There is nothing worse than a flat road for a climber. Boring, uneventful, insulting, lacking the necessary gradient to hurt people and showcase power to weight ratio.
Climbers need to keep heading up the mountain and young American Lawson Craddock continued his climb by finishing in the top ten of the brutally tough Tour of the Basque Country against superstars like winner Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Joaquin Rodriguez.
Going into the final time trial, he held on to 7th on GC but lost a bit on the 16.5 TT course on rain soaked roads. Still his Cannondale boss Jonathan Vaughters was impressed with the uphill awesomeness that Lawson displayed: “Big ride from @lawsoncraddock today at Euskadi!! Knocking heads with the big boys. Great seeing a young talent come good.”
Craddock has kinda been good since day one. Three years ago, Craddock was one of the up and coming talents at Axel Merckx’s finishing school for fast boys, aka the Axeon development team. That was the same squad that boasted Ian Boswell of Sky and Joe Dombrowski, now a teammate at C-Dale.
Then Craddock spent two years apprenticing at Giant-Alpecin, learning the WorldTour ropes and acquitted himself well in last year’s Vuelta a Espana, helping Tom Dumoulin make the podium.
Then the Texas kid signed for Vaughter’s Cannondale team with the hope and expectation of taking on more leadership duties. He went into Pais Vasco as the top gun for the team and delivered an impressive performance.
We look forward to seeing Craddock and perhaps Dombrowski at the Tour of California. The kid somehow managed a podium two years ago here in Cali and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it again.