Harvest Racing's Brady Murphy sat down and talked with last weekend's omnium champion Lucas Marshall about his performance, the team's effort and whispering to cows at the Chris Lillig Memorial/Old Capitol Criterium Omnium in Iowa City.
What was your perspective going into a wet and gritty road race?
I hate the mess of rain so I wasn't thrilled. I hate getting wet. I think being a lifeguard growing up got into my head somehow - I know that makes no sense but either way, I don't like the rain. My mindset wasn't super excited, but from a performance standpoint I wasn't worried. I've put in enough training time on my SRAM drive train to know it was going to perform no matter what. I ran low pressure in the Bontrager tubulars so I had better traction on the wet roads. The worst of the weather had passed before the race started so really other than road spray and wind it wasn't that bad. Thankfully.
After winning the road race, what was your Time Trial strategy?
The team had protected me really well during the road race as I kept focus on staying out of the wind. I felt pretty good for the TT even though we had only about an hour between the end of the road race and the start of the TT. I measured my effort in the TT - I'd say that I definitely could have gone harder. I don't consider myself very good at TTs so I just gave it a solid effort and didn't really attack it. I felt positive during the ride that I was moving along well and I had one reference point on the course for time and I knew I wasn't doing bad at that point so I kept on chugging.
Mark Savery from the Trek Bicycle Store and I did some bike fit work the previous weekend. I'm so confident on my new Emonda SL that I keep wanting to make the position more aggressive so I can push the bike even further. I'd say that the new fit played a positive role in my TT performance.
Winning the RR made me know that I needed to give a solid TT effort in order to contend for the GC. It paid off in the long run. I wasn't overly concerned or nervous.
Tell us how you earned the nickname the "bull-whisperer"?
The team was hosted at a rural farmhouse outside of Iowa City. The farm was a family affair, and the livestock they raised included cows, pigs, chickens, goats and horses. Anyway, they had this bull named "Norman" that came up to the fence where we were washing bikes. I took a break and approached him. As with any relationship, it's all about communication. A bull is no different. It may have also helped that he was bottle-raised by hand from a very young age. We clicked, and he liked gumming for the camera.
When did you know that you had the omnium won?
The last fifth of the race was a blur. Criterium racing is so intense that there's little time to think about things other than the moment itself. However, I tried focusing on not doing the wrong things in those final laps. So to answer your question, I never really thought about having the omnium "won" until the race was over. It was a nice surprise and a relief.
What was a lasting memory of this year's Old Capitol Criterium?
This whole team racing thing is new to me. Mistakes are hard to ignore but the trip as a whole was great. I'm honored to have such a great group of guys to train, ride, and race with. Everything was memorable - the weather, the comforting accommodations, the hunt for a wireless internet password, the racing, and filling the crystal trophy with adult beverages and tipping it back in celebration.