Up Down All Around

Day 3 of the my time in Colorado started with an early wet nose wake up courtesy of Lucy, my hosts black lab mix. She was right. It was time to get up and get the day started. I had grand plans and they don’t come to those that wait.
I got on my giddy up out of Eagle Vail and onto Breckenridge. This is my third time visiting Breckenridge and I fall in love all over again each time. The feeling in town is one of general calm, although this morning was full of excitement with the neutral laps of stage 5 to start in just a few hours.
Over my two hours of walking around I witnessed the awakening of the cycling fans.  Some came by bike, some were in costume, some fit into both categories. The buzz of Lance talk was everywhere as that was the last news most people heard a few short hours earlier.
Outside of the freewheel clicking of various bikes around town there was one special sound indicitive of a bike race and her fans. Faint clanging of cowbells filed the cool crisp rocky mountain air. It is a great noise to hear and one that was telling of the excitement of race day.
I spent a good part of the morning walking around and soaking it all in. I wanted to maximize my experience in one of my favorite cities. I was also on the hunt for the working media room. I wanted to pick up my credential to ensure I would get to take some photos where ever I was able to get to.
After some serious searching and a bit of a wild goose chase I found what I was looking for in a place I walked by over 5 times. I could not get mad about this experience because getting mad is against the law in Breckenridge. It was just a blessing that allowed me to walk around the city and experience per race time.
Shortly after planning out where I wanted to watch from and my escape from the city to Garden of the Gods, my host texted me and let me know that I was invited on her 11am horseback ride.
This news left me with a very short lived delima of sticking to the plan or driving “backwards” into the mountains for a once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully you know what I picked.
I spent some time walking around the team bus parking lot where I stalked the BMC bus to get a look at two of my all time favorite riders. Big George and little Cadel.
Cadel walked through the crowd almost incognito with a plain black jacket and a low slung cap, few people recognized the most accomplished cyclist of all time.
George didn’t emerge and my time seemed short so off a stalking I went.
Near the Radiosanrec bus I heard a familiar voice near a support car. I wheeled around to catch the jack toothed grin of Bobkee himself.

He waves to the crowd and the girl in the front goes NUTS

He was setting up an interview all the while the assembled radio shack fans realized he was there. They started to cheer USA USA. I have no idea why as Bob does not seem particularly patriotic nor was he wearing a flag.
I would surmise that the crowd just hates Paul and Phil.
That’s just sad. even Bob said that all of the hoopla for him was a bit embarrassing.
With Bobkee mania growing and my time window shrinking, I struck out to catch some other teams.
I ended up in the bontrager devo team camp where the world was vastly different for these young lads. They were filling their own water bottles and stuffing their pockets with honey stinger and other goodies. Even top young gun Dombrowski was filling bottles and shaking out the pre race nerves we all get…but he was racing on an international stage surrounded by his heros.
I couldn’t even imagine the emotions of these young men.
With the thought of the massive weight on the young guys shoulders, I scrambled back to my rental car and pointed her west yet again.
If you would like to see any of my other photos check out flickr
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