Stagiaire! In The Middle Of America: Team Novo Nordisk’s Sam Brand At The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah

Ciclissimo! is back on the road with Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. We’ll be following the fortunes of  their new stagiaire, 25 year old Isle of Man native, Sam Brand. Sam had been making waves – most probably in the swim leg – on the National and European triathlon circuit (ignore my flippancy, silver in the 2015 British Championships is no joke) before switching solely to cycling for 2016. Already on the TNN radar after his strong tri’ results, Sam secured himself a place on their development squad and continued to impress. A mid-season call up to a hard fought, seven-day mountainous stage race debut with the Team Novo Nordisk full pro-squad is his reward. Ciclissimo! will be following Sam first-hand on this journey through the Hollywood-Western ‘big country’ vistas of America’s mountain belt.

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Stage 3: Big Cottonwood Canyon ITT – 9km

Time trialling: Short, sharp, violent efforts. Do it properly and you’ll feel really quite ill at the end. There’s nowhere to hide. Even more so when racing on standard roadbike set-ups and the start ramp is situated at over 2000m above sea-level with 400m of constant vertical gain to deal with in front of you! Sam ticked off another day across the finish line and heads ever deeper into his pro debut with the mantra “Day by Day…”

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Sam’s View

“Even though I, as a ‘Tri-Guy’, was quite looking forward to using a TT bike it was completely the wrong course for a time trial bike. I was comfortable on my road bike, a Colnago CLX. It’s a fantastic bike that is a very comfortable ride. Some guys see the time trial as a rest day – I see it as another opportunity to prove myself and see how my legs are feeling. I gave it everything I had, paced well, and got stronger in the second half. As far as wattage and numbers go, it was the first time I’ve gotten to actually look at my numbers while racing. In general, this is the first time that I’ve raced at altitude, so I took that into consideration when it came to my power. I’m happy with how it went with my numbers. Obviously, it is my third day in the biggest race I’ve ever done, so I’m starting to feel the legs: At altitude, my recovery feels slower than normal. But, with the prestige of the race, the speed and size of this race, I think that plays a role in everything and helps. We go hard every day, but at the moment, I’d say it is all going well. Tomorrow is Stage 4 and considered a flat stage – it isn’t as flat as flat sounds with a dozen small climbs… Yet I’m reminding myself that it is the same for everyone. The more I get involved, the more I surprise myself. I’ll keep working hard and see what the day brings…”

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All Photo Credits: VeloImages