THE BIRTHDAY TRIP
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!|
|Here they come and see the BREAK!|
|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
|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!
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!
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)!
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!