Posted by Editoress on 05/23/14
Our writer from the Tour of California, Bill Buckley, had a chance to sit down with Lucas Euser at the UnitedHealthCare team bus following Stage 8 of the Tour of California in Thousand Oaks, California. Prior to joining UHC, Lucas spent three years with Steve Bauer's Team SpiderTech.
In 2008, Lucas secured a contract with the ProTour team Garmin-Slipstream. His star was rising fast. However, in 2009 Lucas was hit by a car in Girona shattering his knee cap. Steve Bauer and Team Spider Tech gave Lucas a second chance.
Lucas is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Technology.
BB: Lucas, what were your overall impressions of the 2014 Tour of California?
Lucas Euser: The race was very tough this year. I have competed in seven TOC's and this was one of the hardest. The Tour in 2010 was tough but this year the heat was a huge factor.
The Team had an ambitious spring season. We raced in Taiwan, Argentina, Fleche Wallone, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of the Gila. When we reached the Gila, the Team was exhausted. We effectively used it as a re-booting race. So we got here in better shape.....I have felt pretty good during this Tour except on the Mountain High stage (Stage 6) where I had a nasty asthma attack.
BB: How were your three years with SpiderTech?
Lucas Euser: I am so grateful to Steve Bauer for giving me a second chance. I shattered my knee cap in May 2009 and in December 2009 I was still struggling. By January 2010, I had no contract and I called Steve. Steve offered me a contract, he gave me the time to recover, he helped me in my recovery and he gave me a second chance. It's too bad that the team did not continue.
BB: You have ProTour teams here at the Tour of California, what is the difference between racing in North America racing in Europe?
Lucas Euser: There are two major differences.....the roads and the depth of the field. With respect to roads, the roads are much wider in North America and it is easier to hold your place in the peloton or even to move around in the peloton. In Europe , the roads are narrower, there is road furniture you are constantly coming into situations where the roads neck down...towns, etcetera. You have to fight all the time to hold your position in the peloton.
Regarding depth of field, in North America there are 40 to 60 guys who will be competitive at the end. As the going gets harder, guys are getting shaken off in successive waves. In Europe, there are 150 guys left at the end.....You are going as hard as you can and everybody is still there! You say to yourself 'Oh my God no one is getting dropped'! In North America there are multiple breaking points...where guys are getting dropped off....in Europe there is often just one breaking point.
BB: Would you like to get back on a UCI ProTeam?
Lucas Euser: Oh sure...but I want to do it right this time...not rushed. I would like to get there with UnitedHealthCare. They have an international business base and could continue to develop potentially into a UCI ProTeam (currently UHC is a UCI Professional Continental Team. BB). It would be good to be able to stay with them and get back to ProTeam status.
Bill Buckley in Thousand Oaks - exclusive to Canadian Cyclist
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