Skip to content

The Director's Perspective

The Tour of the Gila is one of the toughest, most grueling stage races on the NRC Race Calendar. The race runs for five days, crossing some of the most...

The Tour of the Gila is one of the toughest, most grueling stage races on the NRC Race Calendar. The race runs for five days, crossing some of the most brutal terrain New Mexico has to offer. Wind swept, chip-seal roads keep the riders on their toes throughout the race, rarely providing any respite. At the same time, it is both a rider's paradise and hell. 
We recently caught up with friend of Panache, Nick Traggis, to talk about his recent experience at the Tour of the Gila. Take a look at his perspective of the race, from inside the Gateway Harley Davidson team car. 

Day Inside the Team Car with the Gateway Harley Davidson | Tour of the Gila Stage 5

by: Nick Traggis

So I’ve been directing for the Gateway Harley Davidson U25 team at select US Pro Road Tour events this season. The team is a blast to work with and we’ve been surprising folks with some great breakout results. 

Panache asked me for some insider’s perspective from this year’s race, so I thought nothing would be more fitting than giving the play by play (blow by blow?) from inside the team car during the queen stage: Gila Monster Road Race.

To start with, a few rules every good director follows when driving in the caravan: 

  1. Don’t hit any of the riders.
  2. Don’t crash the team car.
  3. Don’t get fined.

These are followed in order of priority. Our mechanic, Garret Suydam, asked me to include something about not running over your mechanic. I told him I would think about it…

A day driving in the caravan during is usually 4 hours of boredom combined with ~5 minutes of complete terror. The goal of the director and other support staff is to prepare as well as possible to minimize the latter!

The Boulder Sports Management / 2017 Kia Sportage Support Car.

Here is how Sunday went down:

7:30AM: We roll into the start area and everyone jumps out to start getting ready. The team is a bit quiet this morning due to the combination of early morning starts and the fact it is day 5 of the hardest race most of the guys have ever done. I am pretty sure Bryan Gomez managed to sleep while still eating his breakfast this morning.


What would a stage race be without a team selfie?


8:00AM: I find a few minutes to call Mom and wish her a happy Mother’s Day. Still the perfect son!


8:10AM: A reporter comes by and asks for a quick interview with Sepp Kuss. Sepp has been in a tight battle for the white jersey all week and is definitely on people’s radar after a great Redlands Bicycle Classic as well. We’ve been talking a lot lately about next steps in his career and I look forward to seeing where he ends up!


Sepp Kuss in the best young rider’s jersey doing an interview before the start of stage 2. (Photo: Bob Simpson)


8:15AM: I track down some fresh batteries for the car’s radio, and get a few copies of the results from the timing official. – one for me and one for Garrett. Except in the rare case when there is a second director in the car, the mechanic will help me keep track of who is in the breakaway, intermediate sprint results, etc.


8:40AM: The flag drops and we are racing. Garret is already asleep in the back of the car. #Pro


9:20AM: It is starting to warm up a bit and George Simpson brings a bunch of jackets and extra clothing from the start back to the car. George was in a bad crash at Joe Martin and is a bit down on form as a result, however he has been a great teammate all week!


10:00AM: We come up on the first feedzone and quickly stop to give Faith some extra bottles for the next feedzone. The race will be shattered by that point so it will be tough to support everyone from the car.


10:40AM: The UHC car drifts back a bit and opens a gap while talking to their rider so I slot in front of them to do bottle service for George. Their use of the horn would indicate they didn’t necessarily agree with that. While there is a decent amount of mutual respect amongst all the directors on the circuit, we all still drive like we are in a bike race…


Despite the Difficult Riding, The Scenery in the Gila National Forest is Beautiful!

11:10AM: We are on a very tricky high speed descent, so Garrett decides to film a Mother’s Day video card for his Mom. Dear Garrett’s Mom, I promise we didn’t crash once and Garrett only had to hang out of the window at 40 mph to fix a bike once all week!


11:30AM: We are coming into the last stretch of flat road before the Cat 1 climb out of the Cliff Dwellings. That means that every team is trying to get their riders serviced one last time before things blow up on the final climb. While handing bottles to Bryan, the Guatemala National Team director cuts us off to get to his rider forcing me to drive off the side of the road and putting some fresh scars on the wrap of our Kia. I am pretty livid, but Bryan barely notices (See rule #1.)  


11:45AM: The climb starts in earnest and Sepp can be seen on the front driving the pace and pulling a small group clear of the field. I told him to have fun this morning and he seems to be taking that to heart!


12PM: Sepp is in a small elite group of 11 leaders at the front of the race. Unfortunately it is going to take us another 20km to safely get past the various barrages to get up to them. (A “barrage” is used by the officials to keep team cars from helping dropped riders from rejoining the front of the race, by holding them back until the gap is large enough.)

