“An entire post written with no pants on.”
This was the quote that Michael Bussman (the mind behind New Belgium’s blog) shared with me as we retired to our rooms following the Pro Challenge’s first stage in beautiful Aspen, Colorado.
While he may prefer no pants for his blognessing, I quite enjoy the feel of gold lamé, so we’ll have to agree to disagree.
So what you read is true. Day one is in the books and His Grabbiness of Pervington, Peter Sagan won not only the opening day’s stage, but the jerseys for best young rider, sprinter, over all leader, hill climber and the newly introduced ‘most likely to look like a youngish Frankenstein’ jersey;
In an effort at doing New Belgium right by offering the most comprehensive coverage available, I kicked the day off with a bunch of crappy photos, and then a nearly rapid fire stream of observations via my Twitter feed;
I scored sweet schwag indeed;
And perhaps most importantly;
I mean, for real- the amount of internal combustion involved in a bunch of skinny guys in super hero costumes riding their bikes around was staggering. Car after car after car after car passed by at the start;
– Not to mention the motorhomes, and the convoy of simi-trucks moving the circus onto the next town (or the flights for worthless blogdouches from the west coast to the mile high state for reasons that still aren’t clear). I was kinda amazed, and also bummed but then I realized that bikes are the last thing what that might save the earth, despite my occasional optimistic perspective of them, and then I pitched some garbage over my shoulder onto the ground and decided not to worry about it.
With my apathy burning brightly, I then turned my attention to friends I happened to stumble across. Like for example, this guy;
and Nat Ross;
Nearly all of the clowns had gotten out of the car for this race.
Just as soon as stage one began, it was over and we blasted out of town at nearly the crack of dawn the following day to post up at the 12,000ish foot summit of Independence Pass to give beer away, take on the vistas, watch the blur of the peloton, as well as to drink in the general flavor of the day;
The above two fellas are named Frank and Mark, and the little lady between them is named Sonny. They drove all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas with a gallon of homemade whiskey for the sole reason that they love bike racing. Meeting them was a pivotal experience indeed, as a regular topic of recent discussion has related to how in America, almost without exception, fans of bike racing are also bike racers, or at the very least, casual cyclists, as opposed to a huge number of European cycling fans generally not being bike racers or at the very least casual cyclists.
Frank and Mark were the first people I think I’d ever met who genuinely loved bike racing, but had no interest or experience in doing it themselves. I liked making their acquaintance for a myriad of reasons, (*note* the gallon of homemade whiskey), but this was chief among them.
Anyhow, that being said, let’s continue with the sights;
And then the honches came through, Fast Freddy being among the honchiest;
And I must ach Optum/Kelly’s Tom Soladay a question;
That would be funnier word play if his hair wasn’t clear and you could actually see his sweet cookie broom.
Speaking of which;
After summiting Independence, all that was left for the bikecycle racers to do was to descend to the bottom of Hoosier Pass and do it all over again. With 126 miles and somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 billion feet in elevation gain under their belts, the Swissonian from BMC, Mathias Fränk emerged victorious with Garmin-Sharp’s Lachlan David Morton in second and Peter Sagan rounded out third place.
What will the next two days bring? A whole lot more effort from the peloton, and just the same old amount of half-assededness from me.
One thing is guaranteed- However half-assed my attempts at race coverage might be, you can bet the whole ass will remain covered by gold lamé.
Half-assed in race coverage, but full-mooned in grab-assery.
Much better race coverage than the other news sources! Good to see copious amounts of various distilled spirits flowing during the stage; keep up the ace reporting!
re Frank, Mark and Sonny;
Drinking at elevation ,,, you are killing it Steve,, you did Miss outt onn a good SSUSA,,, ThInK that race went right past my Old House,, go balls deep in the cold springs..
I had a similar experience at the Tour of Utah. Small towns folk being stoked and coming out in droves to cheer on skinny people on bikes. Maybe there is hope after all.
One of your best posts in a long time. Nicely done.
Stevil, that may well be the best race report I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. And a candid shot of DWP and a sTompaRIlla riding a tall bike? Priceless shit right there. Thanks for making my morning less productive than it already has been.
that disco ball guy still owes me a burrito from downieville.
that disco ball guy looks kinda “Rapey”
SaWhats up with the cute new Belgium serving girls cutting me off at the fort tasting room? Maybe it had something to do with the free postcards in the taproom, and me asking for the personal addresses of above mentioned pourers. Its not like i really intended to smail out the post card, just watch from afar in a place of wooded saftey.
gawd damn i love that Sagan but those pants!! Shitbawls!