La Flèche Wallonne

Huy, Belgium

DATE: 18 April 2012   TIME: 3:55 PM   SUBJECT: Coming to Europe

If you have this perception of what something is, and then it turns out that your perception is wrong, it’s not going to be good when you get there. You have to commit, it’s not going to happen overnight. Racing in Europe there is this sense of acceptance amongst your peers, because everyone there knows its not easy. They know you’re committed and in it for the long haul.

You can’t get to this level relying just on other people, you have to learn about yourself and know your own body, know what you feel and what that means, you have to develop all those instincts yourself.—Ryder Hejsedal

30 November 2012

This week came with some sad news that our good friends at Team Exergy won’t be around for 2013. They were the main characters of our Manual for Speed project. They were our subjects but also our friends. The suddenness of their disappearance is a testament to the fragility of cycling, as a sport. This is the very reason we chose to document a team such as Exergy. Emotionally, physically, or, as in this case, financially, everything could fall apart and shatter at any moment.

If you haven’t, please check out the project out of respect for these guys’ dedication and singular focus. It’s rare to find people so driven to push themselves so far and sacrifice so much for a singular goal. Speed. So much respect and appreciation to each member of the Team. 

Speed Week

Spartanburg, SC

DATE: 4 May 2012   TIME: 10:27 PM   SUBJECT: Spartanburg Regional Classic

We consistently rode well that week. There wasn’t a lot of attitude, essentially the guys are easy to direct. I noticed that at Training Camp, like how all the guys offered to help pack-up their bikes and kit and gear and stupid shit like that, it’s the small things, they make a difference and they’re sometimes very telling. They’re all bunch of good guys and that’s why I like directing them. And they listened to me, they rode at the front, they didn’t miss things, they raced, and they won just about everything you can win.—Ken Mills

Tour of California

Bakersfield, CA

DATE: 17 May 2012   TIME: 7:12 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 5

Being up early every day and having the pressure of needing all the bikes to work perfectly was tough. Then, after a long morning you sit in a car behind the race not knowing whats always going on. It stressful. Then the race ends and you are washing bikes, tweaking things. I work from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. I skipped a lot of breakfasts, some dinners.—Josh Geiszler

Speed Week

Anderson City, SC

DATE: 5 May 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Electric City Circuit Race

“It’s just that I don’t like, or at least I’m not used to, staying in the pack and waiting for the group sprint. I like going and looking for the race win on my own. Things are going to change, though, because Fred [Rodriguez] keeps telling me to wait until the end. I’ll need to have much more patience, and control myself.”—Carlos Alzate

Tour of Flanders

Brugge, Belgium

DATE: 3 April 2011   TIME: 8:45 AM   SUBJECT: Media Realities

We have been told that seeing the race more than once is difficult to impossible. At best, we are told, we may see the race two to three times. We do not have an arsenal of digital cameras equipped with long-to-pornographically-long lenses swinging from our necks, nor are we wearing vests and carrying helmets, thus we do not look the part.

The race “office” is basically two folding tables end-to-end behind which are a number of cardboard boxes, stacks of laminated cards, color-coded stickers in various sizes, and a gorgeous young woman wearing leopard skin tights and a slinky designer boat-neck top. She speaks English well enough for us to understand immediately and unequivocally just how ridiculous our slapdash request for passes is. For the next hour we stay rooted (fixed and pressing) to our spot on floor and adopt a necessarily oblique, circuitous and strategically disorganized manner of argument and case making. We basically stonewall and lie and smile and do everything possible to not not-get passes. And we do, more or less.

TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship

Philadelphia, PA

DATE: 5 June 2011   TIME: 10:45 AM   SUBJECT: Call-ups

It felt like a homecoming. Philly is the source of a lot of positive feelings and memories for me, it feels familiar. And Exergy’s energy was positive, I felt like I belonged. It was a long first race back after a year and half off and I cramped at the end, but doing well from Exergy’s standpoint was always a bonus so yeah, coming home and racing for Exergy felt good.” – Fast Freddie Rodriguez

Scheldeprijs

Antwerp, Belgium

DATE: 4 April 2011   TIME: 9:32 AM   SUBJECT: Meet the Press

It’s like sometimes you have to be at the right spot at the right moment, say the right words, and it becomes self-developing. I can’t really tell you. I hope that at least the foundation of it is might 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.” I think they like that. —Jens Voigt on his popularity

TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship

Philadelphia, PA

DATE: 5 June 2011   TIME: 7:42 PM   SUBJECT: Post-Race Burritos

You have to trust your teammates. That’s why it’s important to race together. When you come up you need to learn to rely on your team, that’s the difference between a Cat 1 and pro. On a pro team there is a much deeper pool of talent, you have to race for the team, the whole team. You have to trust that Andres will roll up and you need to be ready to support him when he does.“—Quinn Keogh

Team Exergy Training Camp

Ventura, CA

DATE: 15 February 2012   TIME: 1:12 PM   SUBJECT: Zac Davies' Rehab

In January of 2012, Zac came to Sponsor Camp in slings and crutches. A month later he came to Training Camp in a similar state, his Spring Training limited to physical therapy exercises and riding trainers on back decks and porches, in basements and garages, alone, his maximum (allowable) power output a dismal 100 watts and for no more than 45 minutes.

