They talked a bit about golf and the Master’s and how Tiger was great. Lance was a surprise entrant in the Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix in Ojai on Sunday. The crit is a memorial to Garrett, who was killed by a motorist in a Tucson bike race in 2003. Harm Jensen defended his title and won again this year. Lance had just finished a three-hour training ride and glided up to the rear of the peloton at the start line just minutes before the race started. Lance rode alone against the other teams. Lance found our about the race from his friend, Dave Letteri.
Lance said that after the race, he was hurrying to get into his car, when this guy with sunglasses and a scraggly beard came up to him and said, “I’m Brokaw”. I guess it was the Tom Brokaw, incognito, just vacationing and saying hello. Lance also sent his best to Peter Jennings, and said that lung cancer is a tough battle to fight.
Lance answered a few questions from fans: What’s it like to train in public, especially in New York? Lance said it is surprisingly easy to get in a four-hour ride - he goes across the Bridge and into New Jersey and beyond. Said he passed a guy who said, “Hey, I was at your 22nd birthday party”. They rode together for a couple of hours and chatted. But most people don’t recognize him when he is riding alone. Lance said last year he passed a guy in a Ride for the Roses jersey, and Lance asked him where he got it. The guy told him all about the RftR and how great it was, and what it was for - the guy never even knew he was talking to Lance!
Someone asked about the article in the New York Post by Tony Kornheiser (see link). Lance said he thought it was a good article and well-balanced. Another question was about this strategy for Brasstown Bald at the Tour de Georgia. Lance said that it is an incredibly tough climb, not long, but so steep. Last year he used a 39x25 - this year he’ll use a 27. Said the organizers have thrown in a new, steep climb right before Brasstown Bald. He said the scenery in Northern Georgia is spectacular. Someone again asked about Philly, and Lance said that he wanted to do it and Johan said no - that he needed to do Dauphine Libere instead. (If anyone asks him again, gang, I’m not even gonna mention it!)
Next week, Lance both Lance and Higgs will be in Austin, and I’ll be wrapping up the Sea Otter and zooming back home to pack and catch a plane to Atlanta Monday morning. Lance’s big press conference and announcement will be in Augusta on Monday afternoon, so I’ll be in a plane enroute, and miss it.
Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the Morgan Hill Grand Prix - it was super and it was such a cool surprise to see my friend Dave Zabriskie, there. And to see him kick keister and easily win!