As with similar trips in the past, my short visit to Colorado this weekend is an absolute blur in my mind. As such, I can't begin to tell you much about it. This leaves me little recourse other than sharing the images below with you, along with some bullet points about the trip.
1. Dinner at the Marriott hotel in Fort Collins was held in a large ballroom, where all teams ate together. A wedding was being held next door at the same time. Some guests from the wedding heard that athletes, potentially famous and important ones, were eating next door. This resulted in girls wearing prom dresses and 20 year old males in pleated khakis walking into the ballroom to take a look, and subsequently being disappointed by what they saw: a bunch of small, thin, and very tired looking guys eating boiled chicken, pasta and overcooked potatoes.
2. Said dinner buffet at the Marriott included bars of vegan ice cream, which I proceeded to help myself to. Six, yes, six times. Each time I walked to get another ice cream bar, I overheard amazingly interesting things being said at different team tables. None of it earth-shattering, but interesting enough that I'll keep it to myself, since I'm not sure that I was supposed to be there, much less taking copious amount of ice cream bars.
3. It was sad and funny to see Andy Shcleck finishing his dinner by himself, moving a few sad little, overcooked potatoes on his plate, like a kitten playing with a bottle cap on the kitchen floor.
4. Jens Voigt seems to be "on" all the time. Honestly, it must be exhausting being this guy. I saw him on two occasions entertaining retired NBA player Bill Walton, who happens to look a good bit like Gary Busey in person, and has the most astonishing teeth you've ever seen.
5. Okay, forget what I said in #2 above. Here's one conversation I heard, though I won't tell you the team who was having this discussion, or who it was about. "XXXX, they are the f*ckers who wrote that bad article about us...they can't do a decent job, and how could they? They don't even have people who know other languages and apparently can't get proper translations".
All I have to say about this is...hey, XXXX, give me a call. I speak Spanish, and apparently know enough Italian that I talked my way into a team car at the TT. Not bad, I think.
6. Ask around at a race, and you'll quickly find out that teams tend to have beefs with one another. I heard of one such beef being caused by the fact that one team were "riding like as*holes" (going fast when there was no need to, pulling at the wrong time), though the common accusation is that one team or another is riding unsafely, which prompted one rider to nearly come to blows with two men from another team in one hotel hallway.
7. Talking to different riders, it appears that none of them know the name of this race in Colorado. Some call it "the Tour of Colorado", but simply "Colorado" is the most common term used.
8. Perhaps my favorite moment during the race was at the TT finish near Vail. A certain Team Colombia rider finishes, hands his bike over and sits down. He's exhausted. He takes a drink of water, and excitedly tells me, "Oh man, did you hear? I crushed it! Best time! I beat the course record! I'm going to win the stage!" Excitedly, I tell him how awesome this is, and I get close like I'm going to shake his hand, or hug him or something. I'm legitimately excited for him. Just then, he looks at me, winks, and says "Nah man, I'm f*cking with you. I sucked, I may actually have the worst time!" and he starts laughing uncontrollably. And then I do the same. He had clearly gone all out, but didn't have the legs, and was bummed about it. But his sense of humor was beyond refreshing.