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Report from Tour of the Gila time trial: Sutherland’s new secret weapon

May 5, 2012

Rory Sutherland starting the Tour of the Gila time trial in the leader’s colors

At the age of 17 Rory Sutherland showed off his time trial skills by finishing fourth in the junior world championships. It’s easy to make up that it was an experience he treasures, something he took as a sign for his future. He recalled it the day before the time trial at this year’s Tour of the Gila, saying he’s been good at this discipline of road racing since that day in 2000 in Brittany.

Sutherland was looking forward to the Gila time trial. “The benefit of tomorrow is you inflict the pain yourself as opposed to someone else inflicting it on you. I like that,” he said.

Now 29 years-old, father to an almost three year-old son, the leader of the UnitedHealthcare team spoke cautiously but confidently about his chances in the Gila time trial: “I’m not the best time trialist in the world, but I’m pretty confident we can have a good show tomorrow when it’s important to show that for our boys.”

Rory Sutherland after crossing the Gila time trial finish line

He delivered, finishing second yesterday in the Gila time trial, three seconds behind winner Evan Huffman (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) and protecting his overall lead in this five day stage race.

Sutherland said he didn’t feel great on the 16 mile course, and was surprised to learn he’d come so close to winning.

While in Europe he made some adjustments to his time trial equipment. After the race he mentioned he rode on a new time trial bike in a new position, and the Gila provided the opportunity to get used to it before the Amgen Tour of California time trial.

Is a new bike and position Sutherland’s secret time trial weapon for California? Maybe. Or perhaps it’s the relaxed approach he seems to be taking here in New Mexico.

After the podium ceremonies yesterday, when asked about how he felt prior to the time trial, he laughed as he talked about having a relaxed time with his teammates the night before, just a bunch of boys going out for ice cream.

From → Road Racing

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