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« Yawn | Main | This Sucks! »

February 23, 2009



Hello all...been a busy weekend to say the least. I was up in Paso on Thurs for the finish. After the podium awards I was wandering around in back, sort of meandering in the general direction of my car, when Bob Roll wanders by heading towards the VS trailer. Of course, I can barely whisper at this time (btw, FINALLY got ahold of the Dr. just before I left for the race. He says the test for Strep throat was negative. what do I have then?) Anyway...I'm trying to ask him when he's gonna shave his head for the livestrong donations we've been doing on his page (per Fatcyclist). But people are VERY VERY rude...and keep stepping in front of me and finally he bolts for the trailer and I lose my chance. Turns out he had Johan shave his head that morning live on the air..but I missed it cuz I'm AT the race! That explains why he was wearing a hat. So when I found out that evening I was TICKED! (that I missed getting a photo of myself and a Bald Bobke..cuz he surely would have whipped his hat off and shown me). DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!

Then Fri...parked in Los Olivos (the half-way point of the TT) and rode into Solvang on the course. Wandered around the mayhem and madness, then finally tried to ride back to Los Olivos...but now they've closed the course so we have to ride miles out of our way to get back. Finally get back but now they won't let us take our bikes on the we have to hike in carrying all our stuff. I setup lower on the climb (MUCH less crowd) but Greg continues to near the top. Great spot I awesome shots of every rider again! NICE!!! As we were hiking back to the cars, some guy had race-radio somehow and heard that Levi beat was an awesome day!

Then Sat I drove down to Gregs (EARLY!) and we headed to Pasadena for the finish. Setup right past the finish line about 10am...wandered thru the mayhem, and got chalk from Livestrong people. My niece and I were doing up the road when a policeman TOLD US to stop..that the riders had complained about the dust. We were flabbergasted! (I had JUST finished my "Win Susan"and "Hi Fatty"...and was starting to work on a "LeviStrong" bracelet and a "Hello IA". We couldn't believe we weren't being allowed to chalk the street. So when Mr. Policeman left, we jumped the barricade and were in the process of finishing. Well...said policeman wasn't pleased. And does he go talk to the cute 21 year old blond (my niece)? NO..he comes right to me, all full of attitude. I really thought I was going to the clink. (and Greg just stood there NOT getting pics...thanks bro!) He finally left but I was surely NOT doing any more chalking! So I had a tiny "Hi IA" in the middle of my hastily done Levistrong bracelet. Sorry..meant to do better for you all. OH...and a few minutes AFTER my 2nd brush with Johnny-law, they finally made a PA announcement. "Please don't chalk the streets as the dust interferes with the TV cameras". So now we know who REALLY complained! (I KNEW it wasn't the riders!)
And are correct...that is my photo on Fattys with my "Win Susan" artwork!

Gotta calls...will check in later. What a GREAT RACE though! Levi did GREAT!!


Sara, I'm with you. I like this Lance much better. And I thank him for coming back and seeing the vision.
Finally got to see Floyd on camera! Wish he and Rory could have made the breakaway. Did you see Floyd leadout for Rory at the finish?
Sara, your reports were great!


I was rooting for Floyd the entire race to 'make a move'. Maybe it's just too soon...he DID just make his 1st race in 3 years...guess I was 'hoping' for Floyd of 06. I believe he will be serious competition for Levi in the TOC 2010 though!

And hey...LOVED seeing Lance pushing at the front. I was pretty critical of him up until the final stage. Seems every time I saw the Astana boys (prior to stage 8) Lance was either right in front or just behind Levi. But yesterday he took some big-time pulls so that was refreshing. I also like 'new' Lance!

And probably one of my favorite moments was stage 2, when Levi left the peleton to cover the break on Bonny Doon Rd climb. THAT is what I have waited YEARS to see from him. Throwing caution and patience to the wind and taking a chance! Gosh if he had only done that in the last few TDF's, we might have seen a different arrangement on the podium. I think he can stay with most anybody. Sure wish he had stayed with Frank Schleck last year on the Alp D'Huez climb. I believe he is capable but is just so dang cautious. You have to risk losing to win. I really like the new 'Levi' also!

