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Ever Encountered a Pro While on a Ride?

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Ever Encountered a Pro While on a Ride?

Old 01-16-24, 05:27 AM
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Yep, several in fact, including a TDF 4th place individual...very fortunate
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Old 01-16-24, 10:01 AM
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My first gravel ride oh maybe 6 or 7 years ago was lead/organized by Jeremy Powers and maybe a couple others in Southampton, MA. It was a fundraiser for up and coming pro riders (I think in the Cyclocross world, primarily, but don't quote me). Full disclosure: I am NOT a racer and I did walk a couple of sections of the 60+ mile hilly course. Not sure if Jeremy rode that day but pretty sure there were a bunch of pros riding, although, not really racing but more as a show of support. The only one that I noticed was a guy (don't recall his name) who blew past me like nothing I'd ever seen before and taking a turn that at a speed - especially on gravel - that was pretty terrifying just to watch.
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Old 01-16-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Lots of imposters on Zwift. Any reason to be sure it was him.
Also, uh, he's at 1.7 W/kg?
The check mark ahead of their name means they are Zwift verified to be who the name suggests they are, i.e. a big deal personality. G. Hincapie is the Hincapie.
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Old 01-16-24, 10:39 AM
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Besides the usual local/regional pros, I've raced(I use this term loosely) Leipheimer and Lachlan Morton in gravel and MTB races. Obviously I didn't finish with them.

For an older guy, Levi is still very fast. In the case of the gravel race, I managed to ride in the front group for about 20 minutes, but was sent out the back on the first legit climb. I was reminded, in that race, of what amazing athletes those guys are. It was nearly a 70 mile gravel race with over 9k' of climbing...Lachlan rode the 25 or so miles from his house to the start line, and then when I was driving home, I saw him riding back.
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Old 01-16-24, 10:40 AM
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Back in the 90's, Seana Hogan passed my brother and me on a climb.
It occurred along Calaveras Rd above San Jose. Felt like a sudden puncture afflicted me.
In fact, two punctures, a dropped chain, and a cramp in my calf. Sticking with that excuse.
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Old 01-16-24, 10:44 AM
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Not professionals, but in the '70s we happened upon Canadian National Team members training in Tucson during the winter. It was fun talking with them.

"Super heavy-duty, eh?"
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Old 01-16-24, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
Besides the usual local/regional pros, I've raced(I use this term loosely) Leipheimer and Lachlan Morton in gravel and MTB races. Obviously I didn't finish with them.

For an older guy, Levi is still very fast. In the case of the gravel race, I managed to ride in the front group for about 20 minutes, but was sent out the back on the first legit climb. I was reminded, in that race, of what amazing athletes those guys are. It was nearly a 70 mile gravel race with over 9k' of climbing...Lachlan rode the 25 or so miles from his house to the start line, and then when I was driving home, I saw him riding back.
Which event was that? I did the Bovine Classic in Atascadero last October. Levi was there, and took the win (combined best time for multiple timed segments).

At the Belgian Waffle Ride last April, in the last 10 miles of my 80mi route, I started getting passed by the pros - Finsterwald, Vermeulen, Stetina, etc. They had done 50 more miles than me, and it was humbling how fast they went by.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Which event was that? I did the Bovine Classic in Atascadero last October. Levi was there, and took the win (combined best time for multiple timed segments).

At the Belgian Waffle Ride last April, in the last 10 miles of my 80mi route, I started getting passed by the pros - Finsterwald, Vermeulen, Stetina, etc. They had done 50 more miles than me, and it was humbling how fast they went by.
Heart of Gold up here in NorCal, Levi took the win and Lachlan was 2nd. I know Stetina is fast too...his Death Ride time up here is absolutely bonkers...103 miles and 14k' of climbing in a little over 5 hours.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
Besides the usual local/regional pros, I've raced(I use this term loosely) Leipheimer.
Hails from Butte, MT, just as Evel Knievel did. Levi’s uncle or cousin or something owned/owns a LBS there. Butte is on the GDMBR. There’s also not much else close, so not a bad location. First time I rode through there I saw another business with that last name on it. IIRC, it sold snow mobiles and motorcycles.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
The check mark ahead of their name means they are Zwift verified to be who the name suggests they are, i.e. a big deal personality. G. Hincapie is the Hincapie.
Didn't know about the check marks on Zwift. I guess I've never seen or noticed anybody with one.
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Old 01-16-24, 12:11 PM
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"Encountered" a very young George Hancappie (and his brother and their clique) in a few races in and around NYC, he was kicking our butts long before he could drive or shave....
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Old 01-16-24, 01:31 PM
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I'm sure I crossed paths several times over the decades with Tinker Juarez while hiking in the Puente Hills while he was shredding the single track.
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Old 01-16-24, 02:49 PM
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I've seen Grischa Niermann a few times on the Niensteder Pass climb which is very close to where he lives.

