Friday, August 26, 2011

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Years ago I got hooked watching the Tour de France. Needless to say, I was extremely excited a year ago when I heard Bill Ritter and Lance Armstrong announce there would be an international pro stage race coming to Colorado. Yesterday, Patio and I rode our bikes over Vail Pass to the finish area of the Vail Time Trial. All I can say is, WOW. The spectacle of the crowd is hard to explain. It starts by hanging out with with several thousand people all dressed in funny shoes and Lycra. Of course there are the gorilla suits, the guy in the Guiness bottle, the rubber chicken, and the three guys in blacks Speedos (the Speedo guys were both amusing and kind of annoying).

While the scene was fun and memorable, the heart and soul of the event was watching the riders from just a few feet away. It was special to see guys I have been watching on TV for years. ......And they were flying up that hill. Watching Cadel Evans, George Hincapie, the Schleck brothers, Ivan Basso, Christian VandeVelde, TJ Van Garderen, Tom Dainieson, and especially Levi Leipheimer storm past us was amazing. Last night in an interview, I heard Levi say he left nothing on the course. It sure looked that way. He appeared spent 500 meters from the finish. What a performance.

Tomorrow, Kay and I will be perched somewhere along Swan Mountain Road watching the race leaders and the Peloton spin by. After that we'll be off to Breck for the Big Head Todd concert. This is a great event for Summit County and Colorado. It was exciting to be a very small part of it.

As for the riders, you have a lot of fans at Arapahoe Basin. Thanks for a great show and a special congratulations to Levi. You guys need to ride over Loveland Pass next year.

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