Before delving into stage 3, please allow me a quick aside by backtrack to stage 2. An additional highlight I observed post-race while thumbing through Cyclingnews photos was this beauty of Ms. Purplehair and Signore Gorilla, below… or more specifically Camille and Ben. Camille was my 6th grade girlfriend and Ben is her husband. They’re awesome folks, cyclists themselves, and clearly were dressed to the nines for an exciting queen stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge presented by Sandwiches. And yes, this photo is as poached as poached can get. To Jonathan Devich goes due credit.
And onto Stage 3.
My first highlight of the day occurred while booking along at 60kph through the flat/false-flat section of the course which leads into the proper climbing part of the race. Ticking off one kilometer per hour is very satisfying.
That highlight however was followed by the lowlight of dragging my 80 kilo frame up the final 5km pitch of Vail Pass. Uuuuuughhh, significantly less enjoyable.
That aforementioned highlight then followed by a lowlight is now followed by yet another highlight: The crowds were downright silly. I read this morning that 27,000 people packed all throughout Vail for the time trial. At zero dollars per “ticket”, I would call that good bang-for-buck sporting efficiency.
The final pair of highlights are listed here as 3 and 3-a. You see 3 is an actual planned highlight while 3-a is a fringe benefit as a result of being associated with 3. Number 3, two words and one entity: Medalist Sports. This organization has once again given us hotel after hotel after hotel of the finest Colorado mountain accommodations. Below is a photo of Vail mountain which is a stone’s throw away from last night’s Marriott hotel of slumber. The previous night we slept drenched in Aspen’s stunning alpine view and that night was preceded by Crested Butte in all her Butte-y. From top to bottom, the people at Medalist Sports put in every effort to have a phenomenal race. And for that, thank you.
Like I said, 3-a is the byproduct of being placed in Vail last night. Aside from putting on a bike race, there is also the Vail Mountain Jazz Festival, so I got to stroll around Lionshead a bit after massage and before dinner to take in some Hot Tomatoes Swing Band. I talked to Jens who was gnoshing some pizza in the same pedestrian area; he said he likes pizza whereas “jazz is not my thing.” Fair enough Jens.