Meet the Riders
Barry is from the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and the poor guy has taken the brunt of the jokes so far at the Tour of Utah. From having a third plate at dinner, to not eating a cookie in case it messed with his stomach before his massage, to not carrying the food bag back. At the end of the day Barry is a solid rider who is ripping and ready for Utah. Quick to do whatever it takes to help the team win and an all around soft spoken nice guy. Seriously guys, can you hear me?!?
Chris is definitely the rider people ask me the most about when they ask about the team. Is his diet really that bad, yes and no, but I absolutely make sure to get him that snickers at 70km. Beyond his diet Chris is a definitely the most talkative guy on the team with the most stories to tell and he always has an audience. On the bike the guy moves through the field like a ninja and I've learned a lot following his wheel. Plus, for a grand tour winner, he's quick to jump in the break, help with a leadout, or do whatever he can for the team. He's had less snickers recently and is definitely ready for the Tour of Utah's big climbs.
Joseph is the new guy on the team and Costa Rican National Champion. Honestly, I don't know much about it, but in two days he's been a good teammate. I've mangled more Spanish talking back and forth with him than I'd care to imagine but he's a happy guy that is looking forward to such a big race. Definitely interested to see what he can do in the tough climbs of the Tour of Utah but he brings a great attitude and is a welcome addition. Looking forward to getting to know him more.
Nicholae is a rockstar but I can barely understand what he is saying. There is a concussion protocol in place here and we're all worried he might fail due to communication. In all honesty his English is solid, WAY better than my Spanish, and the guy can ride and is also the first to congratulate others on a good day. We're pumped to have him on the team and is another threat in the break or for a stage.
Chad has told me way more crazy nutrition facts than I'd care to remember this year, usually while sipping from a Mountain Dew, uh....Chad.... His hatred of trans fats is famous and he's all about those Reishi mushrooms. When he's not talking to me about nutrition and training he can for sure be caught bugging Zack about something on his bike, hey, speaking of, can you check my steerer tube? On the bike he brings some serious experience from U23 and World Tour racing in Europe and should be a guy that can go for a stage and play the GC card here at the Tour of Utah.
Thomas is one of two resident Frenchies and always making jokes in French that no one can follow, but get a laugh from our Quebec staff and Matthieu. Of course, Thomas is as French as it gets, and you might see him turning up his knows at the local baguette but in terms of racing he is lights out when he wants to get in the break and can ride with anyone in the world. He'll get to be a little more selective this year as he takes on a GC role and hunts some stages but he'll be easy to spot attacking the field, again, again, and again.
Our second resident Frenchie and my roommate for the week. Matt is always smiling and laughing at the races. Constant jokes, more of them in English now, keep the team in good spirits all week. The first to turn his head at the pretty gal walking down the street he's also the first to head into the wind to position teammates and set them up for the wind. The only problem Matt has is sometimes he is too strong and has to give a little less so others can stay on his wheel. This is the guy to be looking for in the break at the Tour of Utah. Still unsure if he's buying Barry a wagon or not...
Meet the Staff
2. Follow the team on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Each day a photo album from Les Morales will be on Facebook.
3. Follow the Tour of Utah on Twitter and Instagram (#ToU16).
4. Download the Tour of Utah TourTracker App (Apple or GooglePlay). The app will have live video streaming of each race day along with details about the race and a text news feed. You can even re-watch the stages later in the day or whenever you want.
5. Check out the TourTracker website with all the same functions as the app.
6. Fox Sports Network 2 will also have both live and delayed opportunities to watch the race. Schedule here.
The Schedule for the week, all times MST (August 1-7th):
- Stage 1: Zion National Park to Cedar City, 84 miles, 6,679ft of climbing, Start - 7:55, Finish - 11:45
- Stage 2: Escalante to Torrey, 99 miles, 9,435ft, Start - 11:45, Finish - 3:45
- Stage 3: Richfield to Payson, 119 miles, 6,337ft, Start - 11:10, Finish - 3:45
- Stage 4: IM Flash to Kearns, 96 miles, 4,504ft, Start - 12:10, Finish - 3:45
- Stage 5: Antelope Island to Bountiful, 114 miles, 6,948ft, Start - 11:15, Finish - 3:45
- Stage 6: Snowbasic to Snowbird, 114 miles, 11,165ft, Start - 10:50, Finish - 3:45
- Stage 7: Park City to Park City, 78 miles, 7,883ft, Start - 12:15, Finish - 3:30
The first day started with a 12 mile neutral rolling through Zion National Park. An incredible backdrop to the start of the Tour of Utah. Apparently it took an act of Congress and an early start to close the road through the park for us to race on. Well worth it so much thanks to the state of Utah and the race organizers. Once in a lifetime experience that I will always remember. It was great to relax and enjoy the scenery until we rolled out of the park and the real racing began (See what it took to make it happen here). After such a long neutral the break was likely to go quickly as the World Tour guys called for a pee break, truly establishing the break. Matt and I were each in a small move but I was too far back when the move went. It wasn't necessarily hard to make the break from a physiological standpoint, it went quickly after only a couple hard attacks, but the sheer mass of people was hard to get to the front and make a move. Just a lot of guys that wanted the break to go quickly and poor positioning meant we had no one in the break of 4. Six more chances and lots to learn.
Today the race started out ballistic. Silber was in yellow and was trying to get someone in the break so they wouldn't have to work all day and Garmin was marking them to ensure they had help. A couple solid groups got some time with Lupus riders in them, but nothing stuck, it kept coming back together. Thomas attacked into a good move, but a dropped chain saw him hit the deck hard. Later he would make it back to the field, but had to finish a hard day with some serious road rash. Hopefully some more motivation for future days. Finally, 40 minutes into the race, it seemed a group was set and the field was happy. Then a couple guys decided to bridge, a couple more, and the racing was back on as we went down this sweeping decent through a rock canyon. It was absolutely beautiful event if I could barely look at it. We had to get back out of the canyon and the climb out was brutal and at full speed. After trying my best to get in the break I was on my limit as the field hit the climb. The entire field split and I came off the back in a group of about 30 riders. Looking up the road there were group everyone, the breakaway getting reeled in and 3-4 "chase" groups all over the climb. Another group formed and Chad came over the radio, "Hey guys, you need to bridge now", I replied, "yea Chad, we're off the back and hoping to come back as we roll over the top.
A day that looked easy on paper promised to be a difficult day. Riding 2.5 laps on the Mountain View Corridor highway. Always slightly up or down and just enough wind to make it a little difficult it was a long 3.5 hours of racing. I hunted the break as hard as I could but watched teammate Nicholae get into the move and settled in with the team for our laps of the highway. We got a quick wave from the breakaway as we made the turnaround as Jelly Belly controlled the front. It was an uneventful day as we made our way along the route. It's a getting a little late in the stage race as we passed halfway and today was as challenging mentally as physically. Eventually the laps finished and we began to position for a possible crosswind section as we turned on to 3 finishing circuits in Kearns, UT.
Keep those pedals spinning,