A combination of the Jumbo Visma kit and the Strava Flyby function helped me recognise him. One time, I tried to hold his wheel on the climb but realised after a few seconds that it wasn't a great idea.

Anyone wanting to encounter the pros should go to the area around Benidorm in January.
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Old 01-16-24, 03:31 PM
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Tyler Hamilton gave me a push uphill once. He was spectating while serving his van.
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Old 01-16-24, 03:33 PM
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I saw Bigfoot during a ride. Does that count?
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Old 01-16-24, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cweb99
I saw Bigfoot during a ride. Does that count?
No. Commonplace I even saw his wife waiting for him to come home from the bar.



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Old 01-16-24, 06:29 PM
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I saw "El Diavolo" at the '95 Giro. He didn't wave.


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Old 01-16-24, 06:31 PM
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Back around 2000, I was riding in Woodside CA, and I was passed by a tall, thin, dark-haired woman on a polished Aluminum Cannondale, whom I'm pretty sure was Linda Jackson, since she dropped me like a hot rock with no apparent effort. I forget what kit she was wearing and this might even have been after she retired. So I'm only 95% certain it was really her.

Around that time, I was climbing West Old La Honda and rode most of the way up with a young woman in team kit. We had a friendly discussion about nothing in particular. I stole a glance at the name on the top tube of her bike - Shari Kain, two time National Cyclocross champ. IIRC, I read around that time she was nursing an injury, which explains why she didn't drop me like a hot rock, too. At the top, she said she was going to descend EAST OLH, so that's where we parted company. I'm a chicken descender with very limited bike handling skills, and that's one of the worst descents I've ever ridden! I'm sure she managed it with no difficulty.
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Old 01-16-24, 06:38 PM
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"Ever Encountered a Pro While on a Ride?"

Yeah....
20 bucks, just like downtown...
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Old 01-16-24, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Back around 2000, I was riding in Woodside CA, and I was passed by a tall, thin, dark-haired woman on a polished Aluminum Cannondale, whom I'm pretty sure was Linda Jackson, since she dropped me like a hot rock with no apparent effort. I forget what kit she was wearing and this might even have been after she retired. So I'm only 95% certain it was really her..
A friend from my club became a domestique for Linda Jackson on the Auto Trader team. She was with the team when Linda won the HP Women's Challenge.
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Old 01-16-24, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
I'm sure I crossed paths several times over the decades with Tinker Juarez while hiking in the Puente Hills while he was shredding the single track.
Some friends and I were resting at Dawson Saddle (@7900 ft) when Tinker rode up the 5 mile climb from the east side. He was moving quickly but took the time to smile and say hi, he didn't seem to be working very hard. A couple minutes later a young dude came up, huffing and puffing and looking stressed. He asked how far ahead Tinker was. We told him at least 2 minutes and he said "crap" or something similar and took off after him. There seemed to be no way he was going to catch Tinker.
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Old 02-01-24, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I rode up Old La Honda one day with a Webcor pro, chatting away.

When we got to the top, he said, "Nice riding with you, but I need to get in some some tempo today." And he rode off.

I had been doing tempo.
Fezzik, "I thought I WAS going faster."
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Old 02-01-24, 05:54 PM
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Me with Frankie Andreau at a fund raiser for a local special needs school (2003, I think)


Same ride, 1 year later, with George Hincapie
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Old 02-02-24, 01:44 PM
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Yup spotted Ted King once
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Old 02-02-24, 03:19 PM
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Got dropped in a Cat1-2-3 race outside of Austin (Dripping Springs, TX maybe?) in 88 or 89. Armstrong was in the race.

Saw Floyd Landis while riding near Escondido, CA (he waved back); then a year or two later he sprinted past me going up the steeep incline of Mount Baldy just before the finish line at l'Etape du California. He was just out enjoying the day, but I was pedaling my guts out. Got to shake his hand.

My neighbor, Olympic gold medalist Steve Hegg (84 medalled in individual and team track pursuit). When I was moving all my bikes into the garage, he said his name was Steve and mentioned he is also a cyclist. I immediately start rambling off my puny achievements on the bike and asked him what kind of riding he does. "I was in the Olympics a long time ago, but now I ride mostly for pleasure."
"You're not Steve HEGG?!?!"
"Yeah, I'm totally Steve Hegg."
I reached into my garage for my Steve Hegg poster and said, "You don't have to sign this right now, but I hope you'll sign it soon."

Also Nelson ("call me Nellie") Vails, John Howard, and Thurlow Rogers. They live near me and I see them out on the road sometimes.
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