We’ve given up on working in our office on Monument Ave. this week, so we held our editorial meeting at Lamplighter on Addison today.
We’ve given up on working in our office on Monument Ave. this week, so we held our editorial meeting at Lamplighter on Addison today. Sure enough, sitting a few feet away from us, was the Australian/Orica GreenEDGE team who’d stopped in for a bit of espresso.
I managed to pry my way into a short convo with the six-member team and they said they’re enjoying their time in our fair city.
“The people are so friendly and positive,” said Lizzy Williams (top image, far right), one of the team’s riders. “They don’t come across as people who do a lot of cycling, but they are really welcoming to have cyclists here. Everyone’s yelling out and saying good luck!”
Williams said they had one negative interaction with someone hollering something not-so-nice, but he was “covered in tats” and “looked like a hillbilly” so we’re gonna assume he’s a county jerk who got lost.
The team has been in the city for a little over a week, practicing on some of the routes, and they said Richmond’s race trails compare well to other cities they’ve raced in so far.
“It was quite tough,” said Williams about their time trial run held over the weekend. “[There was a lot of] Technical down hill, lots of corners and a big headwind on the way home which we sort of suffered in.”
Their men’s team (blokes) came in fourth at 43:54, and their women’s team (sheilas) came in 7th at 49:54.
(I earned 1 Aussie joke, damnit)
They stopped in at Lamplighter after practicing on parts of the big Road Race set for this weekend. “The cobbles are very rough,” said Williams about their ride this AM. When I first heard about the race I was curious how the riders would feel bumping down downtown RVA with the ancient cobble stone roads, but she said its something some pro-cyclers enjoy.
“It’s a highlight for the riders who like that style of racing,” she said. “But bigger riders can get over it – if its a longer climb, bigger riders can’t last.”
“It’s definitely going to be a very excited race towards the end of the road race on Saturday.”
As for the rest of their stay in RVA, Williams said her bed at the Westin Hotel was one of her favorite parts.
“The beds are like clouds,” she said. “I’ve been sleeping in a single bed this whole year, so I’m embracing the big comfy queen size.”
Other than that, all the riders nodded their heads when fellow Aussie-Orica GreenEDGE rider Michael Matthews (top image, far left) spoke up about the pleasant interactions with motorists the team has had while riding around town.
“No one’s really abused us much,” he said of drivers who have been noticeably friendly and forgiving about sharing the road. “Everywhere else in the world, they’re pretty aggressive – but here they’ve been really good.”