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Climbin with the Disco Boys

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Climbin with the Disco Boys

Old 02-05-07, 10:55 AM
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Vinokurtov
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Climbin with the Disco Boys

So my new team set up a week-long camp outside of Los Olivos, CA last week, the place we were staying was partway up Figueroa Mountain, an area noteworthy for Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, and a most hated climb for the CSC and Discovery teams, which regularly hold camps in the area. Disco happened to be in the area at the time, we ran into them almost daily going the other way, both on the mountain and on some of the rides. Saw LA hisself in the follow car one day, got a nod and a wave.

So we're out on our second to last day coming down a side road and here they come, the climbing squad. Ivan, Levi and Co. We had passed the classics boys going the other way only this group was headed back towards Figueroa, as were we. We figured "what the heck" and jumped on at the tail end of the caravan, which included several follow cars.

The miles rolled away as did the non bike part of the caravan, until we were sitting on the group, just kickin it with some of the "guest riders", as Levi and several other pros slid back to the follow cars for water or food. Cool.

One of the follow cars pulls up next to us and rolls down the window. It's Johan.

"How are you boys doing today?"

We proceed to have a short conversation about the teams plans for the following season, eventually he drifts back and we start climbing. The guest riders start dropping, as do my teammates, until it's just me and our other climber, an upper cat winner from Everest Challenge, hanging with the boys. We're going pretty hard, there's no conversation up ahead any more. My teammate and I look at each other with the biggest poop eating grin you can imagine.

Meanwhile one of our other guys gets a tow up from one of the follow cars.

We do one more hill like this, even harder. I've still got a bit left in the tank and pull slightly out of line to drink in the peleton. Some of the guys are obviously riding tempo, others are a bit more pushed. There's a bit of a temptation to go ahead and attack, the mere thought of which sets off my Fred alarm at it's highest pitch. In any case the pace picks up as we start to crest, a very nice acceleration thrown in by Mr. Basso.

We head down into town where we're meeting the rest of our team. Johan comes by and smiles and waves, I make the international sign for "Call Me" which gets another smile out of Johan and peel of laughter from my teammate who nearly falls off his bike.

Damn it, forgot to give him my number
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Old 02-05-07, 10:59 AM
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Hey when he calls can be your mechanic
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Old 02-05-07, 10:59 AM
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Makes me not want to race hood...
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Old 02-05-07, 11:00 AM
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Cool story.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:01 AM
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Sweet! Call me.....LOL classic
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Old 02-05-07, 11:01 AM
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Oh yeah? Well, I was out on a training ride yesterday and I saw... um... no cyclists. And then this car pulled up behind me and guess who it was? Yup, some total stranger. And he looked at me as he went by and said... nothing. And then I went home.

I guess your story is A LITTLE cooler...

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Old 02-05-07, 11:02 AM
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I think I've had dreams similar to your post! (of course my dreams end with me attacking the group, and dropping all but Basso - then I gift Basso the victory at the finish line - but I digress!) That must have been one surreal climb.

Pictures would elevate your post to "post of the year" status.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:02 AM
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Good story. Glad to see you acted appropriately. Not an everyday experience to be able to say you rode with the winner of the Giro and a lot of other famous pros.

Was Danielson with them? He's originally from my area, even rode in our club TT once before he became famous.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
Makes me not want to race hood...
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Old 02-05-07, 11:15 AM
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Dude, that is simply awesome. You must be in killer shape. Maybe you should be a pro.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bac
I think I've had dreams similar to your post! (of course my dreams end with me attacking the group, and dropping all but Basso - then I gift Basso the victory at the finish line - but I digress!) That must have been one surreal climb.

Pictures would elevate your post to "post of the year" status.
Great story!!! I've had dreams involving Basso. But I think it was Elisa Basso
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Old 02-05-07, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bac

Pictures would elevate your post to "post of the year" status.
And here you go

Unfortunately they are from my teammate's camera phone, one is the team coming past him and I the day prior.

I'm pretty sure Tommy D. was in the group...
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Old 02-05-07, 11:21 AM
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I'm not worthy..... way to go.

I watched the Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia) today. They flew up a 50-60 km climb which I got tired cycling up over a full day, they just killed it.

Pros humble me - you my friend are a legend.....
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Old 02-05-07, 11:21 AM
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Good one! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us Vinokurtov.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pathdoc
Dude, that is simply awesome. You must be in killer shape. Maybe you should be a pro.
I thought about it, but the call for a moderately talented 47 y/o domestique seems a bit thin...plus most of those guys were going tempo. I think Ivan actually had his Gameboy out at one point
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Old 02-05-07, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin

Pros humble me - you my friend are a legend.....
no doubt. all that base Vinokurtov has been doing looks like it's paying off nicely.

i would have been spit off the back so quickly it would have made your head spin.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:26 AM
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I dunno man, I saw Tommy D doing the children's short track at mount snow and he was a mid-pack wheelsucker. IMO, this puts you on par with a bunch of 8 year olds on walmart specials
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Old 02-05-07, 11:26 AM
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Nice story, Vinokurtov!
Well, on our ride from L.A. to Santa Barbara on Saturday we did come across a lone straggler in full Disco kit just outside of Ojai....

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Old 02-05-07, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rollin
I'm not worthy..... way to go.


Pros humble me - you my friend are a legend.....
Great Photos!
Let us all stop and bow to our new Post Master. Hail Post Master, Hail Post Master.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:45 AM
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Good work! Not many people can say they hung with that caliber of riders even if they did have their gameboys out. Pretty cool experience. Out team training camp is in two weeks down in the Smokies. I'm pretty sure we'll be the only idiots out on the road.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
And here you go
Wow! You've got my nomination!
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Old 02-05-07, 12:01 PM
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Great story Vino. So this means that if you can hang with the Disco boys while they are doing tempo. then you really don't need all those watts and you will then loan them to me for '07 right?
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Old 02-05-07, 12:16 PM
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So far this is the best thread of 2007. Great story, and someone was smart enough to get a few pictures as well. You'll be able to tell the "little Vino" about this one day.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:19 PM
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Great Story!! must be an awesome sight being surrounded by such talent

I'm afraid I'd scream like Ned Flanders if I saw Basso on the road...
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Old 02-05-07, 12:23 PM
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Great thread, great story. Ranks right up there with the best of 07 (if not 06 too). I'd love to even dream of sticking with the Disco boys on the flats let alone any signficant climb so my hat (err, helmet) is off to you for staying with them. And the 'call me' is classic, pure classic.

Now, one's got to ask themselves... how would EURO have responded to this thread?
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