Photo by Dennis Webb

Omer Kem, director of the Bissell Development Team, hands a water bottle to Gregory Daniel as Daniel rides in a breakaway group in Monday’s first stage of the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen. Riding in the team car was like being in a NASCAR race, but with cyclists and cars jockeying for position.

Through the glass

View from a team vehicle shows a car race within a bike race

ASPEN — A hip-crushing crash ended pro cyclist Omer Kem’s racing career in 2009. But as he accelerated and swerved, jockeying for places to pass during Monday’s stage of the USA Pro Challenge, it didn’t always feel that way. VIDEO

What differentiated Kem from the more than 120 riders on the road, though, was he was driving in a car rather than sweating it out on a bike. Kem is the director of the Bissell Development Team, and he was piloting one of two Bissell support vehicles that accompany cyclists to provide mechanical help, occasional drinks and food, and some coaching here and there.

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