Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2008 TOM - Stage 2

What a fun flippin' Day!!! Huge thanks to Lyne, Janann, Alan, and T for the encouragement on the stops through the stage today. It was so much fun. Huge thanks also to the team cars Lyne and I ended up in a train with on the way to Springfield as going that fast most certainly has me thankful I wear a damn seatbelt - holy crap!

The weather today was great. With a few ramp closings from construction the trip to the start was a bit off. Thank god for GARMIN though as that damn little unit has more than once eased stress of getting places this week. Other than the ramp issues, seeing dogs at the side of the road (just roaming around) while booking it at a pretty high speed got the pulse up a bit. I was happy to see them head back towards the field instead of their course in my path.

The start appeared to be pretty relaxed and the weather most certainly put everyone in a better mood today. Tony Cruz stopped over for a chat. C stopped to sign some autographs of fans and it was good to see him smiling with some hellos. Rory stopped to talk to Neal at Road again today and we said hello's to them as well. I ran into Luis when the riders took off. The guys this morning were pretty much smiles and ready to go. When T yelled to DZ looooove you" the look on his face was priceless. I wish I had caught in on camera - and thankful I was a few feet down. She is so much fun to hang around as she fears nothing and truly does love the riders.

Once the guys took off, we headed down to just before the first feed zone. It was a turn from one road to another with a small roller. As the break passed us we watched and waited for the peloton which was about 3 minutes back at that point. As the field turned the corner Columbia was in control with Garmin directly behind. C saw us as they came up and I am bummed to great shots were out of focus (especially as those before and after were great - ugh!). The guys all looked great and it was fun to be out on course as there were few people around. When Danny Van Haute of Jelly Belly went by we all got some good laughs. One has to wonder just what he thinks of us.

From there we headed out to another point that had them turning a corner. When we got there, Lyne pulled in too. The break was still going strong and Columbia was still heading the back. There were boatloads of Brad Huff fans out and about too which was great. This year instead of the "I heart Brad Huff" shirts they had on the "GO BRAD HUFF" shirts. Great stuff. (Brad came in 6th today!)

Once the guys passed us there, Lyne and I headed to Springfield. Having the team cars on the same route was pretty interesting and I have to say speeds are well... pretty damn impressive. Too bad who ever was leading their group thought they possibly missed a turn or something. Very odd.

The finish was pretty awesome. I found a spot right on the rail about 10 feet from the line. When the guys flew by - OMG were they flying. I've been to races and up close like that but it still was impressive and caused most to take a step back. Mark Cavendish won. Tyler came in 4th. Brad came in 6th.

After the stage we walked around and checked out the stuff they had going on. We met a cute little dog names Goo - sunglasses and all. We saw Danny and Brad after the press conference. From there, Lyne and I headed down to Branson to our hotel.

More to share for sure but for now, it's super late and with some ex issues going on tonight, it's time for me to call it a night. For the couple of you looking for the pics, I will try once more tonight and then it will need to wait until tomorrow.

*I'm having some issues with flickr tonight and it could just be the hotel connection. If I get the pics up check them out using yesterday's link. If not, check back tomorrow as I should have time tomorrow night to get them loaded.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Thanks for the update! Great to get an idea of what it's like to be there.