August 23, 2013: Stage 05 – Vail ITT

START: VAIL – 1:05am
DISTANCE: 10 mi / 16.1 km
FINISH: VAIL TRAIL
Estimate Finish Time: 3:50pm
Start: Meadow Drive. At Willow Bridge
Finish: Vail Pass Trail

Current Location: Room 119 of the Comfort Inn in Avon, Colorado. Side Note: Klaus "Booya" Bellon joined us last night in our 2-bedroom suite, he slept on the floor on a Therm-a-Rest inflatable camping mattress.

Weather: Two atmospheric conditions are needed for typical mountain thunderstorms.

•An air mass that will allow deep convection, air rising buoyantly for several kilometers. Such condition is called “unstable”, and it basically depends on having an atmospheric environment that is warm enough at the bottom compared to cooler temperatures aloft.
•Sufficient moisture to produce a cloud that is on the order of 4 km (13,000 ft) in depth or more, rising from a base at or below roughly 6 km (~20,000 ft) altitude.

Condensation also contributes to the buoyancy of the rising air. To get things started, the air needs to be warmed at the bottom. That occurs daily as the sun heats the mountains, which then stand as elevated, warm islands in a sea of cooler air, making them the source of the highest-rising air currents. Other processes can also impel or encourage upward motion, such as airflow against the slopes deflecting upward, influx of cooler air aloft (which makes rising columns more buoyant), and dynamically driven convergence of low-level air and/or divergence of air aloft. But the main impetus for a typical summer thunderstorm is the heating of the mountains by the sun. Warming of the slopes and ridges by the sun can be assumed for any summer day, the initial impetus is there, unless reduced by cloud cover.

Favorite Thing Overheard On A Race Official’s Radio: “Some guy in a bear costume is hitting team cars as they go by, he needs to be stopped, go get him!”

Objectives: Sleep-in, maintain as few objectives as possible, go to the Bicycle Tournament Festival, check out some dudes in tight clothes and pointy helmets, holler at Candice and Courtney, get with Lachlan, receive Hate:1

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Dear Mary Rumiano,

Course Marshals like yourself are tasked with preventing the crowd, including photographers, from interfering with the race/racers, which is a super good and necessary thing. On behalf of Manual for Speed and the USA Pro Challenge and the institution that is Professional Road Racing, thank you for volunteering, thank you for being an active and engaged citizen, we sincerely appreciate you. Mary, like seriously, we’re not fucking-around, we really do appreciate you and your willingness to contribute and participate. Here’s what’s clear to me: sometimes our relationship is, by definition—Photographer v. Course Marshal—combative, what you need to do and what I need to do are sometimes (not always!) mutually exclusive. Regardless of my POV and your POV, that’s what’s up. And but two things:

•Dude, 'douches'? Wait what? Like, that’s how your going to comport yourself? You’re a representative of the USA Pro Challenge and you’re publicly talking shit using an embarrassingly antiquated and therefore impotent and/or laughable slur? Come on gurl.
•Whistle + Orange Reflective Vest + Course Marshal Badge + Miniature Baton-Flag = Stanford Prison Experiment.

Media Guide Glossary Term Of The Day: "TIME TRIAL." An individual, TRON-like race against the clock, often called the “Race Of Truth.”


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7:00 AM: Klaus Bellon wakes up and walks approximately 200 yards through the parking lot and some grass to the Walgreens behind the Comfort Inn, purchases a package of Nice! Hikers Mix trail-mix (raisins, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews, pepitas and almonds), a bottle of Odwalla Super Food Premium Fruit Smoothy Blend (not from concentrate) and a small bag of kettle-style potato chips, and eats it all for breakfast.

11:47 AM: On our way to the START in Vail, on a quiet feeder road just outside Vail Village, we passed Freddie Rodriguez (who was on the phone with his wife), Alex Hagman and Nic Hamilton of Team JELLY BELLY p/b KENDA, also on their way to the start. Window down and driving along side the three of them (17.5mph), we asked them about breakfast and warming-up. “We had some oatmeal, eggs and bacon. If you ride with a lot of layers, you don’t need to ride as long to warm-up.

