Velogal's Blog

Monday, February 27, 2006

At the Stage 7 podium awards, Olaf Pollack literally soaked this unfortunate ESPN camera guy with a magnum of champagne. It was really kinda ugly and mean-spirited… Olaf was not smiling, and he just kept shaking the bottle and pointing it at that one guy. Yeah, it’s the usual thing to spray the crowd, and most riders are aware that they could ruin expensive equipment. But none of us had ever seen such a deliberate, singling out one person to just drench, camera and all. It was really bad vibes, and no joking on Olaf’s part. He looked angry. None of us were sure what was going on. People were laughing at first, but when he kept on and on, aiming at the one guy, it was no longer funny. It was weird…

After Olaf went back into the tent that they use as a “green room”, I think his T-Mobile people told him how ugly it looked, so he came back out into our media area and gave the camera guy a T-Mobile jacket. I asked the guy later if there was something that he had done, or that ESPN had done to Olaf, but the guy said he didn’t know, either.

It was a fantastic race – the Amgen Tour of California was a success that surpassed the organizer’s and sponsor’s dreams. When Levi said that sometimes he wasn’t sure if he was at the Tour de France or the Tour of California, that was so true. The crowd in Redondo Beach was humungous and loved it. I think every city that hosted a stage must want it back next year. Personally, I think it would be great to keep the same route, instead of changing cities like they do in Georgia, but I’m sure that they will want to spread the cycling wealth to other cities in 2007.

I shot the Launch Party for G4 Productions on Saturday night at the new and trendy Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Big names in cycling attended, hung out, and were reluctant to leave such a great party. Pat McQuaid, Gerald Buscaglia, and Frankie Andreu were a few of the folks who were munching and mingling.

G4 Productions has over fifty years of combined experience in all phases of event management with Robin Morton, Alice Armstrong, Joan Hanscom and Kristen Reiss. If you are going to plan an event; multisport, charity or corporate, then G4 Productions is the key to a successful event for you… These women know their stuff: they'll do a fantastic event for you. Check out their new site and have a look at my images there…

A five page Stage 7 gallery is up on Smugmug.


  • Too bad about Pollack - it does make you wonder if there was a story behind it.

    I agree that repeating the same cities could be good - it helps people get in the habit of going to the race every year. On the other hand, including a mountain top finish would be really cool, and more like the European races. Mt. Hamilton and Mt. Wilson come to mind for the urban areas. The Sierras are full of good climbs, but I suppose the promoters need to keep the race close to the biggest audience.

    By Blogger Steve R, At 4:40 PM  

  • Sammarye,

    could you post some info about the winner...Floyd Landis. He was a loyal LA servant until the US Postal Service team would no longer pay his salary.The guy had to overcome much with his Amish childhood.

    Pollack needs some counseling about showing class after you win.

    By Blogger Charlie, At 6:21 PM  

  • Pollack sprayed that guy because Pollack had just won the Cliff Bar GREEN sprinter Jersey, and the guy in question was wearing a green Cliff Bar shirt. A lot of people seem to have missed this though. Just after the presentation, he did give the guy he sprayed a Team T-Mobile Jersey.

    Don't be too hard on the guy, I think it was just a joke gone wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:23 PM  

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