After taking a short break to recover from the Tour of California – on a side note, how do folks manage to cover a 3-week Tour? – we are back and ready to get back to racing.
Before moving forwards, let’s take a short look back at this year’s race and the jumble memories that are etched in my brain…
The amazing sight of seeing World Champions (more), National Champions (more), Tour de France winners, Paris-Roubaix winners,…. and the best of the North American racing scene all at one race was a sight to behold.
The epic racing and emotional roller coaster of stage 2 from Sausalito to Santa Cruz where I had a front-row seat to the drama of the breakaway where riders were subjected to hail (twice), cold, pouring rain, side-winds, head-winds, unbelievable weather.
The attack by Levi Leipheimer who blew by the team car on Bonny Doon climb to grab the yellow jersey. And then, seeing him chase when isolated in the final stage, looking calm and focused.
The stage 4 finish in the clouds of yellow chalk dust. Seeing the riders speeding to the finish line navigating the ‘death swirl’ with fans cheering and screaming.
The amazing rides put in at the Solvang time trial with many riders putting in their best results ever.
The fans everywhere, cheering for everybody. They were 5 to 10 deep in the final circuit around the Rose Bowl, an unending wall of sound. Fabulous.
Wow. Let’s do it again (but not just right now).
What’s next? Well for many domestic teams, there is now a lull in the racing as the NRC only kicks off at the end of March at the Redlands Classic. Some teams are racing in Mexico but that leaves many with an option – either race in local events or take a break. Which is truly unfortunate, as many has achieved great form following the 8-day race but the USA calendar does have big holes in it in its current state.