25 August 2012

A Day at the Race in Breckenridge

And the racing continued on Stage 5
It was pouring rain on Thrusday night as I drove over Vail Pass to arrive at my hotel in Breckenridge for the night. As typical in the Rockies Mountains, peering out from behind the curtain yesterday morning revealed a clearing sky and promise of another gorgeous day in Colorado. Could we be so lucky again? Yes we could. Breckenridge was ready early, the teams were not and were delayed, but the race left on time, the riders departing on a 117.9 miles/189.7 km journey over Hoosier Pass (Hoo-zee-aire in Liggettese), through South Park (yes that South Park) and into Colorado Springs. 
B-r-e-c-k-e-n-ridge   get ready for a bike race!
Let's get this started ... Everyone in their places
Medical Moto, a dream job for a Doctor
Working hard to bring you race coverage, every morning the photo motos arrive early to set up
Let's talk crowds, because that is what descended upon Breckenridge yesterday. Tons and tons of cycling fans showed up to enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the day. By far the biggest crowds I had witnessed all week. These were not just locals, these were tourists and city folk coming up for the day. I can't wait to see what happens today in Golden and Boulder, oh my, and in Denver on Sunday. It'll be huge. 

A Day in the Life of a Fan

There are certain things a fan does at the start of any stage ... these include finding a parking spot, finding a cup of coffee, texting and finding your friends, walking through the festival area, and then the time comes for major decision making - where should we go to watch the race?

Photos by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

1) Should we wait at the barriers in front of the sign-in stage for a perfect view of the riders signing in
2) Should we squeeze in for a spot on Autograph Alley
3) Should we hang around the team buses for our favorite rider's signature and free hats and tshirts
Please Levi sign my photo my husband took of you
Levi giving autographs, I wonder how many autographs they give in a week = lots!
That is a lot of people wanting Jens' signature
We love free stuff!
4) Should we just watch the teams getting ready and people watch
BMC team getting ready - oh, hey look there is Davis Phinney (left)!
The EPM-Une team bikes are ready to go
5) Should we stand where we can easily see the riders passing by in route to the start line
Isn't that Ben King
Look it's Andreas Kloden (Klödi) - He won the Tour de France in 2004! (due to recent changes in standings)
Look it's former World Champion Cadel Evans, he won the Tour de France in 2011
Oh look, the Russ-Velo Russians, quick say привет, that means "hello"
6) Should we decide what our next bike will be  
BMC bike
Specialized SWorks bike
Jens Voigt's bike "Shut Up Legs"
7) Should we decide what our next car will be - Nissan!
Wouldn't you love to drive this car?!
8) Should we hang out with the New Belgium guys and have some laughs
New Belgium at the Race Have you been watching the recent videos from the USPCC from these wild and crazy guys?
9) Should we stand in line and buy stuff from the USPCC merchandise trailer
10) Should we get our picture taken with Bob Roll   
11) Or should we stalk George Hincapie, although we won't be the only one

The riders made two loops around town before departing, see some of my money shots from the start in Breckenridge Photos Highlights from Stage 5

... btw, I am really sorry about ending up on the stage for the national anthem, I was just lost in the moment taking photos and the next thing I know the national anthem started and I had to freeze in respect. I thoroughly enjoyed the song and the moment but was sure someone should have yelled "get off the stage you idiot." Sorry!
Nice photo though. At the start line in Breckenridge
The race begins in Breckenridge
After the depart the fans flooded into the festival area. In Breckenridge the fans were much larger in number than the vendors. We could hear the race and watch the jumbotrons.
Fans gather together to watch the riders climb over Hoosier pass just up the road.
But mostly we were entertained by these incredible rock hopping cyclists. 
Even rock hoppers get asked for a signature by fans
See you in Golden!