I asked the Livestrong booth people if they were going to actually make a "Levistrong" bracelet. Sadly that is a no. Too bad. I would buy one. it's just 2 freaking letters...move them, sell a zillion MORE bracelets! How can that be a bad thing?


Because my dear niave Matt, it ain't about Levi....


GREAT race!! Now I'll be in race withdrawal mode after getting coverage every day!

Nice race reports Sara - and I always love to hear your stories Matt! Were the crowds HUGE compared to last year? They looked it on TV. The finish lines/podiums looked crazy-full of people. I DID look for your IA chalking ;)

I was thrilled for Levi, too, and really loved to see him attacking. P&P kept mentioning that Floyd tried to get in a lot of breakaways at the beginning of some of the climbs, but was always brought back. I was just happy to see those pics of he and DZ riding together again during that last stage. So nice to have him back in the peloton!


Hi everyone! I didn't get a chance to say so before I left, but I at the last minute went out to the race for the last four days! (I took getting a low bid accepted on priceline Tuesday as a sign that it was meant to be!)

Unfortunately I caught a cold on the plane (I think) so although there were many opportunities for autographs, I kept my distance for fear of making a rider sick. I did get some good photos, even though I've not quite mastered the trick of catching a racing rider as he zips by.

I went to the starts, and tried to get to a midpoint and finish of Thurs & Sats stages--but never quite close enough to the finish to really see it. Solvang offered lots of chances to see riders; I walked part of the course (the first hill) as many were testing it out. Man that was steep! I could tell when a pro was coming by the sound of the tires--different from the guys (like Matt) who were also trying out the course.
There was always a huge scrum around the Astana bus--I didn't even try to get close--not so much around SaxoBank, Columbia and Cervelo--but it was very lonely around the AG2r team, so I was glad that they got a win.
And really, Jens Voight should get extra pay for the time he spends with the fans every day, both before and after the stages.

There really were lots of fans--and lots who were obviously new to the sport, too. In Solvang one shop clerk complained to me that the the bike fans don't spend money; but another shop said they had doubled their business from last year & had a very good day.

It was kind of odd to see that no one seemed to recognize Bobby Julich--he was outside the bus quite a lot. I told some boys who were waiting for Floyd who he was,and they went right over to get his autograph--they knew his name.

Floyd seemed really pleased to see fans greeting him. His team owner told me that he would attack on Sunday, since he was far enough behind that "he would be left alone" he thought.

Chatted with Steve Cozza's parents again. Funny to run into them two years in a row. Nice people!

Palomar mountain was the best. I debated about going up so early, knowing that I would have a 5 hour wait & miss everything else--but from my spot just over the crest, I could see the switchbacks on the way up and also the road far below where they would travel after the descent. I handed out newspaper to some of the riders as they came by, and had Chechu Rubiera call out to me "Some right here!" but at that moment I didn't have any in my hand! I did get a good shot of him, Lance, Rogers,& Floyd as they went by. Saw CVV as he passed & he looked completely done in (as did many); Freddy Rodriguez looked finished too & I wasn't surprised when I heard he abandoned.

I almost tripped over George Hincapie & Cavendish as they rode back to the bus on one bike--they were laughing, so cute! It was just so fun to experience all the excitement and some of the craziness--chatting with other fans--even though I felt like quite a grandma compared to most of the people there. I do think that they will have to put barriers up next time on a climb like Palomar,there were way too many people risking the rider's safety to run alongside acting like fools.

Of course, the downside of actually being there as Matt said, is you actually miss a lot so I will be reading Sara's race reports and watching some of the video online for the next several days.

Janann, don't forget the spring classics start Saturday!

Cathy, how do they get the bikes over to Europe? Do they charter a plane?

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