Velogal's Blog

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Was today one for the history books or what? The team was just a precision machine on the TTT. When they came in, everyone was yelling and screaming and hugging. So we have Lance in yellow and the team on top. These guys are fantastic riders, and are so dedicated and committed to giving everything so Lance can retire with a win. It is really a shame, tho, that Z fell. Nobody wants to win that way, especially Lance. However, CSC didn’t wait for Dave, they just kept on going.

I was at the team bus from the time they arrived until they left. There was a tremendous crowd, as usual. Lance has been going up to the fences and signing more autographs than usual – he knows that it is the last chance for fans. It was so funny, I happened to look up above the crowds and what did I see, but an elderly lady sitting on her tiny balcony directly above where the bus was parked, totally oblivious, or totally not caring that the famous Lance Armstrong was right below her.

Just before the Start, I just happened to be standing right behind the podium (Hmm, is that familiar?) where an ASO staff guy was getting the signs ready for the team cars. I looked up and saw Robbie McEwen ride up to a couple of the officials, and start arguing about the decision yesterday to sanction him. I was the only photographer there and was snapping away like mad. It couldn’t have been 4 minutes until all the photogs just swarmed around. The news must just fly faster than lightening when something big happens – suddenly the press appears like magic with their cameras.

I have to tell you that Lance was so relaxed before the TTT, he was talking and joking with staff and fellow team members. He had been warming up for a long time, and was sweating profusely. Sweat was running off the end of his nose and just dripping off him. He was soaked. I was standing over on the side; he looked over at me and grinned a very mischievous grin, and waggled his fingers at me. He looked like a little boy getting ready to play a prank on somebody…

I have some good shots that should be up in the next hour, if I don’t have laptop problems. I was at an Ibis earlier, using their wifi, and my laptop suddenly just went blank and wouldn’t turn back on. I just about died, thinking it had crashed or had been fried by a power surge, since I wasn’t using my surge protector. I just packed up and went back to Amboise, thinking all the way about how to get a friend to buy a laptop in the US and “overnight” it to me. However, when I got back to my hotel room, I plugged it in and it worked.

So I started looking for an Ibis or Novotel or Mercure to hook up. I’m really out a ways from Tours, so I drove about 15k back toward Tours and found a Kyriad, which didn’t have wifi. Then, going back on D715, I saw a sign for a Novotel, heading toward a town that I can’t spell. So I drove about 15k or so, and found the side road to Novotel, and here I am. I was determined to get this damn blog written tonight. And guess what…. When I drove up, there was the T-Mobile team bus parked in the lot. I have my Discovery/Live Strong tee shirt on today. They for sure are gonna think that I am stalking them! They were in the dining room and I heard lots of rowdy noise and yelling. Maybe trying to psych themselves up...


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