Boulder based Tom Zirbel Drives a breakaway early in Stage 5Boulder-Based Tom Zirbel Drives a breakaway early in Stage 5

12:30PM: Sepp cracks a bit and loses contact with the lead group. We load him up on Coke and shout some encouragement as he tacks on the back of the chase group coming by.


1PM: Finish Line! We park the car and wander over to our amazing hosts Susan and Brian who have a giant BBQ going. Garrett and I load up on steak and beer while cheering on the stragglers as they finish who quickly join us to do the same.

The Overall Race was Won by Boulder-Based Rider, Lachlan Morton. 

9AM the next morning: Officer Martinez let’s me off with just a warning for exceeding the posted speed limit while leaving town. Possibly the biggest victory of the week!


Team road Capitan Dennis Ramirez, comes back to the car to discuss tactics with Nick during Stage 2 of Tour of the Gila.



 A category 1 cyclist, USAC licensed coach, and UCI licensed Sports Director, Nick has been racing at the elite level on the road and track for over 15 years. He is most often found training in the foothills of Boulder, CO or teaching people how to ride the banking at the local velodrome.  Nick enjoys working with professional riders/teams as well as riders looking to balance school and/or work commitments with their cycling goals- as he has had to do the same for his entire career!

In 2014, he led the Horizon Organic/Einstein Bros cycling team to a National Championship and to be the best ranked amateur team in the U.S.

He has directed for professional teams SmartStop Pro Cycling and Champion Systems at events such at the Tour of Utah, U.S. Pro Challenge, and UCI World Championships.

Nick has also enjoyed a successful career as an entrepreneur and technologist. He currently works with high-tech manufacturing companies as a consultant with Boulder Technology Advisors.

When he isn’t at his “day job”, working with his athletes, or riding his bike, Nick can be found hiking, fishing, or snow-shoeing the local mountains with his wife, Faith.



22 comments on The Director's Perspective
  • 안전카지노사이트
    안전카지노사이트May 12, 2023
    온라인카지노 안전 에이전시
    카지노사이트 안전 주소
    온라인카지노 도메인 추천
    안전 온라인카지노
    온라인 카지노 먹튀검증
    안전 카지노사이트
    온라인카지노 추천
    바카라사이트 추천

  • 카지노사이트
    카지노사이트March 13, 2023
    안전한 카지노사이트 추천
    안전한 바카라사이트 추천

  • WhiskeyPeak77
    WhiskeyPeak77January 05, 2023
    1/5/23 카지노사이트 바카라사이트 온라인카지노 온라인바카라 온라인슬롯사이트 카지노사이트게임 카지노사이트검증 카지노사이트추천 안전카지노사이트 안전카지노사이트도메인 안전한 카지노사이트 추천 바카라사이트게임 바카라사이트검증 바카라사이트추천 안전바카라사이트 안전바카라사이트도 안전한 바카라사이트

  • شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياضDecember 06, 2022 شركات نقل العفش
    اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام شركة تنظيف بينبع شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام شركة الفا لنقل عفش واثاث شركة نقل عفش بجدة شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض شركة نقل عفش بالدمام شركة نقل عفش بالطائف شركة نقل عفش بمكة شركة نقل عفش بينبع شركة نقل عفش بالخرج شركة نقل عفش ببريدة شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم شركة نقل عفش بتبوك شركة نقل عفش بابها شركة نقل عفش بنجران شركة نقل عفش بحائل شركة نقل عفش بالظهران شركة نقل عفش بالكويت اسعار شركات نقل عفش بخميس مشيط ارقام شركات نقل عفش بخميس مشيط شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط جديدة شركة نقل عفش من خميس مشيط الي الرياض شركة نقل عفش من خميس مشيط الي مكة شركة نقل عفش من خميس مشيط الي جدة شركة نقل عفش من خميس مشيط الي المدينة المنورة افضل 10 شركات نقل عفش بخميس مشيط

  • شركة الصقر الدولي لنقل العفش والاثاث وخدمات التنظيف المنزلية
    شركة الصقر الدولي لنقل العفش والاثاث وخدمات التنظيف المنزليةDecember 06, 2022
    شركات نقل عفش واثاث بجدة
    شركات نقل عفش بالطائف
    اسعار وارقام شركات نقل العفش بالمدينة المنورة
    دينا نقل عفش جدة ,افضل دينا
    ارخص شركه نقل عفش بجده
    دليل شركات نقل العفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش برابغ ,15 عام خبرة
    شركات نقل عفش واثاث بالباحه
    وسائل نقل العفش بخميس مشيط شركة الصقر الدولي لنقل العفش والاثاث وخدمات التنظيف المنزلية شركة الصقر الدولي لنقل العفش والاثاث وخدمات التنظيف المنزلية شركة الصقر الدولي لنقل العفش والاثاث وخدمات التنظيف المنزلية

  • « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next »
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..


Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options