After yesterday's stage 6 concluded on the steep and fan-filled slopes of Flagstaff Mountain Levi Leipheimer stretched the leader's yellow jersey across his back. This morning, going into the time trial, I would have bet you $100 that he would keep it for the overall victory today in Denver. Man, I am so glad you didn't take that bet, I don't have the $100 to give you, nor would my weekly beer allotment have covered it. But first, the video:
The Stage and Photos!
Today was the time trial. For the uninitiated, a time trial is a stage in which each rider goes out on course individually to race against the clock. There are no other riders to help and the rider is left to fend completely for themselves. They call the time trial "the race of truth." It generally separates the winners from the losers, and today, it did just that. The top three riders shuffled after today's stage with Leipheimer ending the day on the lowest step of the podium, with Tejay van Beer-Garden-en second, and Christian Vande Velde up top. It was a masterful showing by Mr. Vande Velde, he absolutely crushed it...
The mood in Denver was pandemonium. The fans were frothing all over downtown, it was an absolute joy to be apart of.
This shot is right at the start house with RadioShack's Ben King on the stomp. Mr. King and I chatted a little after his TT (see video). He had a great day on the bike, and a great Pro Challenge. That fellow is going places...
Here is a better view of the start house, earlier in the day, before the fans clogged the whole thing up:
Speaking of speaking to Ben King... Here is a lady holding a cardboard cut-out of his face:
That cut-out of Ben's face is pretty funny. It looks like he has a mullet and his lips are pursed into a scowl. When I was talking to him he had no mullet and was a very smiley guy. But I guess the maker of the cut-out wanted to put Ben's toughest face forward...
All the RadioShack riders had cutouts... Here is Chris Horner driving the team bus:
What's it going to take to get a giant cut-out of my face? I guess a pro racing contract with Radioshack is the answer to that question, and that is something that I am never going to have. Maybe I could make my own...
In continuing with the super RadioShack heavy subject in today's post, my beautiful bride (and wonderful child) met Jens Voigt today. A very big moment in all lives involved (especially Jens):
The love of Jens is a very big thing in our house. Though my child is, in fact, crying in the picture. She hasn't seen enough dramatic breakaways and tough-man riding out of Jens in her short 13 months of life... Jens signed on with RadioShack for 2013, so she'll get there.
To wander slowly from the RadioShack boys I would like to break the momentum of my post with this picture of New Belgium's own Nick Ampe. He doesn't even have a shirt with him (but he does have NB (New Belgium) in temporary tattoos across his torso)...
Alright, now that we have fully broken from Team RadioShack I want to reintroduce a character that popped up in our story a few days ago, the Red Lady:
I have seen the Red lady everywhere from the bar in Durango, to the slopes of Independence Pass, to standing arm-in-arm with a giant piece of broccoli. She is a huge fan of bike racing and I hope I get to know her better in the 2013 edition of the Pro Cycling Challenge.
And that brings us to my last point. The 2012 US Pro Cycling Challenge is over. It was an experience of a lifetime and I am truly blessed to work for the brewery that sponsors this amazing event. I hope you enjoyed the day to day coverage from the week. Simpsonic, Larry and I worked very hard to bring you our perspective of this race. Look for a "week in recap" post later this week. But until then, know that we will definitely be back for more Total Sports Coverage at the USPC in 2013.
On that note, I'm out. But before I go, please let me leave you with this: