Wednesday, September 28, 2011

USAPCC - Colorado August 2011

It is about 11:00am on Thursday when I get a call from our good friends who have a condo in Steamboat Springs. "Hey - why don't you and Linda come to Steamboat so we can watch the bike race and celebrate our anniversaries together on Monday." We're on the road shortly after 1:00pm!

The finish on Friday is in Steamboat. We eat lunch at a place right by the finish and stake out a place along the barrier after eating. It'll be awhile before the peleton arrives but there is a lot of activity to keep us entertained. Here are a few photos taken while we waited.

I'm practicing my "hands off the bars" winning finish under the finish line. If I do that while on the bike, something bad is likely to happen.

Paul and Clay

Phil and Clay

Linda and Paul

We watch Phil and Paul tape their pre-race interview. No, they didn't get it right the first time.

Saturday morning we go up Rabbit Ears Pass and find a spot before the summit. In a professional bike race, there are many, many vehicles that are in front of the riders. You know the riders are getting close when the helicopter is overhead.

Race Leader Levi and peleton on Rabbit Ears Pass.

We were somewhat surprised at how the peleton had split before the top of the pass which was only about 10 miles into the day. Anyway the major stars were easy to pick out.

After everyone had passed and the road opened again, we went back toward Steamboat and took a back route toward Breckinridge for the finish. I was worried about road closures and us being a little late but also knew of a good place to watch.
The Triple Bypass ride also comes over Swan Mountain and crosses the road to Breckenridge at a signal light near a school. My hunch was that we could come through Frisco, park in the school parking lot and walk to the intersection. That's exactly what we did.

Andy Schleck first through corner on the way to Breckenridge.

Unlike riders on the TBP, these guys were NOT looking for a rest stop. They were flying to the finish in Breck only a few miles away.

Levi is also "on the rivet".

This guy overshot the corner and unclipped in case he lost traction.

Cadel (front) and George (4th) will soon catch up.
 Overall we had a great time. The crowds were huge and the level of excitement was very high. Also we had good weather, as in dry weather, which can be an issue after noon in the mountains.

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