It has already been said. And then those thoughts have been echoed, re-echoed, and subsequently mentioned again and again. But now I want to say it: the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge - despite it’s ineffectively awkward and verbose name - is a truly incredible event. Top to bottom, across the board, left to right, and by whatever other measurements I deem necessary, this race smashed it out of the park! The racers, the fans, the VIPs, team staff, sponsors, and everyone else with whom I had the luxury to speak all sang the praises of this phenomenal race.
Speaking of singing, it was stuff like this that made this race special.
These fellows on dueling guitars and sometimes banjos served as our evening entertainment in Steamboat throughout dinner. The euros dining amongst us found it a bit odd, but us Americanos deemed it the perfect level of both hoakie and excellent. Plus, instead of the typical pasta, salad greens, and boiled chicken that are staples of the professional cycling circuit’s dinner buffet line, all week we dined on Colorado ribs, macaroni and cheese, river caught fish, hearty steak, and other such locally sourced fare. When you boil down what bicycle racers want in a bicycle race – a well-run race, tasty food, and a comfortable bed – the “Tour of Colorado” had it all. Plus evening entertainment.
Look, let’s not kid ourselves, Colorado has been due for a signature bike race for some time now. I feel fairly certain in saying Colorado is the cycling mecca of America (sorry Louisiana, I know you thought you had that title locked up, but I think CO wins out in the reality that we live in) so this is a timely and well deserved arrival of the race to the Centennial State. A gregarious high five to all those involved.
In other news, this never gets old. This of course referring to the champagne on the right. For three straight nights.
Bike racing for the week: OVER! And now onto a brief relaxing phase, some training, a long bout of traveling, as the Quebec City and Montreal races are on the horizon.
Specifically, after Colorado I flew out to California for the week. Landing in SFO, I drove with the li’l lady up to Lake Tahoe. Last time I was here there was snow blanketing the entire region and we couldn’t race. I therefore took the opportunity yesterday to try to recreate the scene 3+ months later. I’m very pleased with my memory to remember not only where I stood that fateful, snowy, freezing cold morning of stage 2 of the Tour of California, but also the perfect angle’ature.
Late May in Squaw Valley…
Late August in Squaw Valley…
And following a delightful ride yesterday, I rested my tired bones in the sun down by beautiful and ambiguously deep lake Tahoe.
Then we watching the movie 30 Minutes of Less last night, which is as crude as it is entertaining as it is dumb, and I gave it a mildly worthy one thumb up.