It was Monday afternoon in Malaysia. My phone stirred and smeared a weak hue of yellowing light onto the bedside table in the dank motel room. As I groped around a bottle of flat beer to get it, I looked at the screen: It was 4 am in Fayetteville and Gord was texting which meant things went really well or really bad.
Twelve hours earlier, Alec Cowan took a gutsy win on the final stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville Arkansas. The race was a technical downtown crit in front of a coffee/beer drinking, sunglassed crowd. Kathy and Mike Moss were there. And so was John Elrod. They were hosting our riders and the boys put on a show for them.
After an aggressive start, Alec and teammate Noah Granigan worked their way into the break of the day. ‘Granny’ controlled the move throughout and ultimately piloted Alec to the base of the uphill sprint. Alec then showed his class and went bottom to top to secure the victory. John, Kathy and Mike took the team out to celebrate at Pesto Café, their favorite Italian restaurant.
Twelve hours later, Gord was texting a stream of photos from the packed streets of Putrajaya, where our maddogs in Malaysia unleashed a dominant lead out that not only delivered Travis McCabe to the line, but also split the field contesting stage 3 of Le Tour de Langkawi. The lead out gave McCabe enough time to post up from 50 meters and glide into the yellow jersey. The popular sprinter would later tell reporters it was the best lead out he ever had.
Two wins. Two Continents. Twelve hours apart. I could tell you what this means for our program, or rightly relate the wins to hashtag topics like #travel and #adventure. But can’t the riders and hard-working staff just have fun racing bikes? Can’t we privately relish the time we spent with a team on fire and with people we meet who support and inspire us? For 12 hours? For half of a spectacular day? It’s a beautiful sport and thanks to Floyd, we’re living it… blissful face emoji, jar of relish emoji.
And then I heard this: Jake and Jamie Sitler’s baby was born last night. Fletcher Orion Sitler has entered the world a month before his time, weighing in at 5 lbs and 15 oz. Everyone is healthy and the world’s a better place. We’re super happy for our teammate and Jamie, and we can already imagine how Fletcher (the arrow maker) might post up after winning a race. Twelve hours so packed it feels like a day to remember.