12:17 PM: The lady in front of us inside the Avon Starbucks next to the Burger King by the round-about ordered: “A venti, sugarfree, vanilla, one-pump, classic soy, double-blended, extra-matcha, green tea, Frappachino, no whip.” Side note: For accuracy and because immediately following the order we were stunned into silence, we asked the barista to please slowly repeat it back to us so that we may record it. She did. After she did she told us about a regular who regularly orders a venti, seven-pump sugar-free caramel, seven-pump sugar-free vanilla, non fat, one splenda, iced latte.


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This interview with Lachlan Morton was conducted on the first floor of the of the Cascade Vail Resort in the Study. He’s soft-spoken and super chill, like really exceptionally chill.

It all started the last couple of weeks. I’m as surprised as anyone else. I didn’t know I’d be doing this well, I kept falling during the first half of the year. I broke my collarbone and I had a couple of concussions from falling. I got taken out by a motorbike in Sydney and then I got to Majorca and got run over by a car from behind, both during training. Then I got taken out by a tourist a couple of weeks later, right before the start of Romandie; I also had to move out of my apartment the night I got hit, I was all cut up and shit. A lot of German tourists come to Majorca, and when they see a pro, they want to race. So he was coming around me and he clipped my handlebars. He didn’t even stop, he just kept going. It was just a bad run.

So then, after that, I did California, and I wasn’t good. During the Tour de Suisse, I told my parents that if I didn’t get better, I would just go back to school or something. I got back from Switzerland and I was over it. My girlfriend flew in from Australia and we went on a road trip. We went to Moab, the Grand Canyon, then stayed in downtown LA for a few days, then went to Palm Springs and stayed at the The Ace Hotel. Then we went to Vegas, which was just like a last minute thing.

We were driving along, listening to the audio book of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, she was asleep and I was like “Fuck it,” I drove us to Vegas and we stayed at Caesar's for two days.

We went to a Wiz Khalifa concert in Vegas, it was fun. He had like ten guys on stage with him, and he was pouring gin into the audience, that kind of thing.

So then we came back and I trained pretty hard for a month. I found a coach I like. I’ve had coaches in the past, I had a really good one when I was a junior. Others haven't worked out, but then I found a really good one in Ben Day. He gets it. He’s on United Healthcare. It’s funny, in Utah, when I was away, he had to chase me. And here, in stage two or something, he had to chase me again. He knows my numbers, but he’s pretty professional about it.

The plan this week was to ride for Tom, and based on what he did in Utah, he showed he deserved that. In hindsight, I think I could have ridden in the front yesterday.

After this (Colorado) we have a week off, and then we race in Alberta. It would be nice to get a result there for Ryder, since it’s more or less a home race for him. When the season is over I’ll go back to Sydney, but that’s not a good place to train since I live right in the city center. But then there’s training camp. My brother and I want to do this ride in Chile, it’s like 1200 km one way, on this highway that goes to Patagonia. I’ve been talking to a frame builder in Boulder, Mosaic, about doing a frame for it. It’s going to be like a mountain bike, but set up like a road bike. I’m also going to hang out with my girl friend, she’s in art school.

It’s hard to say what I would have done had I quit. My brother was a professional bike rider, now he works in film and TV. I was going to just kick around until the end of the year, and then figure out what it was going to be. Then go do something. People who get to this level, people who spend so much time suffering, are all a little bit crazy. When you’re in a room with just one guy it might be quiet. But then you get eight guys together. A guy like Zabriskie, a guy like Millar, it’s really funny. It’s a really strange mix of people that would never hang out together normally, but we’re all there, shooting the shit for hours in a team bus. It’s just really funny. The vibe in the team is really good, it’s a really good mix of different people.

My dad was big into motor racing, like cars. But we grew up with motorbikes. We first got motorbikes when I was like five I think. Then we were going to start go-kart racing, but our next door neighbors who we were close to, who had boys pretty much my age and my brother’s age—we were really competitive them—got go-karts first. And because our parents wanted to separate us out, if you know what I mean, we had to do something else. So we got mountain bikes and we did that for a while. Then we found out that there was a local cycling club, and then we got road bikes. It was a really strong club, the coach that was running it had been to the Olympics in Moscow.

Every Tuesday night a hundred people would show up for these crits and just we fell in love with racing bikes. We never got go-karts.

