Friday, July 3, 2009

The ride to end all

5 hours, just under 140km of hot hot heat, and some pretty awe inspiring riding. First off, I should mention this ride was both for training purposes AND bike nerd purposes. Basically, I rode to Monaco, and then rode the tt course a few times. With some of the biggest names in cycling. After a 2 hour or so ride to arrive (with some well encouraged drafting of a Tour commissar car), I arrived and set out to see if I could get on the course. Many of the sketchier frenchmen were being kicked off by Gendarmes after all, but I seemed to get on no problems. After riding a bit, I was passed by Lance and Levi. I even got this kinda stare down look from Lance for some reason, maybe my orange EVA kit stood out as "not a tour team". Either way, I sped up a bit and rode along with a quick hello. After a round about, where I was left behind after having to stop to avoid a car, I rode merrily along content with not being the Lance stalker in the news tonight. I was feeling pretty cool as photographers were taking my picture and tourists were talking. As I came back through the finish line, people began running over and pushing to get my picture. Cooler than I thought, until suddenly Alberto Contador and Andreas Kloden (along with the rest of the Astana team) pulled out from behind laughing as they passed. Damn. So I followed along. At the next round about a flying Denis Mechov joined the group chatting away as we rolled along the tough course. We were then joined by a few Silence Lotto boys and caught up to the Quick Step boys with Styjn Devolder looking resplendant in his National Champ kit. After a lap with these guys I figured I would pull into a cafe by the finish and watch the sites with a fine cafe. Good call, as no sooner had I pulled over to scout a cafe, I looked up to see Eddy Merckx yelling at Lance. No time to waste, a handshake and a hello and suddenly I was posing for a quick photo. You can't waste a chance like that to meet the Cannibal. The rest of the ride went by, sharing the miles with a Belgian dude who is living in Monaco (racing for the Belgian National Devo team) to Nice and then rolling the rest of the way back in solitude. Good times. I'll leave with some pictures, vive la France!

The team presentations at the Moncao harbour. Say hello to Columbia HTC.

Yours truley and a pre-occupied Eddy Merkcx. Fair enough.

Didi and I are both quite pumped on bike racing. He seems to enjoy Monaco.

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