Monday, May 23, 2011

Thousand Oaks final stage, Sunday

On Sunday I met up with Greg at his LBS and we proceeded on up the 101 into Thousand Oaks. Roads were already blocked off as the race was underway. We ended up parking in a housing area, along with many thousands of our closest friends. And a quick walk of a few blocks and we were THERE. I don't know who is doing all this work, but a lot of work it is. Setting up EVERYTHING...barricades, stage, tents, etc. It looks like a lot of work. Anyway, we wandered around and found a good spot right on the barricades about 35meters in front of the finish banner. Set up our chairs and then we wandered the tents seeing what kind of schwag we could 'harvest'. Not a good year for harvesting schwag I can tell you. I guess it gets slimmer and slimmer each year.

Here's the finish line as seen from the back-side. We were setup on the left about 35m on the other side of the banner.

As we were walking in I saw Phil &Paul in front of the podium. They weren't that far from me and I stopped to dig out my camera. Greg kept walking and I immediatly lost him. I held up my camera, waving my left hand and shouted "Hey Paul!", and I snapped my picture (I was looking up at my camera screen just to see that it was actually pointed in their direction. It wasn't until I got home and downloaded all my pictures that I could see Paul waved back, having NO IDEA on earth who he was waving at. VERY COOL!

After getting bored with the non-schwagging vendors we headed back to claim our turf on the line. There was a small group of people right in front of us (they were there already when we set our chairs up) and were quite friendly to chat with as we passed the time. And soon enough, they were a-comin'. You could sort of hear the announcing, but it was so echo'ie and garbled that it was almost entirely unintelligible to me. But you could see the helicopter when they were getting close, and then the cars start to come thru.

Thankfully, whoever designed the course figured we wanted more than one quick pass. We got FIVE! They did 5 laps of the circuit, which was 4.9 miles, and each one took just over 10 minutes. The 4 man breakaway was the first to pass, and it was almost 3 minutes when the peleton came by in their chase. Next time around that gap had been cut in half. Next lap was down half again (down to around 30 seconds). Each passing was accompanied by everybody screaming, whistling, clanging their bells  and using whatever other noise-makers they had. It was total mayhem and was awesome. There's just something magical about having over a hundred guys go WHOOSHING by on their bikes at a pretty decent clip.

Here's my view of the sprint finish, with Mathew Goss for HTC holding on for the win over Sagan of Liquigas.

And here's Team Shack cruising to the line, and Horner's already starting to celebrate!

After the finish 2 Shack riders came right to where we were standing. Helpers lifted one side of the barricades so they could escape the course and make their way to the team bus. Here is my pics of Jason McCartney and Ben King.

They (a few guys in uniforms) wouldn't let us lowlife PUBLIC into the podium area until AFTER they had already awarded Chris his yellow jersey. But we finally were allowed to swarm into the general area and saw the awarding of the rest of the jerseys.
Here's all the jersey winners together.

And then Garmin Cervelo was called up for winning the Team competition.

Part of their award was they were EACH given a magnum of champagne. MISTAKE!
I don't think the podium girls signed on for THIS!

After the champagne war was over the final podium was called.

Levi, Chris and Tommy D with his son

And then they had THEIR champagne war. At least Tommy handed off their child before they hosed each other. How often do you get to stand in front of a bunch of cheering fans and spray ginormous bottles of champagne all over each other? It's on my bucket list (along with winning a major bike race).

And this my signing-off self photo, which pretty much summs up the entire week.
It is finished. The 2011 ToC is in the history books.


  1. Hey another new post - COOL! Paul is so awesome. We attacked him in the schwag area at the ToM and asked if we could have a pic with him and he graciously posed with us both on his way to the announcing booth. Isn't it fun to just walk around and SEE everyone that you usually only see on VS?

    I had meant to post this link a week or two ago, but am not sure that I ever did. It is an excellent article by Bill Strickland about his changing feelings regarding Lance, mand of which I can indentify with. Definitely worth the read.

    I have JURY DUTY tomorrow! The last 2 weeks of school - which, for those of you who are not in education, are completley HELLISH with everyone FRANTICALLY trying to get all of the end of year work finished. DRAT. I hope they reject me ;)

  2. Those Garmin guys are TERRIBLE to the poor podium gals!

  3. Hey were peeking in as I was working on the post (stupid blogger...tonight it would only let me add ONE picture, then I had to PUBLISH the post, then go back to EDIT the post, where I could add ONE MORE PICTURE, etc etc you might not have seen them all as it took FOREVER). For whatever reason, it was a LONG SLOG to post tonight. Urgh...I'm beat. Later gaters!

  4. I've decided to copy over here what I just typed into FB, as the more the merrier.

    In my mail last night was a sales pitch-booklet. What caught my eye was on the cover in a RED box in RED print, the following : "WARNING : What you are about to read is CONTROVERSIAL. It may be OFFENSIVE & DISTURBING to some audiences. Reader discretion advised".

    Heck, I could barely wait to see what was in there!

    I know what you're thinking! That inside was the news that Landis & Hamilton have co-written a book entitled : 'HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED; No Really, We're Not Lying THIS Time, Reaaaalllly, Cross Our Fingers, Hope to Die'.

    Nah, it was just a guy pitching his investment newsletter & the news that not just the US economy but our entire society will be going into the woodchipper within the next 12 months. That 2008 was but a kiddie party. That no one will have jobs, electricity, food, there will be mass riots & warfare on the street. All caused by the US dollar being removed as the world's reserve currency. I laughed & laughed 'cause this guy is CLUELESS - doesn't he KNOW the entire WORLD is ENDING on, what's that new date, oh yeah, Oct 21st?! ;) :)

    Back in college, I researched "doomsdayers" thoughout history. Oh, yeah, there's been a bunch. My fave was the group that litterally gathered on a cliff waiting to be taken to Heaven. When the designated hour came & went & no one had levitated as much as an inch, how did they deal? They JUMPED OFF THE CLIFF.

    But don't you love the current guy, who was "shocked" that, well, we're all still here. And did the guy go into hiding, humiliated that he was WRONG? HECK no! He's admitted his "calculations" were off & has given us a NEW date. No word if he'll be camping out on a cliffside... ;)