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Sunday, July 13, 2008

CASCADE CYCLING CLASSIC AND THE TDF


I am a huge bike racing fan. I have been to six different World Cycling Championships, the Tour de France, The Coors Classic and of course numerous editions of the Cascade Cycling Classic. I love the fact that one of the oldest stage races in the United States is in our town. Sunnyside was an important part of the first Classics, we were the Title Sponsor for two years and I was the technical director for 9 years. When I retired from that job I had had enough. It was rewarding but it was time for a change. I am so thankful the MBSEF is in charge now. I hope it will continue for another 28 years.
I was at the finish of the Three Creeks stage this year(photo on right). I rode my bike from Bend up to finish (we actually went three miles past the finish). It was cool to see the Rock Racing guys and all their support, and Levi finishing strong. I was wondering if he would have won if the race had continued up the steeper slopes to the end of the pavement. 
I didn't go to the criterium. I hate seeing bike crashes. It makes me hurt all over. Every time I see the video of Joseba Beloki go down in front of Lance I get queasy all over. In fact I don't get to see a lot of the Cascade. We are so busy in the summer I seem to end up working. Some of it is for the Classic though. Not all pro bike racers have a mechanic. Yesterday I fixed a guy with a loose Campagnolo Crankset. Someone had forgot to use an important washer. I fixed a wheel for a woman. I had to make a spoke and a custom file a nipple to work on her, unknown to me, carbon wheels, and then I fixed a rear derailleur for a guy who was sure it was worn out. Not real hero work but they will race today better than yesterday. I feel good about that. I didn't charge them for any labor as for me it is my way of still being part of the race.
Though I don't watch a lot of the Cascade I watch every second of the Tour de France. I even have a Tour de France flag hanging in front of my house.  It is on before work and I can record it to watch later. If you are watching you will know that Christian Van de Velde is in third overall. He has already held the Pink in the Giro. I don't know if he will hold a podium or even a top ten. I am rooting for him like I have never rooted for anyone before. I had dinner with him a few years back, he is a CCC alumni, and his wife was my guide in Spain for  a week. 
I never thought I would get to watch the Tour when the CCC started. I didn't know we would have Internet, satellite tv and cable tv that picks up bike races. I didn't know about Lance and what he would do about the popularity of bike racing. I am happy though. 
Go Christian, and long live the CCC.
Don

1 comment:

Li'l Ned said...

And I never thought I would get up with you at 3:30 am to watch a bike race. Go, Christian!