The new UCI Continental team, the Land Rover-ORBEA benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation is a young cycling development team based out of Portland, Oregon with a message. The team is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and to develop talented young cyclists.
Norrene Godfrey, who co-owns the team with her husband David, is providing reports as her team races the Tour of the Gila for the first time. The squad in New Mexico consists of Josh Bartlett (24), Evan Elken (32), Logan Hunn (21), Carson Miller (20), Mike Northey (22), Ryan Taylor (22), Aaron Tuckerman (25) and Roman van Uden (20).
The team will be providing us with update throughout the Tour of the Gila, their second NRC race of the year.
“What’s it like being a brand new UCI team competing in the Tour of the Gila for the very first time… it’s awesome. The weather is warm and dry, something we Portlanders are not use too and the people here in Silver City are great!” said Norrene.
The team is lead by very experience professional rider Elken whose role is the team manager “on the bike” as he directs the guys from inside the peloton. The mission today, was to go on the offense to try and get one or two Land Rover-ORBEA riders in the break.
“Sounds simple enough, well when you roll up to the start line and look over and see Lance, Levi and Chris from Astana you know it’s going to be a tough day in the office.” continued Norrene.
Elken had the kids trying to get away from the gun but nothing would stick. As one break was brought back, another would go, this continued on for about 50 miles until finally a break broke free, and the break included New Zealander Tuckerman.
“David and I, driving support in a LR2, dropped it into ‘sport drive’ drove up the left side of the road to support our kids – bottles where handed out, a few tasty treats, then we were given the okay to drive by the peloton and go support Aaron in the break.” said Norrene.
The Godfreys cruised behind Tuckerman in the break for another 30 miles and with 3 miles to go, the field caught the break. At that point, GC leader Leipheimer was in full flight this time and it was survival time on the final climb. Bartlett and Miller remained in contact with the front group and Northey, who suffered a puncture earlier, paced himself through the remains of the field ticking one rider off at a time moving himself up on GC.
“In the end Carson was our highest placed rider at 59th – but results do not often time show effort. The guys went on the attack – on the offense, getting into every move for the Land Rover-ORBEA squad it was a very good day in the office.” said Norrene.
Tomorrow’s game plan for stage 2 of Gila for the young aggressive is well of course “go on the offense as it’s the best form of defense”.