Saturday, February 14, 2009

ToC - Prologue: Sacramento - 2.4 miles

A view of the course with the State Capitol in background.
A Garmin-Slipstream rider, I can't remember who... These were the only pictures I took all day, too busy otherwise.

For the non-cycling enthusiast, I will try and explain a few things as I hope to shed some light on why cycling is so exciting. Today's Stage is an individual time trial. Meaning, each rider goes out on the 2.4 mile course through the streets of Sacramento FULL GAS. It's the "race of truth", the race against the clock. These short prologues do not typically decide who will win the overall, but they do establish the pecking order. Sprinters and specialists against the clock will be the front runners, but they may not be able to hold the pace once the road turns up. So today should be exciting to see each rider head out on their own and see how they stack up to the rest of the competition.

Above is what I wrote before leaving for ToC. So if you see a short blurb from any future updates, it's because I set them to automatically post. Hopefully I have time, and don't feel too tired to update each day.
Today was not a typical day as a Course Marshal because today we just stood in one spot and did crowd control. It was fairly simple as most people were courteous, but the debate came between whether or not people were allowed to cross the road or not. The local county mounty said no, which I didn't disagree with, but as the old saying goes, "Why did the chicken cross the road?". If anyone looked at the course online, there was a down and back section then it opened up a little on the surrounding streets and then circled back. I was on the section 'back' from the tight U-turn around. So of course people either wanted to be in the middle of the median or on the far opposite side. Of course no one listens to the police or some dude holding a flag and blowing a whistle. We finally came to a consensus that people could cross the road, as long as no one was coming. Duh?!? It was all good, until Lance came out, of course. I shouldn't really say that, but the people were in such a tizzy to see him on the 'down' and 'back' section that watching them run around like chickens with their heads cut off was quite funny. Hmmm, I think I've done the same thing at other races I've seen him at..... I guess the pot shouldn't call the kettle black!

It was a long day but pretty cool. I think I scared John Murphy, a local Atlanta rider, when I yelled his name when he was warming up. He rides for the OUCH p/b Maxxis team and a good kid, fast too. I also ran into another friend that is out here for a few days from ATL. Small world. Tomorrow we check out of this hotel and won't stay in the same one for two nights straight until we reach San Diego. Living out of a suitcase, I love it....! Oh, I guess I should mention that Fabian 'Spartacus' Cancellara (Swiss on team Saxo Bank) won the Prologue and Lance came in 10th. I didn't know that myself until I got back to the hotel. It's just like when we followed the Tour in '04, you actually know more when you are at home than when you are actually there. But it's definitely not the same experience! I'm pretty glad to be here. Til next time, ciao.


Sandy B and Dick said...

Thanks to TIVO, Dad and I watched the prologue last night. "When we followed the Tour in '04" clarification--Tour de France reference, not ToC. Brian, a friend, Dick and I were there for two weeks following THE Tour! That was a blast!!!

Have fun, honey...xoxoxo

Becky said...

Hopp Schwiiz! Yeah Cancellara!!! :)

Sounds like a great experience Brian - Glad you're getting to enjoy it all up-close-and-in-person.