This past weekend was pretty amazing. Wednesday night Dave and I drove up to Big Bear for the Tour of California. Thursday morning we drove out to the last sprint spot on the stage 6 course and went for a ride. There must have been a tailwind or something because the climbing to the last KOM spot was really easy and fun. Dave was able to hold my pace and I think we both had an amazing day enjoying the scenery. Dave kept marveling about the fact that we were essentially playing a softball game at Angels stadium. Its true there is no other sport where you can play the sport on the field the day before the pros do. This idea made the day very special for Dave. He is new to the sport and even newer to the professional part of the sport. When we were done with our ride we headed back to the house in time to watch a thrilling finish to stage 5 on tv. I love attacks and breakaways, I want them all to survive.
My parents and Ashley soon joined us in town and we had a mexican dinner filled with discussion of the day's true news story. I think I should get into Floyd after the story of our trip is done.
Friday morning we left the house around 830 and headed down the mountain on bike to the KOM spot. There are lots of rollers on the route to the KOM, but for the most part it is allllll downhill. Ash and I flew down the mountain, enjoying every banked turn that came our way. Dave has never really liked descending, but I think our enthusiasm rubbed off on him as he is taking more chances now and was not too far behind us.
My mom drove out to the KOM to meet us so we didn't have to carry the chalk and walking shoes. I have to say that I was very disappointed with the turn out on the course this year compared to Palomar last year. Also the crowd was much less enthusiastic. We covered the KOM with euro style writings but no one else had written an messages of support, that was sad to me. I wrote an ode to Jens Voigt (which was also a nod to the great blog http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/) "shut up legs." While Ashley channeled his hatred for Lance Armstrong into a positive message for Dave Zabriskie, "get some dz!"
There was an interesting moment when the break finally made their way to us. The break included big hitters Hincapie, Schleck, McCartney as well as KOM competition leader Rabou and Jakob Fuglsong (a man who neither phil or paul can get the name right for). I decided to cheer on Jakob, because he's awesome and because no one seemed to know that. As I did my euro sprint with the riders I screamed for him and then I pulled off. As I did, the Radioshack team car squirted me with a water bottle. I yelled "Fuck you Radioshack!" into their window and they turned around as they drove away perplexed. I guess I was mad about Lance and if it was any other team I would have laughed, but there was no need for that, I was not in their way, nor was I in the way of their rider.
When the whole group had passed the KOM we hustled to the car and put the bikes away in an attempt to make it to the finish line. We made it just in time to See Cav's group roll by, partially because we were stuck behind Cav's group going up the hill. I joked about it then, but now I feel bad for him. He gave it all he had to finish that difficult stage, which had too much climbing for any sprinter, and they still time cut him. If he didn't want to finish the race he would have pulled out like Boonen.
We were able to see a screening of Cav's new movie later that night at the performing arts center. Chasing Legends is an excellent doc which give great insight into the HTC team during the Tour. I had heard good things about the movie before I saw, and I can say I was not let down. I knew what was coming and I still felt emotion for the events of last year's race. Heinrich's solo win, Jen's fall, they had excellent interviews that really completed the story. Of course, because it was about HTC at the Tour, there was a lot left out, but that's ok we don't need to see who actually won the race at any point...
Saturday I went to LA and watched the Time Trial stage of the Tour of California. The course was very flat, but very windy, so it was going to be hard for any GC contender to really stand out. I found some excellent viewing spots along the course because there was very few people actually out on course. The start and the finish were packed, but other than that the course was a ghost town. I think this was due to the Lance effect in reverse. Once he was no longer in the race, the crowds seemed smaller, sadly. I was able to flirt my way into getting one of the stickers that went on Fabian's motorcycle during his TT for my mom. She swears he's related to her family. TTs are strange though, watching them live is difficult without constant updates, so I headed home and re-watched it all on TV.
Sunday I decided to do the Brea Old Criterium. This course is literally right next Roger Millikan so it was very familiar. I wasn't sure how my form would be after all the riding in Big Bear, especially on Friday, but I gave it a go anyway.
I started first lap with a strong pull and then let Brad and this Swami's guy alternate through. We pulled like that for 6 laps and then I decided we had hurt them enough this was and tried something else. As soon as Brad took the front I sat up and let a gap open up to him. Quickly 3 guys joined him, and they had the makings for a breakaway. This break didn't last long though, unfortunately, so when we pulled them back in, the Swami's guy and myself counter-attacked. 3 other guys joined us and we had the makings of a strong break. We gained 8 or 9 seconds on the field and just seemed to be getting stronger when I noticed my bike felt weird. I looked down and my saddle was completely nose down. My seatpost clamp had come loose and the USCF official sad I wasn't eligible for a free lap so my day was done. The Swami's guy ended up taking the race, he is the reigning TT champ.
This week I will take it easy and prepare for Barry Wolf State Criterium Championships, I want a Bear! Now go ride.
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