I know, I know…. Bike Racers Are Crazy is not a headline — it’s not really news to those of us that read this site and it is certainly not news to me. However, after driving the RideClean team car in the caravan at the Tour of Utah for 5 days, it was reinforced in me with such a kick-you-in-the-face manner, it deserves to be said again. I was actually MAD at the average American sports fan. Had any football/baseball watching schlub spent 1 hour in the car flying down switchbacks at 60 miles an hour on crappy roads while being passed by fools on bikes, they would have sold their season tickets.
The Tour of Utah, for those of you that don’t know, is a 2.2 rated NRC race featuring a who’s-who of road racing and an impressive purse with a course to match. $75,000 in money and 30,000 vertical feet of “up” in 5 days — and two of those days were pancake flat. It doesn’t matter what your name is….if you are doing 100 miles and 15,000 of climbing, it’s a killer day.
An example of the terrain…
The RideClean Team raced well, maintaining a 2nd place in the Best Young Rider category till the last day, and showing in a break in the crit that eventually got hauled back. Face it: if you are in a RideClean Jersey and leading the break through the finish like Hammy, or if you are climbing up to Snowbird with the likes of Victor Hugo Pena (former yellow jersey wearer from the Tour De France) then you are doing something right.
Check out my boy Kiel riding w/ Pena the Shark to the mountain top finish…
Is that a grin or a grimace? We will never know, but that is Pena’s tongue sticking out. A tough day for everyone.
And, of course, a race is not a race with out some well placed logo’s. We chose to rock DC on the team car — double wide on the back so everyone behind us in the caravan at one point or another (BMC, Rock Racing, Bissell, Toyota-United, Jittery Joe’s etc.) had to see the Twin Stickers Of Hell staring back at them.
As it should be.
Start 7 guys in RideClean jerseys on the line next to Tyler Hamilton? Don’t mind if I do. Suck down a bottle of Tequila with Rich and Dave from Fluid and race baggage carts down the ramp in the parking structure? Sign me up. (Hey c’mon…. gotta represent the DC sponsorship properly, y’know…)
I’ll leave you with a pic of the first day that was posted on cyclingnews.com — my man Ryan “Treefarm” Trebon putting the wood to the group…
Thanks for reading.by