No Kidding, this is the best stage race in the USA, and seeing Horner win yesterday was sensational. Vanderkitten-Focus riders enjoyed the experience today being a part of the fandom and hype that is not only #ATOC, but bike racing in general- all over the world. That feeling of knowing you will be a part of the action. Staking out your claimed spot- hopefully near shade and at a place where the riders jaunt into view at the most distant spot, so the entire memory of experience can be shot in telefoto lens- in your mind. The sense of urgency as Police Moto after Police Moto convoys by, the various VIP cars, the Police Cars, the SRAM Neutral, the more police, the choppers begin to hover, and then "hurrah!!!" Ryder Hesjedal and Paul Martens fly by at the base of Sierra Rd with the peloton only one minute behind. (The picture below is of the grupetto- a vid of Horner and Levi Second and Third Wheel here).
For the Vanderkitten-Focus gals, we were lucky to have a special day with Focus Bikes USA and Cupertino Bikes putting on a super event for us. The day started off as it would for so many Podium Cafe-ees- a gentle pedal around the neighbourhood- except with 30 Vanderkitten VIPs!!
Led by our fearless leader JennX, we had a quick lunch at the bike shop and then boarded the Cupertino Bikes Double Decker Bus and headed to the base of Sierra road to watch the stage. After mingling in the Expo with our cool friends from Focus Bikes, we staked out the best spot ever and cheered on the boys. We even saw Gavia in the Bissell Pro Cycling Team car!! Afterwards we got to chat with some of our toppies (top mates) like fellow Aussie Alistair Loutit and NorCal local Bernie Van Ulden from Jelly Belly pb KENDA. Al had just been in the main break of the day with Thor Hushovd, and was shagged... But he still had time for some PdC love!
Definitely one of the best days ever for us- the pressure was off, we could ride in the morning and then see all the workings of top shelf professional cycling without having to perform. Not to say we havent been doing that! Last Sunday Emily Collins raced Scotts Valley GP- her first race since fracturing her wrist at Sea Otter Classic. After some crafty racing by all the Vanderkitten Focus riders, Emily ended up 3rd behind Nicky Waansgaard (Primal/ Map My Ride) and Megan Guarnier (Tibco- To the Top).
Gotta thank Podium Cafe for more Podium Hi Jinx!
A quick pre race vid can be viewed here.
Which is not NEARLY as intense as Emily and Jazzy spending time with the California Mascot, Joe "the bear" Tourist at Amgen Tour of California Expo here.
All in all, some quality time racing and chilling in California as a solid summer of racing gets underway. We will be competing in 6 states in the USA in June, beginning with the Liberty Classic UCI 1.1 in Philadelphia on June 5. So Keen As to get some top results at the big races under our belt. Meantime we will be on the lookout for more fellows like Hottie Pavarotti!!!
Kitty Meow Meow!!