Lucas Bourgoyne loves sprinting. Michael Garrison loves the TT.
Bourgoyne called sprinting intriguing and beautiful, Garrison described time trialing almost like meditation. Each requires extreme focus and intensity. One is explosive, the other steady. We asked Bourgoyne and Garrison, two young Americans on Hagens Berman Axeon, to describe their thoughts and experiences sprinting and time trialing. Below an edited transcript.
Hagens Berman Axeon’s Michael Garrison (airborne) and Lucas Bourgoyne (on deck) make a splash with their respective specialties, time trialing and sprinting.
Hometown: Houston, Texas
On being a sprinter:
“There’s a big personality aspect that makes a sprinter.”
On the essence of sprinting:
“You ride four hours, and literally, your whole four hours is a complete waste of time if you don’t nail the last 15 seconds. There are about five minutes before where it matters and 15 seconds where it’s game over, or not. It’s an intriguing and beautiful aspect of cycling.”
On his path to sprinting:
“I kind of fell into sprinting. I was 15 or 16 and thought I was a climber and time trialist. I hit 17, and all of a sudden got a bunch of muscle. In 18, I got even more muscle-ly and am like, ‘I’m so bad at time trials!’ It has been a journey because I was defiantly in that mindset that Americans are these great climbers/time trialists types. That is where I thought I was going coming from my background as a big runner. My body shifted into this role, and I love it.”
On fire in the legs:
“In the early off-season, I’ll be doing 12 to 16 hours (a week) on the bike but spending 10 hours in the gym, three or four days a week, doing even heavy weights. It starts light, goes heavy, and then back to light again to get that quickfire in your legs.”
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
On the essence of time trialing:
“It’s almost like a meditation. You’re not even thinking. Maybe toward the end, you channel some of those mental queues, thinking about your family and friends. But in general, for the TT, it’s just this blank ‘I don’t know.’”
On perfect TT pacing:
“It’s almost just an instinct. That’s something I talk to my coach about, ‘it’s kind of like an art.’ He’s just like, ‘go out there and express yourself.’ It’s a cool way to approach it. At US Nationals, I almost just floated on the first lap. On the second lap, you’re just cranking just a little bit more. Halfway through the second lap, you know you’ve done half, and then one more lap, you know you can just completely grit it out. Looking at Strava, each lap was like 15 or 20 watts higher than the last one. That was what I was most happy with, the effort in itself and its pacing.”
On the danger of going out too fast:
“When I was younger, I had this tendency always to start too hard. In the beginning, going easier was almost the hardest part for me. I would think I would feel OK. Let’s say it’s a 25 minute TT. I thought I felt fine in the first five or 10 minutes, and then I would have nothing. It would be this decline in power.”
On whoosh of a disc wheel:
“That sweet sound. I remember being young, my family, we would never spend a ton on wheels. One of my first TTs, you borrow a disc from a friend. It’s like the coolest thing ever. You hang the bike over your shoulder, shifting it, and you hear the whooshing sound. The disc is always sweet.”
Lucas Bourgoyne recently sprinted to victory at the USA Cycling Amateur Criterium Championship and Michael Garrison time trialed to the U23 USA Cycling TT title. Lucas rode 454 NSW Disc brake wheels and Michael a Super-9 Disc paired with an 808 Firecrest front wheel.
All photos © Davey Wilson