Saturday, September 17, 2011


Artwork at Denver International
A couple of posts ago I told how my parents gave me a trip to Colorado to go see the USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE! I couldn't believe it! I was going to Colorado to go watch some of the stars of my sport do their thing!
Artwork at Denver International
The morning of our trip started early. Our flight left at 6:00am and we landed in Denver at 6:30. Mom and Dad had asked what I wanted to do on Friday since we were in Denver so early. They gave me many choices but I told them "I thought we were here to watch racing and I want to watch them climb. I want to see their form when they are climbing!" So, we got our rental car and headed to the mountains!
Look closely...SNOW on the Mountains!
I picked our spot on the mountain between Wolcott and Steamboat Springs. It was a great place because we could watch them come around two curves on the climb before they would pass us. I loved all the amateur cyclists, the caravan of team buses, team cars and swag mobiles that came passed us before the pro racers made their way. We met the nicest couple, Joe and Susan and their chocolate lab Cassie.
Here they come and see the BREAK!
When the racers made the first curve a breakaway started to form. It was so awesome! My dad was on one side of the road taking pictures and my mom on the other! They got some great shots of this stage of the race! It was great seeing them riding up that mountain and I had time to study their body position as they were climbing! After they passed us our new friends, Joe and Susan, invited us to come to their house so we could watch the race on Versus! It was great making some new friends and share our love of cycling. Stage winner: Elia Viviani Yellow Jersey winner: Levi Leipheimer
Sergio Henao, Tom Danielson & Tejay Van Gardener in the break

Gesnik, A. Schleck & Leipheimer
Day 2 found us getting up early and heading to Breckenridge. Today we were going to see a finish. So, we had lots of time to spend taking in all the sponsor's booths and checking out the swag! I even got my picture taken with Buzz the Honey Stinger bee! I love their organic chews, waffles and gels...yum! I also met some very interesting spectators! We even ran into some of our riding friends from Oklahoma! It was a great day of racing with a break that had formed with Ivan Basso, Andy Schleck, Laurens Ten Dam and Thomas Peterson. We kept up-to-date on the race with all the mega screens and mom's USA Pro Cycling app.

It looked like Andy Schleck would win this stage and I was so excited but they started playing games and slowed way down. They ended up getting caught with only about 700 meters to go and none of them even placed. The Breckenridge stage was won by Elia Viviani! Andy Schleck was not a happy camper but he was awarded the Most Aggressive rider's jersey! Yellow Jersey: Levi Leipheimer

Here's your winner: ELIA VIVIANI

This should have been the winner: ANDY SCHLECK

Post race interview with Laurens Ten Dam

Well, after this stage we went back to the team buses to see the bikes, riders, etc. This was pretty cool! We saw Cadel Evans, Jens Voigt, Christian Vande Velde all being interviewed. I got to see Andy and Frank's bikes on top of the team car. My mom met a man who was working security for the race. They visited and he told her for us to find him at the start of the final stage and he would get us positioned so I could get lots of autographs from the riders!!! I couldn't believe it! Go Mom!

Cadel Evans--AWESOME!
Day 3: The final stage started in Golden and would end in Denver. We had already decided to take in a start on this day but now we had even more of a reason to be here...AUTOGRAPHS and photos of the riders. We got to the start line super early and got in the best spot! When the riders came to sign in prior to the race they had to walk right past us! I got over 50 autographs on the back of my LIVESTRONG jersey. I was right there with some of my favorite cyclists--Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer (still in yellow), Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, etc. I even got BOB ROLL aka Bobke's autograph! It was a total party atmosphere!

Big GEORGE HINCAPIE signing my jersey!



After the race started we walked down a couple of blocks and could watch them climb Lookout Mountain and then they were going to come back through Golden before they headed into Denver. It was so much fun! When they had all come through Golden we ate lunch and then took a drive up Lookout Mountain so I could see this climb! I sure wished I had a bike and could have tried riding up that mountain. There were lots of amateur cyclists doing just that and it was a great view when we got to the top!

Looking down from Lookout Mountain
On top of Lookout Mt with my family & jersey!

Garmin-Cervelo won the Team Competition and Americans took the top 5 places overall! The crowds at every stage were massive and the riders all talked about how much the crowds rivaled those at the the Tour de France! Stage winner: Daniel Oss (he'd placed 2nd or 3rd in the two previous stages and was a teammate of Elia Viviani)!

Just a taste of the crowds!
Before we left Denver to head back home we drove out to Red Rocks Park and saw some amazing sites! They also have an amphitheatre there...would be a great place to see a concert!

Well, I think this was a pretty amazing way to celebrate my birthday! BIG THANK YOU to my mom and dad for giving me these memories that will last a lifetime! GREAT TRIP!!! I sure hope this race continues every year!

No comments:

Post a Comment