Velogal's Blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Just before the team came out to ride, the rain cleared up – the sun appeared and the guys were much happier about being at camp. About two-thirds of the team was here. Some of the Spanish riders got delayed because of a late flight from Madrid, which caused the usual chain reaction effect, so they missed a connecting flight. Riders from the Southern Hemisphere were jetlagged from 20-22 hour flights. Other guys were doing wind tunnel testing, including Eki.

I hear that Eki, my Iron Man, is tough as nails already, and is sporting a new hairstyle. I’ll see him later tonight or tomorrow morning, but I’m told it is close cropped in the front and long in the back… Is it a ponytail or a mullet? Please don’t let it be a mullet!

So I was a follow car for the team, as I usually am. Not too far into the ride, Jurgen Van Goolen was having some discomfort in his back and legs, so Dirk asked me to bring him back to the hotel. I zoomed back with Jurgen, dropped him off and headed back. I knew they were going down Foxen Canyon Rd, but not the rest of the route. I hit crappy-slow traffic, couldn’t catch up and lost them. There are several route choices off Foxen, and I missed them. I had Benoit’s warm outer-layer clothing that he had peeled off and tossed in my window. I was entreating the Cycling Weather Gods to not let it rain or get cold before the guys rode back in…Phew… it stayed sunny…

I went in and had lunch with the wrenches and soigneurs, and listened to all the great stories that they tell. These guys all get along so well and have a camaraderie that comes from being on the front line at every cycling race in Europe, as well as here. Along with our Directeurs Sportif, these guys are great people: kind, thoughtful and funny. Just the best…

This is a photo that I took this morning of Dirk Demol and Sean Yates.. And to answer a question in the Comment section, I said I was bummed about OLN because they are no longer on my Dish Network, so I’ll miss out on any cycling programs that they may have…


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