Yes, The Devil was at Worlds!!! He did not scare me into riding my bike very fast, though . . . my legs toast just 10 minutes into the race!
The past week has been a whirlwind, to put it mildly. I have had some of the most amazing experiences and memories of my life this past week, and only a few of them had to do with riding my bike! I will start from where my last post left off and try to recount (with liberal photography) everything I did . . . wish me luck:
How did I get to Stuttgart? Lots of hours on planes, trains, and automobiles! I was whacked by the time I arrived, and they even had the clairvoyance to leave my bike in London since I was not going to do its fast wheels and smooth aerobars justice :-)
I met Ken Whelpdale and his chicki Magda (from Mallorca, Spain) just outside baggage claim and we hit the road for a whole 7 minutes to our AMAZING Hotel Gloria.
Let me just say, this place was the coolest hotel I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The whole place was occupied by Team America and they catered to us hand and foot--just check out my sick first meal at the restaurant (all on Ken's tab, of course):
After doing my homework for the week while I was bored and hanging out in my room . . .
I had dinner with the team. The day after my ride with DZ (from my last post), the team went out to the course for some reconnaissance during the window of time that they opened the course to riders and close it to cars. The ride was really cool mostly because I got to meet Jason McCartney, a recent Vuelta stage winner and amazingly talented rider on Discovery. He is a fellow Iowan from a small town called Coralville, and is one of the friendliest and most approachable people I have ever met. He told me how great he thought it was that I am still going to school, that he went to Nols and then got back into cycling.
It is really amazing riding next to someone as accomplished and experienced as Jason, and I was blown away by one simple truth: he, like DZ and George Hincapie (also on the pre-ride to the course), is human and was where I am when they were young. It is just incredible to meet these people that I have thought are just inhuman, and it is the most encouraging experience I have ever had. I realize that with some incredible hard work and perseverance, I have the chance to go around the world and win some of the biggest races in the sport. That is my plan.
This pre-ride also included some big guns on the women's side, including the defending World Champion Kristin Armstrong. The photographers even found our camper!
The woman on the left is Kristin, and then Christine Thorburn is messing with her bike while Steve Johnson (CEO of USA Cycling) watches. This trip was just insane!
I think I am just going to start posting a lot of pictures and just put in a few words about each . . . hell, each one is 1k words, right?
Here is Dave talking with Alison Powers (current Pan-Am champ and all-round kick-ass girl from Boulder, CO) and Tejay Van Gerderen (my other U23 TT teammate and amazingly talented youngster--20th overall at l'Avenere is nothing to shake a stick at!). Dave is a very strange cat, and hilarious.
Here is the hill that I thought was going to be the killer--no, this one was easy compared to the finishing climb!
This is the crowd that was here for the PRE-RIDE the DAY BEFORE the race! This was just INSANE! I couldn't even hear myself think for half of the race.
My race face. Just before getting on the trainer and then hitting the road.
Here are my wonderful parents after I got changed and got my hair did!
I had a lot of wienerschnitzel and great beer after a long and successful season! SO TASTY!
Here we are after one of the most amazing dinners I have ever had (it should be for $250!) at a four-star hotel in Stuttgart on the town square. I love Champagne! I also love the U-bahn train system, SO much better than New Jersey Transit.
That is some nice stuff laying around our workshop in the basement of Hotel Gloria!
Here Mom and I are standing at the entrance to the Mercedes Museum--the coolest museum I have ever entered! There are too many car pictures to upload, I would probably crash Blogger, but I will cherry-pick the best! (Dad was with us, but he had to go find a parking spot--no mean feat at this place)
The first Mercedes SLR with a custom-built carrier that has the rear roof integrated to streamline the airflow of the truck/car. Think 186 miles per hour in the 1950s.
The Gullwing. Priceless.
It tried to eat him after its picture was taken.
This is an honest-to-God Formula One car from 2004--no pictures will do it justice, it was simply a tour-de-force of engineering and form-follows-function artistry.
Not your daddy's CLK! This aero is just incredible. Goes to show, surface area on tires truly IS important, no matter what pure physicists say about F = u * m * g and does not depend on anything but u and m.
Mom was a good sport and put up with Dad and my fantasies for a couple hours!
One of the original formula race cars, a Silver Arrow.
Another beautiful depiction of form following function. These are the fastest legs on earth! It was incredible to watch him come up this climb during the time trial on Thursday. It looked like he was on a motorcycle while everyone else (the other best riders in the world) were on tricycles.
This is one of the few pictures I could even take quickly enough to capture him!
After watching the men's race, my mom and I hoped the train to the airport and then went to Vienna for Friday and Saturday! It was amazing. I have some great pictures from that, but my camera was not used as much as my mom's, so that post will come in a few days (assuming I don't find out I am missing all of my school work!).
Thanks a lot for reading/looking--I hope I gave you a taste of my giant meal that was Worlds 2007! I plan on coming back next year and having some fast legs . . .