The Tour Of Utah's Prologue was a nasty bit of straight uphill pain. While only 2.1km long the steep ascent along with an altitude of over 7500ft had a couple of riders completely wrung out by the top. See Christophers post with great gallery pictures for some pain faces. Thought I might add a little as to what the location was like and how the race itself went off. Also heard some interesting tidbits into the difference of organizing a race from one year to the next now that this race is UCI 2.1
View of Team area and first 1km from top of one of the practice Ski Jumps here in Olympic Park.
More on the jump.
Lots of fans decided to use the steps up the Ski Jump ramps to work their way to the top. Hard to breathe at 7500ft when you are from Kansas and carrying WAY too much up those stairs. Stopping for a picture and lens change was a great excuse for a rest.
Overhead shots were done from this helicopter that had a tendency to get a little too close to riders. Complaints came from several riders about prop blasts while they were riding up the hill. It even blew over the 500 to go signs at one point while I was sitting by them.
A result of the change to UCI 2.1 has brought a little growing pains to the race. Being a UCI race has brought new requirements an attempt to balance those with a budget that has been honed over 6 years in successful races year after year. The end result is more organization and more layers of confusion that naturally come along with change. The number of volunteers needed in the race has gone from 600 to over 1000. A huge step up in manpower, on the plus side the layout of the race makes it easier to handle as there are NO long transfers or even hotel changes to manage that usually come with every stage race. I will be watching to see how things roll along this year compared to last.
Here are a few more shots til then.
Volunteers eagerly watch the Tour Tracker to see the finish after the final rider went by.
Olympic Park was an impressive facility.
1km to go seen through blind corner mirror.