Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah: Behind the Scenes Stage 3

            The third stage of the Tour of Utah (TOU) began in Lehi and finished at the Miller Motorsports Park. It was a flat stage by TOU standards with only one category 4 KOM and only a total of about 4,000 feet of climbing. With the stage moving back into the Wasatch front the mercury rose considerably. Today was a hot day. I could tell by the amount of water bottles I picked up along the side of the road.

The Start

            The start today had a pretty sweet vibe. The stage started right in front of the IM Flash headquarters in Lehi. The company had a pretty sweet expo and even had a band playing. I walked around admiring the new bikes and managed to get my hands on a communiqué. Looking at the communiqué a lot of fines were given out at the end of stage two. They varied from sticky bottle            infractions to drafting behind a team car too long. Garmin-Sharp apparently improperly moved their team cars around in the caravan and was regulated to last position in the caravan for stage 3. That’s a tough break on a crazy hot day.

            One of the attractions of the Tour de France is the extravagant team bus the teams have. When the World Tour teams come to the U.S. however to race the teams usually just rent a big RV. This is Lampre-Merida’s first time racing in the U.S. and the RV they got for this race is hilarious. So much for a grand tour champ riding in style.

Lampre-Merida's wheels for the week

The Race

            Today’s stage was rather “boring”. The scenery was nice, but nothing compared to Southern Utah. Furthermore, after the crazy sign day on stage 2 today was rather quiet with only one KOM and two sprints. Considering Rich and I are in a car for roughly five hours a day driving behind the peloton, we have a lot of time on our hands. To say the least we have some pretty high level thinking conversations.

Coke’s new campaign with the names on the Coke can is pretty cool. At Utah though we have gotten the ones that say BFF (Best Friends Forever) Rich came up with the great idea that BFF stands for Better F@$king Friends. We discussed for about ten minutes how I should tweet the Coca-Cola Company. To say the least we had a good laugh

            The real mind blowing conversation came towards the end of the day when we were on a straight road for 50 miles with no signs to pick up. The guy in the Police Command Vehicle, who is in charge of the movement of all the vehicles in the caravan, was so bored he notified the Regulator of a turn coming up in 30 miles. Regulator responded by saying “I’ll start preparing now for it.” The joke probable made everyone in the Caravan strike a smile and made the course seem a little less monotonous.

            Back to the conversation Rich and I had. Being at the rear of the caravan we get to see every team car that stops for a pee on the side of the road. Rich and I decided to come up with rules for proper edict of peeing in the Caravan for team cars. We could have gone on for ages, but we stopped after about 15 minutes. I’ll post the list when Rich and I think it is complete

The Finish and Transfer

            The finish was pretty rad. The race finished on a 3.5km racetrack at Miller Motorsports Park. The riders flew around the course and the young-gun Moreno Hofland won his second stage of this year’s Tour of Utah. As Rich and I picked up the signs on the racetrack we noticed the course was littered with water bottles. To say the least we cleaned up. The next thing that happened though was pretty sweet. As we were picking up the signs the riders decided to do a cool down lap. We ended up getting mixed in with the riders and I watched Cadel Evans and Chris Horner ride right by our truck having a conversation. It did not appear they had just finished a 118-mile grueling day in the Utah heat. I yelled both their names and they looked over and gave me a nod.

Racing at Miller MotorSports Park

            Rich and I met up with the rest of the crew at the 1KM to go inflatable. We helped them tear down, distributed the sand bags and signs, and headed out to Ogden. On the drive to Ogden we pulled up next to a Team Belkin car at a stoplight. All the other team cars, team buses, and any other team vehicles were already lone gone. That meant only one thing, Moreno Hofland was in that car having to hang around late for podiums and anti-doping. I saw Hofland in the passenger seat and gave him a thumbs up. His smile was a mile wide as he gave a thumbs up back.



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