Tulsa Tough

Tulsa, OK

DATE: 10 June 2011   TIME: 10:13 PM   SUBJECT: Motels

Mostly and for most of the year, as well as for most of your average domestic professional cyclist’s career, it’s the place with blue doors and brick walls and a view of the freeway, conveniently located behind the gas station, sandwiched between a slough and a used car lot. A forgettable place with sub-optimal wi-fi and a Coke machine.

USA Pro Challenge

Boulder, CO

DATE: 25 August 2012   TIME: 3:52 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 6

The confidence and self-belief builds over time. I have it now. Say you’re a kid in high school playing basketball. Of course if you could play in the NBA that’d be great; but how many of your teammates think they’re gonna make it to the NBA? In all likelihood, none will. But that’s professional sports. But as I’ve followed this learning curve you see signs that you can make it. It turns from “probably not” to “maybe” to “probably” to “this is happening now.” —Joe Dombrowski

TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship

Philadelphia, PA

DATE: 5 June 2011   TIME: 3:26 PM   SUBJECT: Stress

Ben says he’s never really thought about it, the difficulties of performing despite the travel and stress. He knew he could deal with it if he kept doing what he always did. If he took care of the things in front of his face, the things he could see. If he paid extra attention to the small details, like wearing compression tights, taking precaution against car-seat-saddle-sores, proper hydration, eating in the middle of the day to avoid putting on unnecessary fat, and turning off all electronic and visual stimuli before 8:00pm so his eyes could rest and he could actually fall asleep. He says he tried and tries to enjoy the small victories, day by day.

Redlands Bicycle Classic

Redlands, CA

DATE: 25 March 2012   TIME: 4:52 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

Carlos Alzate tries to warm up after a long, cold and wet day in the saddle. After trying to abandon the race, Carlos was forced to complete a final lap of the day’s circuit alone in order to retain his green points jersey.

Tour of California

Sheraton Delfina, Santa Monica, CA

DATE: 19 May 2012   TIME: 7:18 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 7

It’s not just about riding hard though, there’s a mental aspect. You need a balance between not caring at all and being totally obsessed, otherwise you’ll go crazy. I probably fall a bit more towards the former, which is good and bad. It’s good for rough days like Stage 7 where we lose the jersey, despite the whole team riding themselves into the floor. It sucks to lose the jersey but it’s a bike race; there are more. There will always be more. A bit of detachment helps in that respect, especially with going out there tomorrow and swinging with the other teams some more.”—Alex Howes

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 7 August 2012   TIME: 5:52 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 1

I started in Mexico doing neutral support, that was in the early ’80s. Then I moved to the U.S. when I was 19. I started working for American teams and continued for ten years or so, working in the States and in Europe. Then, you know, I got married, had kids. After that I went away, and now I’m trying to get back into it. I thought I was becoming old, I thought I needed a change. I went and worked in offices, but I never set the world on fire. So now I’m back being a mechanic. I’m 49.—Fernando Tapia, Contract Mechanic

Tour of Utah

Ogden, UT

DATE: 7 August 2012   TIME: 5:22 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 1

I think that efficiency is most of the job. Learning how to become efficient is more important than knowing how to pump up a tire or screw in a bolt. I’d rather be on a smaller team and have control than be on a big team without it. It’s all about preparation. For example you bring lots of wheels, as many as you can, to a race already prepared. If you have a flat you grab a new wheel. There’s no reason to be changing tires when there are 10 bikes to be washed, because you can take care of that ahead of time.—Fernando Tapia, Contract Mechanic

Tour of California

Mt. Baldy, CA

DATE: 19 May 2012   TIME: 3:47 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 7

If you want to become a Professional Cyclist? Good luck, man. It’s an incredible sport and the feeling you get when you win is incredible, but you have to remember there are 200 other guys out there that want to win or want their team to win. It’s a fleeting sport. It’s not a job where everyday is going to be a happy day or satisfying. Statistically you lose all the time, and you only win once in a long while. ((Manual #10: UNDERSTAND THE ODDS)) That’s just the way it works out, and you have to mentally be able to deal with that to get up each and every day, plug it out, and try again. In a football game one team wins, one team loses. 50-50. In cycling you have 200 riders, one guy wins. 1-200. And every one of those guys really, really wants to win.—Jonathan Vaughters

Tour of Utah

Highway 36, UT

DATE: 10 August 2012   TIME: 1:32 PM   SUBJECT: Stage 4

Moto drivers are the unsung heroes of Manual for Speed. The driving skill required is easy to underestimate, especially plummeting down several thousand feet of twisty descents behind the most skilled cyclists in the world.

First...34567...10...Last