Here, on the Nevada side of the California–Nevada border, where the casinos are open 24/7, it is easy for an early waking European resident to kill a bit of time while waiting to get the day started.
We enjoy healthy amounts of American coffee while preparations are made for the kickoff of this year’s Tour of California Open the Road Tour. Mechanics put the final touches on bikes that have been designated for preregistered riders, while they also build a few last-minute Neutral Race Support bikes. Coffee, juice, water and other beverages and snacks are readied for today’s guests.
Today is a women’s SRAM RED® eTap® ride that the Open the Road Tour will share with Canyon//SRAM Racing. It’s a quick, 1.5-hour ride designed to shake the spider webs out of the legs, lungs and brains of the women who’ll tomorrow be toeing the start line at the first stage of the AMGEN Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race—Empowered with SRAM.
It’s an opportunity for these fans to ride with the heroes of the sport, and a chance for the heroes to see firsthand how what they do motivates their fans.
It’s also countdown time for the mechanics, soigneurs and other race staff as race day approaches. Quickly.
SRAM: As we dig into your cycling background a bit, learn that your European base of operations is Girona, Spain, that your favorite bike race on the calendar is Strade Bianche, and that you love the art of the echelon, we’re confused. Most of that doesn’t necessarily scream, “Echelon rider.”
AR: I guess my background doesn’t scream it, but I appreciate the art of cycling, and the tactics, and the strategy. And it really is beautiful once you get it just right. It’s so incredible. The first time I made the front echelon, I looked behind me, and there was nobody, and I just thought, like, “I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally done it.” I mean, it hasn’t happened every time since, because it’s definitely an art that still needs to be practiced.
SRAM: Did that first one stay away?
AR: Yeah, it did…from kilometer one. They blew the neutral whistle and the peloton just exploded.