After a star-spangled stint back home, the team returns to Europe to contest a trio of Spanish one-day races before making a return to stage racing in Portugal and Denmark.
First stop on the program is the Ordizia Klasika in the Spanish Basque Country on July 25. It’s a happy hunting ground for Kyle Murphy who was runner-up at last year’s rescheduled and rain-soaked edition, powering ahead of a Grand Tour stage winner and other top European pros in the sprint for second.
“Last year, a lot of things were in my favor,” Murphy said. “We’d just come from the Volta a Portugal which gave me a massive bump in form. The course is on a circuit which means we can effectively preview it during the first few laps – which is hugely beneficial for us Americans racing far from home – and when it’s go time, we’re ready.”
Murphy, who feels like Spain is a second home to him, is psyched that Europe is starting to reopen.
“Now that I’m vaccinated, I’m looking forward to returning to Europe as it starts feeling safer and opening up more. Racing last year without crowds because of COVID was one thing, but now it should be even more exciting. I love racing in Spain.”
Ahead of the European campaign, Murphy reflected on a successful National Road Championships, where the team helped Joey Rosskopf take the title.
“We really wanted to come away with the jersey, but we had to race as if we didn’t care whether we won or lost in order to put pressure on the other teams. Nationals is a strange race, always hard to predict, but we were all on the ball and I think it showed. Joey is such a deserving winner.”
Not only did Rosskopf secure the iconic national champ’s jersey, but Murphy joined him on the podium in third place. It was a huge moment for the family man.
“Nationals was the first time that my young family has seen me race. It was incredibly motivating. They were on the climb and every lap it gave me something extra. After I knew Joey had the win cinched I still raced for the podium because I wanted to take my son up there so badly.”
Rosskopf will join Murphy at Ordizia to start the European campaign. After the Spanish one-days, the program splits. With half the team off to Portugal, the others will travel north for the five-stage Tour of Denmark, which Rally Cycling last raced in 2018 with great results.
Upcoming European calendar
Ordiziako Klasika (July 25)
Vuelta a Castilla y León (July 29)
Circuito de Getxo (August 1)
Volta a Portugal (August 4-15)
Tour of Denmark (August 10-14)