Tour of California Blows Thru

yellowdeviljpgChas keeps an eye on the Amgen Tour from the telly.

I prefer le plein air.

I went up to Santa Rosa (with Peter Rich, future inductee of  U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame)and down to Sausalito, both quite rainy days, in order to witness the goings-on.

Crowds like in Europe. Maybe this will be the beginning of something like the Tour de France.

Not surprisingly, there were old friends like  artist Taliah Lempert and Dave Perry in the crowd.  Bumping into them seemed miraculous.  Dave’s a champ racer from the early 1970’s, and he blethered with P.R. while I blagued with Taliah, and somehow we got talking with Connie Carpenter (my old racing colleague as well as  boss at 1989 CarpenterPhinney bicycle greatness camp).

It was all very cool. About 48 degrees, and wettttttt.

I went home and scribbled a bit for the Pacific Sun, and am happy to see that people like the story.

Charlie told me about what I missed on TV…something the announcers refused to comment on: a yellow and black caped devil brandishing a HUGE twin-speared syringe pitchfork, jogging along one of the snow-edged roads, jabbing at the riders until Lance shoves him into the snow. I found a decent sequence onlline…but doubt the mainstream media will show what a gadfly with the words Live Clean on his cape has to say about pro racing (several of the riders are back from 2 yr drug suspensions).

Phelan peckish? Check our hoard oeuvre

~ by jacquiephelan on February 21, 2009.

8 Responses to “Tour of California Blows Thru”

  1. And this is why I can’t get excited about bike racing at any but the most grass-roots, no-budget level. The rest of it just seems so puffed-up and fake to me. I think it will be more exciting for me to try ‘cross this year — and fail fabulously at it — than to try and follow the Euroboys at the grand tours.

  2. been showing ToC live over here on eurosport and they caught LA shoving the Live Clean guy into the snow. thought the commentator was going to wet himself laughing…

    cheating happens in any sport. doesn’t even have to be for money. have seen folks cutting courses where the prize is 8th over 9th and a pair of socks over a bottle of wine. human nature innit?

  3. forgot…

    more money just means fancier cheating.

    look at some of the fitba (soccer) teams over here. Manchester United are $1bn in debt! isn’t that almost as bad as taking a charge?

  4. Marty (steele, right?) How true…Once, my #1 competition CW TOLD me how she’d offered her teammates money to fall over in front of me, tangle me up, and then allow her to pass. I credit her with major gutz for telling me, since it will be an impressive disclosure in future “moi-moir”.
    But I will frame it with compassion. I think.

  5. I don’t think Mr. Walk-On-Water had to shove the guy down. What a wet blanket!

  6. At first I thought Mr. LiveClean (or whatever) might have been getting in the way and making a pest of himself.

    Maybe not.

    I thought it curious that none of the big cycling pubs mentioned it.

    Anyway– I totally agree with the first poster– Beth. She should come on over to soggy Portland, Oregon, for our super-duper Cross Crusade. We’ve got cheering crowds just as enthusiastic about valiant last-place efforts as the leaders; fries and waffles; crazy folks in costume; beer hand-ups and lots and lots of cowbell. It’s like a little chunk of Belgium drifted across the Atlantic. One of the cooler parts. 🙂

  7. It’s been way too long since I browsed your blog, Jacquie. It’s just getting better n’ better. A veritable feast. Thank you.

  8. Hi Brian — I LIVE in beautiful, soggy Portland, and I will be trying my hand at ‘cross racing for the first time ever this fall. Look for me, I’ll be the middle-aged woman on the Kona ATB, slipping and sliding my slow, goofy way to last place in the single-speed class. Maybe I ought to wear a tutu…

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