Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roadie out in front.

No, I didn't take this photo. I was never this close to the front of the peloton.
This was taken by one of the pro moto photo bikes in the caravan. They're a bunch of cool guys who have one of the funner jobs in the race. Jon Devich shoots for various publications and (I don't think he's aware of how close we came to taking him out during Stage 6 when we crested a blind hill and found him and his driver stopped in the middle of the hill. The "photo bikes" will stop abruptly in the oddest places as they are dictated by the scenery. Other caravan vehicles must adjust their driving accordingly. We adjusted. Disaster averted.)
So a big thanks to them for capturing this prize for me.
Caption: Pro peloton tries to read over Jon's shoulder with little success.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A New Announcer

The Bike Race Announcer's Union allowed a non-Union announcer to take the stage at the Tour of Missouri yesterday. Here's how it sounded/looked:

I'd love to hear him provide the announcing for a criterium.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

J.J. has a Big Day Day

I've been watching J.J. Haedo for a number of years and have been waiting for him to strike it big. Today was a big step forward.
The final 300 meters of the sprint into Jefferson City go up a nasty hill. This video doesn't really show the steepness of it.

If you pause the video when the leaders are right in front of the camera, you'll see J.J. in the dark green Edward Jones Sprint Leader's jersey going up the right side. Thor Hushovd is in the yellow Missouri Tourism Leader's Jersey nearer the camera. Thor's lead-out rider is dropping off the pace. The Liquigas rider is moving up, but it's J.J. at the line. Good for him!
Great finish.

Wanna Join The Crew?

Every day the Tour of Missouri rolls into a new town. And every day, we hear people ask us "How can I get on the crew?"
Well, for starters, it helps to be CUTE:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Missouri Mission

The mission of every other rider at this year's Tour of Missouri is to find a way to beat Mark Cavendish. Good freakin' luck. He's riding well, and he has brought the A-Team with him to Missouri.
I will do my best to tell other stories this week, but his is pretty reMARKable, so this one is about him.
Some observations:
- He's a nice guy. In the team hotel, he's approachable and chatty. Granted, we're seeing him in a somewhat protected environment in the Race HQ hotel in which every other person is on the race staff, but I've also seen him among the people, and he's just a normal guy.
I haven't made an attempt to chat with him yet; I will before the week is out. I've seen how he treats other staffers. He's a pro.
- While yous him crossing the line in celebration ... over and over again... I saw him 200m AFTER the finish line today. For just a few moments he looks like a race horse who knows he's the best. It's a very subtle look that I'll try to capture in the coming Stages (because I know I'll have plenty of chances). Anyone who has spent time around races horses will know the look. And it really only lasts for a few seconds. As quickly as it come, it goes. And he stops in his tracks and immediately turns around and seeks out his teammates.

- In the post race ceremonies, he is patient and accommodating. When asked about his chances of winning the overall title, he was taken aback for a brief second . I don't think the idea had ever crossed his mind. He quickly dismissed the notion by saying that he has teammates that are better suited for that.
- He was up on stage a lot today winning three of the five jerseys including that of the race leader.

So, he's a likable guy with great attitude and legs that can go real fast. This race will likely come down to Friday's time trial. In the meantime, enjoy the show.