15 August 2011

Tour of Utah: Stage 5 - Goin' for a Ride!

Yesterday was a good day to watch some bike racing!

The Colombian team Gubernacion was dominant for the entire race, with almost the entire team at the front of the peleton or in the breakaway for the 106 miles from Park City to Snowbird. On the final climb, Henao tried several times to break away from Leipheimer, but Levi stayed right on his wheel, and wouldn’t let him go. In the end, Henao took the stage, with Levi taking the GC for the 2nd year in a row.

Here are the results of the stage, and the final GC results:

Stage 5 results:
  1. 152 HENAO Sergio GOB COL 4:20:13 0:00:00
  2. 1 LEIPHEIMER Levi RSH USA 4:20:13 0:00:00
  3. 4 BRAJKOVIC Janez RSH SLO 4:20:31 0:00:18
  4. 31 DANIELSON Thomas GRM USA 4:21:03 0:00:50
  5. 151 SEVILLA Oscar GOB ESP 4:21:38 0:01:25
  6. 33 VANDEVELDE Christian GRM USA 4:22:46 0:02:33
  7. 73 MC CARTY Pat CSM USA 4:22:46
  8. 25 BUTLER Christopher BMC USA 4:22:46
  9. 42 DUGGAN Timothy LIQ USA 4:22:51 0:02:38
  10. 71 EUSER Lucas CSM USA 4:22:51
General Classification results:
  1. 1 LEIPHEIMER Levi RSH USA 15:53:12 0:00:00 
  2. 152 HENAO Sergio GOB COL 15:53:35 0:00:23 
  3. 4 BRAJKOVIC Janez RSH SLO 15:53:57 0:00:45 
  4. 151 SEVILLA Oscar GOB ESP 15:55:06 0:01:54 
  5. 31 DANIELSON Thomas GRM USA 15:57:01 0:03:49 
  6. 33 VANDEVELDE Christian GRM USA 15:57:03 0:03:51 
  7. 42 DUGGAN Timothy LIQ USA 15:57:56 0:04:44 
  8. 73 MC CARTY Pat CSM USA 15:58:15 0:05:03 
  9. 71 EUSER Lucas CSM USA 15:58:46 0:05:34 
  10. 24 LOUDER Jeff BMC USA 16:00:43 0:07:31

  • Overall Leader (yellow) Jersey: LEIPHEIMER Levi
  • Best Utah Rider (dk. blue) Jersey: LOUDER jeff 
  • Sprint (copper) Jersey: VAN UDEN Roman
  • KOM (snowflake) Jersey: LEIPHEIMER Levi
  • Best Young Rider (lt. blue) Jersey: GIRALDO Cristian 

So, yesterday I hinted about the final stage. Well, I had a unique viewing position for the final stage – the front passenger seat in Team Spidertech’s car!

The day started out as normal. I drove up to Park City, planning on taking some pictures at the start and of the departure. Then I would drive to Snowbird, wait around until the riders arrived at the finish, and get some finish-line shots and photos of the podium ceremony. Just the same as the last 2 years.

Up at the start, I ran into a couple of media friends, David and Jared. David was riding in the RealCyclist.com team car, and Jared was riding in one of the media cars. They both suggested that I go ask one of the teams if they had room in their car. They said that I would get an incredible view of the race. Jared suggested I go talk to Spidertech, a Canadian team that just advanced to the Pro-Continental rankings. He said that they were looking for someone for Saturday’s stage.

I went over to Spidertech’s team area and asked about riding with them. The mechanics told me to talk to Steve. Steve said that they did have a seat, but it might be a little cramped – since he needed to make sure Chad – the mechanic – had enough room in the back. I was happy just to have a seat, and said that I wouldn’t mind at all.

Only after we started off, did I realize that the “Steve” I talked to – and who was currently driving the car was Steve Bauer, the DS (Director Sportif) for Spidertech (for those of you who follow pro cycling, yes, that Steve Bauer. For those of you who don’t, go here).

It was easily the most exciting time I have spent in the front seat of a car. We were the 5th car back in the caravan – and I had a incredible view of the action in the peleton. Plus, the race radio was right next to me, giving constant updates to the race.

If you are a nervous passenger, I would suggest not riding in a team car. The best way I could describe it was a choreographed ballet of chaos in 2 ton metal boxes at 50+ mph. We were literally inches away from the other team cars, hurtling down the roads at breakneck speeds while weaving in and out of the caravan to deliver water bottles to the riders, or to fix a mechanical (Spidertech had one flat that Chad had to deal with on the stage) all the while avoiding the other team cars, Comm cars and cyclists. Steve at one point asked me if I believe in God. I said that I did, but I didn’t want to see him yet!

I didn’t see the start, or watch Levi and Sergio cross the finish line, but I had one of the best seats ever to watch the race!

A huge thank you to Steve Bauer, Chad Grochowina, the riders and everyone else at Team Spidertech for giving me the opportunity to ride along on the final stage of the 2011 Tour of Utah.

Photos are coming. This week!

1 comment:

Kelly Hill said...

"choreographed ballet of chaos"


I'm glad you got to participate in something so much fun. Good for you!

Also, it seems I need to up my game. I was convinced that being my passenger was more exciting that this.