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10 Cool things I saw at the AToC

Old 03-03-07, 10:12 AM
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EventServices
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10 Cool things I saw at the AToC

Just some observations from a week on the road.

1. Serious cycling fans out in the middle of nowhere. Not on the climbs, but just out in the boonies. To me, it means that bike racing has reached all corners.

2. Some roadies would just launch their bottles off whenever they wanted, but the cool ones would wait until there were people on the roadside before they'd jetison their bottles. and they'd land them at their feet.

3. Two old men wearing really old wool TI-Raleigh jerseys along the route.

4. Division Three teams signing autographs.

5. The pre-race mingle in Santa Barbara was particularly busy. For one thing, the teams were packed in very tightly on a narrow roadway. But the coolest thing I saw was a husband-wife combo going from team to team like they were going from ride to ride at Disneyland. I mean, the same child-like excitement and everything.

6. Bettini holding court outside his RV's window in Solvang. He was signing anything and everything put in front of him. He was making jokes. It was a love-fest that you seldom see in any other sport.

7. The civilian RV that had the entire schedule written on the back, and each stage was checked off.

8. A girl showed up at the post-event party and she had taken the entire week off from her job to follow the circus. No connection with anyone, just made friends and had a great time.

9. Levi, in Sacramento long after the jersey presentations, had just finished at the anti-doping trailer, and had obviously had a long day. By this time, there was no one around but just a few fans. You could se that he just wanted to get back to the barn, but a fan asked for a photo. So he stopped, turned, smiled, waited patiently while the fan fumbled with the camera, shook hands, rode away without ever hinting at being bothered. Classy guy.

10. Going into a coin-op laundry in Seaside and seeing Gerolsteiner, Quick-Step, Liquigas jerseys tumbling around in the dryers. For some reason, that's just not a sight you'd ever expect to see. You know it has to happen somewhere, but would you ever see it?

11. I had an Iraq war vet in my car during the final stage in Long Beach. He had lost both lower legs in an IED explostion. Coolest thing was to see him walking really well on prosthetics a few weeks after receiving them, and to see him totally excited about being with the race. That was inspiring.

OK, that's 11.
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Old 03-03-07, 10:18 AM
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Did you manage any photos?
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Old 03-03-07, 10:21 AM
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Awesome!

Here are a few of my own:
1. Saw Johan Bruyneel wandering around in the crowd during the prologue as if he was a regular Joe guy.

2. Asked Bruyneel for his autograph and then asked what it would take to get Eki's. "He is in the car over there" (pointing to where the cars come out of the side-street onto the prologue course). me: "Oh you mean it is ok to go over there?" Johan: "Yes, go over to the car now."

So I wander over to the car and Eki is there talking to someone else from Disco but I don't recall who. I wait off to the side, but they stop their conversation and I got to talk with Eki for a few minutes. Then when I asked for an autograph it was clear I didn't have the best pen, so they said" "Oh! wait, we have a better one in the car. Let's get that out for you".

Eki is very classy guy.
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Old 03-03-07, 12:40 PM
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Always take a Sharpie with you.

I have some photos/videos, but I've been swamped ever since I got home, so i haven't been able to upload them yet. Plus, my style of photography isn't normal.

Eki was right behind me every day in the caravan. You get used to driving like a maniac every day, and you get used to the drivers around you. There's a LOT of trust involved in that, but everyone there is intensely into it, and they're all safe as can be.
So when I got back out on the public roads on Monday and didn't see a Discovery team car in my rearview mirror, I felt unusually vulnerable. And found myself looking at the nut behind me and saying, "Careful back there. You're not Eki."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGJtHUcyThE
Not considered good form to shoot while so close to riders, so this will have to do.
The video is deceiving. We're actually hitting speeds of 50mph on this descent, and the turns are a lot sharper than they appear through the wide angle lens. Still...

Last edited by EventServices; 03-03-07 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 03-03-07, 02:17 PM
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i was watching the rest of those vids, theyre pretty cool. what team were you driving for?
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Old 03-03-07, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGJtHUcyThE
Not considered good form to shoot while so close to riders, so this will have to do.
The video is deceiving. We're actually hitting speeds of 50mph on this descent, and the turns are a lot sharper than they appear through the wide angle lens. Still...
Wow
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Old 03-03-07, 02:22 PM
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Team UCI.
I had one of the UCI Commissaires in my car.
Pretty cool dude, actually. In fact, i'd say it was a pretty spot-on crew we had this year.
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Old 03-03-07, 09:13 PM
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Hi EventServices,

Nice list and nice video.

I'm thinking about taking a week of vacation next year to volunteer for the race. Some of my clubmates have worked the event all week. Don't know if you ran into any of them. My wife and I have been course marshals the past two years for the last stage.

Looking forward to seeing your photos and more video.
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Old 03-03-07, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGJtHUcyThE
Not considered good form to shoot while so close to riders, so this will have to do.
The video is deceiving. We're actually hitting speeds of 50mph on this descent, and the turns are a lot sharper than they appear through the wide angle lens. Still...
Thanks for an inside view of the race.

What were the papers pasted on the dash of the car? Team rosters to identify riders on road?
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