pro Tour and some Pro Continental teams. At first I was like, “Oh I dunno how I feel about agents,” but I was spending four hours a day on the phone. I can’t do that. So I got an agent.—Joe Dombrowski

Tour of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

DATE: 10 August 2012   TIME: 3:45 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

After the Tour of Utah in 2010, Axel offered me a spot on Bontrager-Livestrong in 2011. Of course I said yeah. I was planning on taking that next spring semester off anyway and this was a good opportunity. I hadn’t been doing this very long, so why not take some time off and give it a shot? I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I had no idea how hard it was going to be. At the time it all just seemed cool. I had no idea if I would be on the team the following year, I just wanted to see what would happen.—Joe Dombrowski

Tour of Utah

Highway 73, UT

DATE: 10 August 2013   TIME: 1:21 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

Team Garmin-Sharp lines up with the rest of the stretched peloton outside Salt Lake City during Stage 4 of the Tour of Utah.

Tour of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

DATE: 10 August 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

At first I was thinking that I don’t want to talk about it a lot with the guys. The whole point of the team is for all of us to move on, but the reality is that not all of us will move up. Not everyone can be a Pro Tour rider.

Tour of Utah

Tooele, UT

DATE: 8 August 2012   TIME: 2:27 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 2 TTT

At somepoint in the middle of [Joe Dombrowski’s] sophomore year, because his friends raced and because he thought it looked like fun, he showed up to a mountain bike race on a 100-degree day. In a t-shirt and tennis shoes—no water bottle. He raced Junior Beginner, he finished seventh out of ten.

Six years later he won the Baby Giro and hired an agent.

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 6 August 2012   TIME: 6:43 PM   SUBJECT: Pre-Race

Trying to weigh contracts and offers is really tough, especially for Neo-Pros. There are so many U23 riders that are really talented, but when they go up to the Pro Tour teams they get lost in the shuffle. People are always saying, whatever happened to that guy? I don’t want to be THAT guy.—Joe Dombrowski

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 7 August 2012   TIME: 3:14 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 1

Sam Johnson, cooked both figuratively and literally, after 130 brutal miles in 100-degree Utah heat.

Boise Twilight Criterium

Boise, ID

DATE: 14 July 2012   TIME: 8:00 PM   SUBJECT: Waiting

Fifteen minutes to the gun, focused and ready to go all-out for an hour, Quinn Keogh still finds time for the camera.

Boise Twilight Criterium

Boise, ID

DATE: 14 July 2012   TIME: 10:17 PM   SUBJECT: Crashing

When the race started it was dry and warm, but after 20 minutes the rain started and it was like racing on an ice rink. Everybody out there was crashing through the turns. I actually went down early on the last lap and recovered, only to get involved in a nasty one on the last lap.—Logan Loader (pictured: Kevin Mullervy)


Huy, Belgium

DATE: 12 April 2012   TIME: 9:52 AM   SUBJECT: Work

I hope that at least the foundation of it is my Hard Work. Hard Work, many years in the sport, being solid, being reliable. And I mean since you guys um, do a cycling web page, you know that our sport has taken a few turns—to the better and to the worse. And I think what people like is that I was always at my spot. I never turned left or right or up and down I was always at my spot, hopefully people see some certain stability. “Whatever happens, Jens will be still Jens.”—Jens Voigt

Tour of Flanders

Brugge, Belgium

DATE: 1 April 2011   TIME: 8:15 AM   SUBJECT: Logistics

In a modest hotel up the road from Ghent is Garmin. The Ronde De Vlaanderen is in two days. Team cars line the edge of a driveway running past the side of the hotel. In the back, two Garmin buses are parked side-by-side, tip-to-tail. Between them, under an awning, is an impromptu alley and place to converge and congregate.

Tour of Flanders

Brugge, Belgium

DATE: 1 April 2011   TIME: 11:34 AM   SUBJECT: Slow for Fast

Two days before the start of this week, a week most racers will likely experience maybe six or seven times at best, they go slow. They noodle. They pedal as if their cranks were made of glass. They take a walk on the bike. They ride slow enough for a local club rider to catch them up and draft-bask in the back for a few miles. Note: The recovery pace for a 6-watt-per-kilogramer is 60% or 3.6 watts per kilogram, which happens to be the threshold pace for a good cat 3. Because to go fast in two days, and again in five days, and again nine days, they first need to go slow. It’s a layering thing.

Tulsa Tough

Tulsa, OK

DATE: 10 June 2011   TIME: 1:03 PM   SUBJECT: Heat Management

Heat is always good, it makes it easier to ride hard, easier to get to the point of feeling good. You just have to use cooling strategies. You take a pantyhose and put ice in it, and you put it, the Ice Sock, down your back. Ideally you’re able to get more during the race. I started with a bunch of ice and that’s probably why I felt so good for the first 30 minutes.—Quinn Keogh

Team Exergy Training Camp

Ventura, CA

DATE: 16 February 2012   TIME: 6:53 PM   SUBJECT: Recovery

No one gets to be a pro bike racer without hard, hard training, but for many people who do make the grade, training is easy. The daily routine of eat, train, sleep provides comfort and order. However, when it comes time to rest and allow the hard work to metastasize, they cannot do it. Rest and recovery is equally important to training, and the obsessive behavior that drives many athletes will not allow the down time.—Tad Hamilton

Speed Week

Walterboro, SC

DATE: 4 May 2011   TIME: 8:22 PM   SUBJECT: Walterboro Downtown Criterium

At night. If it’s raining or even just a little wet it looks icy, totally glazed. You half the time don’t know who you are riding with. It’s dark, it’s hard to see, you have no idea whether it’s someone you trust or respect. Basically you are cornering shoulder-to-shoulder and blocking and trying to stay on Carlos’s wheel, blind. You tense up, try to feel your way through it but all you feel is your bike for sure and the ground maybe. You are running on sensation. You expect anything and everything. You sit on your bike that way and with that in mind. Your position, all about mitigating the inevitable, is uncompromised. You react. You avoid or deflect and if it’s really bad, absorb.—Based on discussions with Ben Chaddock

Team Exergy Sponsor Camp

Boise, ID

DATE: 31 January 2012   TIME: 9:52 AM   SUBJECT: Ben Chaddock's Stretching Routine

My profession (Professional Road Racing) requires that I ride my bike nearly every day of the year except for three weeks in October which I call my “Off Season.” Because my training/racing schedule leaves no time to rest-up or complete a physiotherapy routine if, for example, I pull a muscle, long-standing muscular and range-of-motion imbalances must be dealt with proactively. There is a big assumption that once you ‘turn pro’ daily massage is the norm. However this is often not the case, which means most of us have to take daily recovery into our own hands.—Ben Chaddock

Tour of California

Los Angeles, CA

DATE: 20 May 2012   TIME: 12:25 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 8

You don’t really talk much in a break. You can sense the way guys are riding. Rory [Sutherland] made the first move on that tough hill which caught me by surprise. Everybody was still there though and guys just kept making attacks despite the long downhill right there, which makes it a bit fruitless to try to get away. All the while the peloton is charging up on our heels, and once attacks start going out you lose any cohesion. A 30 second gap disappears quickly when people stop working and attacks are slowing everything down. I felt good in the break, I was being patient, hoping to make it to that last lap. If we had, I would’ve just lit it up. Nothing to lose in that situation. I was marking Rory since I thought he was the strongest guy in the break, and he was certainly the craftiest and most tactical guy. All of a sudden he’s off the break, which means I’m off the break, and Rabobank was right on our heels. You have to make a gamble on who you cover, that time I read it wrong. It was game over, but it was fun.—Morgan Schmitt