Pro Challenge

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Yesterday we rode over to the start of the Pro Challenge stage in Copper Mountain to meet up with my friend George McDiarmid and to see Trudi before she headed off to Aspen.  I rode over Loveland Pass the day before, down to Georgetown and then back to the finish at A Basin, but didn’t get there before the finish.

I’m more into riding my bike than watching the race, which I’m okay with.  With electronic media, it is so easy to see the important parts of the race, after the fact, and just enjoy the mountains.

I have noticed that there aren’t a lot of young people following this race.  Most the people I passed, climbing to to the finish at Arapaho Basin or even riding up to Copper yesterday seemed older, like over 60.  I’m not sure why that is?  When the Coor’s Classic was going on in August, to me, it seemed like most of the people following the race were younger guys that aspired to be professional bike racers or younger families of people that just rode.  Here is seems like it is a bunch of retired people that have the time to spectate.  I originally though that it was maybe because school has started many places, but the Coor’s race was the same time and there were tons of young people watching.


I did run into Joseph Schmaltz yesterday and got to talk for a little bit.  He got sick before the race and is just surviving.  I told him that sometimes you can get well faster while racing than while resting, so to stay optimistic.  But, I’ve been there before, trying to stage race sick isn’t all that enjoyable.

I’m feeling weird still from Leadville.  My legs are pretty seized up and my knees hurt a little too. I haven’t gotten any tonic water yet.  George gave me a flushing niacin tablet yesterday, saying it would help with hamstring tightness.   I’ve been riding pretty easy, but medium long, like 3-4 hours.

Today I have a couple meeting over in Breckenridge.  I’ll post about it later.  I’m going to probably drive over there, ride, shower at George’s condo and then change into regular clothes. I can already tell that the day is going to get away from me.

I got to the finish at Arapaho Basin way after the finish.  Brent Bookwalter, who had won, was just finishing a press deal.  I rode back down to the bus with him, chatting.  He is having a pretty stellar end of the season between  his Utah and Colorado results.

I got to the finish at Arapaho Basin way after the finish. Brent Bookwalter, who had won, was just finishing a press deal. I rode back down to the bus with him, chatting. He is having a pretty stellar end of the season between his Utah and Colorado results.

The guy in the middle, next to Brent, is Andy Riis, the owner and sponsor of the BMC team.  He is from Switzerland and is a crazy cycling enthusiast.

The guy in the middle, next to Brent, is Andy Riis, the owner and sponsor of the BMC team. He is from Switzerland and is a crazy cycling enthusiast.

Trudi and Thomas Craven before yesterday's start.

Trudi and Thomas Craven before yesterday’s start.

Sue climbing up Loveland Pass a couple days ago.

Sue climbing up Loveland Pass a couple days ago.





43 thoughts on “Pro Challenge

  1. Double D

    Where is Och…I assume he has something to do with Bookwalters recent success…as does Riis.

  2. Debaser

    It’s pretty hard for us parents to go see the race when all Colorado’s schoolchildren are back in school this week.

  3. LD

    One thought about fewer young people spectating – school starts much sooner now in Colorado than 30 years ago. Used to be kids didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day.

  4. RGTR

    Who wants to aspire to be a bike racer which requires training on the roads where everyone hates you? You’re better off being in one of the accepted soccer mom sports.

    All those pics and talk of BMC is sure to bring out the ‘doping on your doorstep’ conspirators. I have my fly open and cock fully exposed so each one can suck it before entering to have there say. I see I’ve missed a couple but this will be a good day.

  5. Robo

    I’m with you on all the Steve/BMC haters. I personally am not troubled by Steve and Trudi’s relationship with the team, but I do recognize it is somewhat questionable to some people.

    I think Steve should address it in a post. I would love to hear his take on it.

  6. Jim

    When the Colts race was in its early and middle years it was a July race. Changed to August race towards the end.

  7. Bryan

    Is Toxin water the stuff that was leaking out of the mine a couple of weeks ago? Stay away from that stuff!!!

    I think you meant “tonic” water?

  8. The Cyclist

    Yep, the old ones got no idea how to use it and the young ones got no idea how to ride a bike.

  9. Fergie

    Maybe the 30 year olds that where watching the Coors Classic are the 60 year olds watching the Pro Challenge?

  10. Larry T.

    Excellent point, though I’m not there at 60 but was at 30. All the industry surveys talk of road bike riders “aging out” of the activity/sport with few young ones coming in. Ya gotta wonder when promoters of video games are trying to make them an Olympic sport. Part of it I blame on the “instant expert” idea – the kid doesn’t want to take up a sport unless it’s so easy (or contrived) that they can be good at it from the start. I’d add that US cycling’s back in a more normal situation these days without the LeMond (which got me into paying attention back in the early 80’s) or later BigTex success at the top of the sport creating interest. Throw in a struggling economy, the constant doping scandals with the ease of following these things via TV, etc. and I’m not surprised there are fewer younger fans at the roadside.

  11. Wildcat

    The better flub that he had was the other day after Leadville. He wrote that he was “still stinking” from the race. I actually laughed out loud in my office when I read that. And I’m not a dick so I hesitated writing – “well, you know a shower will help with that”. Of course, he meant “still stinging”, but I knew what he meant so on with my day I went. Yet, here I am now putting it on blast. O’ well. Fuckin’ A right? God bless ‘merica!

  12. Wildcat

    I don’t mind them so much as the d-bag who’s going to come on here and reply to you that you used the wrong “there/their/they’re”. O’ shit. I did it again. I had better just go for a ride until I find some tri-guy to hate on.

