American Vermeulen quietly develops into WorldTour rider

It's not uncommon for athletes to recall a story from their youth about a time they may have brushed up against the stars of a sport and were inspired by dreams of living a similarly glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle. When Alexey Vermeulen, the 20-year-old American who recently signed a two-year deal with LottoNL-Jumbo, tells you the big-name "stars" who helped inspire his dreams were then-teenagers Lawson Craddock and Nate Brown, you get a good idea of how young he was when his journey toward professional cycling started.

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.