Pro Cyclist Lucas Euser on the Mend, Connects to Fans via Social Media

Lucas Euser is in the midst of his second career as pro cyclist. Four years ago, at age 24, he advanced to the top level of the sport while racing for the Colorado-based Garmin-Slipstream team.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck. While training in Spain in 2009, Euser suffered two broken ribs and a shattered kneecap. The injuries placed his career in jeopardy.

But Euser, who’s competing this week in the Amgen Tour of California, returned to the sport in 2010 and is continuing his quest to return to the top levels of the sport. His recovery, which he discusses on Facebook and Twitter, is an inspiration to cycling enthusiasts and to those who’ve suffered through injuries.

“For me, social media is the future of the sport,” said Euser of Denver, Colo., who rides now for Team SpiderTech, the Canadian-based squad sponsored by therapeutic athletic tape. “It’s a way to connect people with our sport and the riders. We don’t have a stadium they can go to or an enclosed course where they can see the whole race.

Lucas Euser, left. Image © Brian Hoges/Velo Images

“But the team can do live updates and we can do individual, personal touches on top of that. We can endorse sponsors and we can speak our minds freely. Some people get in trouble for it and some people know how to control themselves.

“For me, it’s in a controlled manner. I’m usually doing it three or four times a week. I definitely add it to the top of my list that’s part of my job.”

Euser, a former stage winner at the Tour of Georgia, is a regular Twitter user and has a following on Facebook. But cycling fans not only follow the rider for his athletic skills, but also because of what he has overcome.

“I usually collect my thoughts after a stage in a race and then do two or three,” said Euser, who has a few thousand Twitter followers. “It’s one way to have a personal connection to people, right. To share your personal stories.

“I have a lot of people who come to me via social media and tell me about their knee problems and car accidents. I tell them what they can do this or they can do that.”

Guy Napert-Frenette, media relations director, says the team uses social media as “its main way to reach fans across the world.” Team directors use Blackberry smartphones on race days to update the team’s Twitter feed (@teamspidertech) with race developments.

The SpiderTech directors also use the team Facebook page for fan-based contests, such as “Guess the Gap.” The team also uses Flickr to share team images from races around the world.

Texts, Twitter and Social Media Help Keep its Fans at the Front of the Pack's Laura Weislo working hard at the Tour of California press room. Credit: James Raia.

Cycling fans are as passionate as any sport’s followers, and no one knows more about how following the sport has changed than Laura Weislo, the North America editor of

Weislo is coordinating the site’s stage coverage of the Amgen Tour of California. The eight-day race, the largest in the United States, features 128 cyclists from 16 teams and riders who are Olympic medalists, Tour de France stage winners and world titlists.

In addition to daily in-depth articles on the race,, the world’s largest English language cycling site, is providing live text at least every five minutes from all of the eight stages. The seventh annual race, which began May 13 in Santa Rosa, will continue through its Los Angeles finish May 20.

The site also has a Facebook page with about 70,000 fans and an equally active Twitter following.

“Bike races now are completely different,” said Weislo, a former competitive swimmer and cyclist who joined the site in 2006. “We find that people are out there watching live streaming. They’re on Twitter on their computers. They’re looking at our live coverage. They are using that altogether and they’re having a conversation at the same time with all their followers or fans.”

At the Tour of California, has a reporter in the media caravan of the race and others who on the course reporting the news to editors who post the updates.

Weislo and other reporters and photographers contribute results, news and images shortly after each stage is complete and then additional details after conducting post-race interviews. reports on the sport globally, but selects its live coverage depending upon an event’s anticipated popularity.

“When I started in 2006 we didn’t use social media,” said Weislo. “It was about a year or two in we realized we better get in on this Facebook thing. Now it’s really important to direct people to specific stories and other content, so they don’t have to check the web site all the time to see if there’s something new. We inform them, and it’s actually a pretty big driver of traffic to the website.” live reports are not a new concept, but Weislo believes how cycling fans follow the sport has substantially changed in the past year.

“Everyone used to be sort of isolated,” Weislo explained. “There wasn’t really a way for people to converse about what was going. But now I have close to 3,000 Twitter followers. It makes it more interesting and I think it’s happened in the last year.

“I noticed last year that there was a little bit of that. But now we get people commenting about our live coverage. People get the information from us and then they correct each other on things that happen in the race. It does add to the conversation of what’s going on.”