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Tour of Utah Stage 6 ---> PICS!

post #1 of 4
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At 112 miles (180 km) with 17,000 feet (5,200 m) of climbing, it was billed as one of the toughest stages in all of bike racing, most certainly in north American bike racing. After representatives from USA cycling came out and previewed the course, the decided it was a bit much. So it was shortened to 84 miles (135 km) and a mere 12,500' (3850m) of climbing. It was still brutal.

I had volunteered as a course marshal (glorified crossing guard) off and on all week (3 stages). All in all things went pretty well for a first year event. I did get yelled at quite a bit during the downtown SLC road race. Add the Nickleback concert at the Delta center, the Tour and the Outdoor retailers show to the closed roads, and downtown was a mess Saturday night. Personally, I think that was the biggest snafu of the whole deal. There should have been more communication to the general public as to what road were going to be closed when. If they run the circuit race next year I'd be willing to be that there will be quite the changes to the down town course.

Anyway, I got up early Saturday AM, with my roller and bucket of paint. I headed up the road, back tracking the course from our house (it came within 1/4 mile of my house (but I didn't want to watch it there). On my way up American fork canyon, I painted a few CAUTIONs on the road in the area of some road hazards (mainly major gravel/rock falls on the road). After I got to the top of the Alpine loop, I pulled out the GPS and stated painting elevations on the road about ever 1000 vertical feet. Quite a few of the recreational riders asked me if I was the guy that had painted them as they rode by our corner.

I had gone on google earth and scooped out the corner(s) I wanted to watch the race from. I found a good switch back about 1 mile above the Sundance ski resort. There were already a couple of people there when I pulled up. I had already passed that spot once as I went all the way to the bottom of the climb painting the road. So with the my fellow spectators watching, I went to work with my paint bucket and painted the names of a few Utah locals that were pretty high on GC.

After about 45 mins to a hour, we started to hear the sirens of the lead vehicles. We knew it wouldn't be long. At this point, there was a break away that had about 5 mins on the peleton. The break would stick all the way to the finish. A couple of mins after the break came by the GC leaders rode by.

Here are the pics from the Alpine Loop

After the parade/support vehicles came by followed by the broom wagon (the vehicle that indicates the road is open again), I jumped in my car, bombed down hill as fast as I could go, zoomed home, picked up Laure, stopped to get a quick picnic lunch and headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon. We made it in plenty of time.

Again we hung out in the "seven sisters" area just before the 5 km to go mark. That was a good place to watch from as you could see the riders coming for a long way. About 20 mins after we got there, we stated to see the vehicles that indicated the front of the race. This time, there was no discrete group of riders. The climb over suncrest (near my house), the lower slopes of Little Cottonwood and the heat of the day were starting to take their toll. The riders rolled by mainly in groups of 1's and 2's. Of the 65 riders that started the day, only about 50 would finish. These are some of the best pros in the U.S. crushed by the roads of Utah. Several of us were dousing guys with water as they came by. I remember on guy that was so beat, he didn't even look up he just pointed to his back when I asked him if he wanted a shower.

Here are a few from Little Cottonwood....

After the broom wagon rolled by, we got back in the car and headed up to the finish line (the race was over at that point). We hung around the festival for a while, but there wasn't that much going on (the one downtown the night before was much better. That was it. We headed home and I can't wait for next year!!

Oh yes, the overall was won by 39 year old Scott Moninger (#21, he's in a couple of photos) and the stage was won by Blake Caldwell.

post #2 of 4
thanks, Lonnie.

post #3 of 4
It hurts just looking at still pictures of that!
post #4 of 4
Great shots Lonnie.
Thank You so much.
Bridge climbs for me tomorrow!!!
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