  13. Russell

    The young people are staying close to home and Starbucks while they work to pay off the student loans that provided free indoor rock climbing, overseas drinking – I mean studying, daily chipotle burritos, private bathrooms and a big screen tv while they delayed entering adulthood. Give them a few years to recover and hope the local bike shop can maintain in the meantime.

  14. Jack Boy Yeah

    Yes, schools are starting this week. Combine that with the race at the mountain resorts, and you’re mostly going to see older vacationers. I watched the Zinger/Coors as an aspiring junior, and school wasn’t in the way.

    More likely, cycling is going the way of a participation sport. LA’s story brought in more money than ever to racing, but that’s over… He got a lot of people interested in cycling and out riding, but they may not be interested in racing so much anymore. They still like to ride but not so much hardcore competitively, so they do events that are more of a participatory/challenge in nature – Leadville 100. Steve bemoans the fact that a bunch of guys can’t make a living traveling around in van doing races. Yet he’s already done a few participant races. And they’re not cheap, Leadville is $345 + $15 lottery for the common man, and I didn’t see any mention of a prize list. If you’re doing the event yourself then you’re more interested in your result, and there’s just “some guy” who actually won the race.

  15. Dangle

    Wildcat, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  16. Rob

    I don’t know of any young people that follow cycling, let alone road racing. I have come to accept that our sport is looked upon by others as a curiosity.

  17. Levi

    Sounds like it’s the same people watching the race that watched the Coors Classic. Why would anyone watch a road stage anyway? You’re a huge cycling enthusiast and you don’t even wanna watch. There is absolutely zero excitement, save for the last 200 meters.

    Why do so many cyclists feel like people should be out watching them ride by? “Oh my God, WHO CARES” ~ Peter Griffin

    Would you go to a lake and watch a swim race from shore? It’s about the same, excitement wise. No one cares, it’s not interesting……. at all!

    Cycling is not a sport. It’s exercise. People turn it into racing, which is to say I’m the best at exercising. Triathletes take it two steps further. It’s all gay and douchey to main stream America, no matter how you slice it.

    As far as BMC goes wiping their ass with the rest of the field…….. You know. Same shit, different toilet!

  18. Dave LeDuc

    Tell Tilly watch out for the Garmin Cannondale bus when riding his bike around the finish area, could be a dangerous situation

  19. Bob Wright

    My son who is a Cat 2, doesn’t “follow” any level of racing. He said he got tired of the negative media and just rides to compete.

    He rode a very tough hillclimb race the other day; at the finish he turned around got in his car and went home. I asked him how he did, he said he didn’t know he had homework (he’s in grad school) to do.

    Two days later a Master’s racer I often compete against told me congrats on my son getting 2nd place.

    I see that attitude with he and several of his teammates. They say they can’t compete against the doped competition of the top domestic amateur teams so they focus on other things.

    Sort sad when you think about it…….

  20. Spencer

    I live in Colorado and following pro cycling very closely, however I’m not planning to go to any stage of the race. I don’t think it’s feasible to take a day off work in the middle of the week to go watch BMC’s 2nd tier team smash the softest field in the race’s history.

  21. Wildcat

    Dangle, If anyone “in this room” was actually able to have “heard” any portion of the written comment you think I “said” then I believe you have greater problems to worry about. Although I wasn’t specifically going for “insanely idiotic” – I’ll take it! I’ve been called worse. Maybe you should give some irrationality a try. It’s fun! Have a great weekend and safe riding!

  22. Wildcat

    Hahaha! My parents went out from Kansas on Wednesday to “watch the race”. I put that in quotes because for them it’s mostly just a good excuse to have somewhere different to go and something different to see while they ride and drink lots of beer with their buddies each day.

  23. Freddy

    There is but one sentence in your idiotic rant that has some worth to it. That’s the last sentence regarding BMC.

  24. channel_zero

    So Jim,

    How much money does one make on the side from being an officer at USA Cycling/USACDF?

    Does USACDF still pay a commission for landing sponsors? If so, what expense category in the annual report?

    Can a team/rider pay to have positive results not sanctioned like the IAAF?

  25. John

    I think bikes and equipment costs are killing the industry too. It’s true that you get much more for your money now, but I think it’s keeping a lot of young people out of the sport. Steve has addressed it with entrance fees, but I think the entire cost of racing a road bike has made it a sport for the rich.

    I think that is part of the reason running is making such a comeback. You can run really cheap…like free, especially if you’re a barefoot runner:). Whether I’m running or riding off-road now, it seems there are at least as many runners as cyclists. I’ve been impressed with the organization of the trail races I’ve done, and it’s cool that there are national class athletes mixed with all shapes and sizes of people (I realize you can’t do that with bike races).

    Still consider myself a cyclist first, but I can see why people don’t want to lay down the cash for a nice bike.

  26. Rider #44

    Meanwhile, their dipshit kid “Wildcat”, trolls the internet leaving posts that rival the intellectual qualities of an inbred milk cow .

  27. robert b

    yea races are expensive and guys get tired after all the years from it.. some of the tours and other events are about the same money just a lot more fun.

  28. Reid Rothschild

    I think I saw your picture in Juliet Macur’s book about lying in cycling?

    She said something to the effect that when she spoke to you, she thought you were either the most oblivious man on earth or knew exactly what was going on with Wonderboy. Lancepo

    Thanks clown!

    Wonderlance forever!


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