“I’m under the Jelly Belly awning, copping some shade, eating my sandwich. I’m here to see the athletes. They do things I can’t do, and they do it day after day.” – Ray.
"I’m the Lantern Rouge.2 I think facial hair is making a comeback in cycling, it helps on all the climbs. People are just yelling nonsense until they see my mustache, and then they’re yelling GO MUSTACHE! I can get away with this because I’ve already got my girlfriend locked-down.” — Thomas Soladay, Team OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES-OPM
“It goes up hill, nothing too interesting. If you’re 50th or 60th or whatever overall—I don’t look too closely at this point—it dosen't really matter. But if I feel good and If I think I can get a result, I will go for it. Top twenty would be great for me. I think I have the most expensive bike here, I think it costs close to $20,000.00. It’s got EPS shifting, and these disc wheels, really exclusive stuff.” -Phil Gaimon Team BISSELL PRO CYCLING Side Note: MFS asks if we can ride his bike (for a photo-op), he says yes, the Team Mechanic says no.
As per instructions, we hailed from the side of the course a Course Marshal Van on its way up to the top of the ten-mile race course. “My name’s Corky, I’m a traveling Course Marshal. I’ve done Amgen, Utah, now this one. The other day, there was a winged fairy, running across Independence Pass. It was running back and forth in front of my van. The higher up you go, the crazier it gets, as you can see—at this point in our drive we were deep into the barricaded and gauntlet-like top of the course not far from the finish—the scariest moment I’ve ever had was at the Amgen Tour, speeding on the highway ahead of the peloton. I’m not going to say how fast I was going. Okay, it was 105 miles per hour. The greatest moment was when I was flagging the second corner at Avila Beach, and Jens came in all by himself and won the stage. The worst spectators are drunks that wont get out of your way—as if on cue Corky instructs the photographer in the front seat to, "Pull in the sideview mirror please, we don’t want to waste a perfectly good mirror on a spectator.”
The first in a series of #barricadebutts.
"You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!'"
The race has just ended, I jump into a Course Marshal van with six other photographers, one of them, Maria, is flushed and pulsating and glowing. "I’m euphoric! This is better than my Honeymoon. Colorado is so good. In California the crowds just stay back, they’re so tame. Here it’s just amazing. The crowds are so much fun. Someone with his bongos got in front of me at the last minute. This was better than my Honeymoon.”
We ask Lachlan if he’s had enough time to think about what animal is his Spirit Animal, “ No, I need more time, I’m still going to have to get back to you on that.” We suggest, "How's about a Dolphin?" “Yeah, let’s go with that.”
1st Bank Most Courageous. Michael Rogers, Team Saxo-Bank Tinkoff.
White Jersey, Best Young Rider. Lachlan Morton, Garmin-Sharp.
Polka Dot Jersey, Man of the Mountains (MOM). Matt Cooke, Jamis / Hagens Bergman p/b Sutter Home.
Green Jersey, Points Competition. Peter Sagan, Team Cannondale.
Yellow Jersey, GC Leader. Tejay van Garderen, BMC Racing.
Manual for Speed Race Correspondents and 2013 USA Pro Challenge Podium Girls, Candice and Courtney. This interview was conducted moments before the award ceremony commenced, under the stage because it was beginning to rain, again. "Right now we’re waiting for the riders to hurry up and get down that big mountain. Today we met some of the Pearl Izumi VIPs and took some photographs with them. And we met the director of NBC Sports, he said he saw us on TV and that he wanted to meet us, and take some photographs with us. Tejay won first, second we don’t know yet. [Andrew Talansky] We met Tejay’s baby yesterday when he Tejay brought him on stage. Okay we gotta go they’re starting this thing!"
On the first floor of the of the Cascade Vail Resort, in the Study next to the bar, we meet with Lachlan Morton and conduct an interview. He is exceptionally soft spoken and super chill, he is forthcoming and easy and often when he’s thinking and talking at the same time he tilts his head to one side and repeatedly combs back his groovy locks.

 A Brief Typology of Fast-Moving Time Trial Cyclists

Bonus: PARTY TIME!

  1. We’re fairly certain this is the incident in question. []
  2. The Lantern Rouge is the rider with no riders below him on the GC list that gets uploaded to Cycling and Velo News 30 seconds after the stage ends. []