Worlds – The Day After

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I was walking around Richmond late last night, soaking up the city, and was listening to the various people talk about the race and just generally enjoying the atmosphere.  There were tons of foreigners walking around, so I can’t really comment on what they were saying.  But, the Americans I can.

I was over on Carey Street having dinner, and after we went to a local homemade ice cream store.  Trudi was driving the BMC car and it was parked out front.  We were sitting on some chairs, on the sidewalk when a couple guys came walking by.   One was smoking and the other was frumpy looking.  Anyway, they both look at the car, then the guy smoking says, “I wonder if Taylor Phinney is in there getting ice cream?”  Then they proceed to go to the window beside me and peer inside looking for Taylor.  It was really surprising that they were bike race fans.

Then later in the evening, Trudi and I went outside looking for the blood moon eclipse, but it was cloudy.  Anyway, I saw two police officers walking on the street and I asked one if, by chance, he knew where the moon would be.  The guy looked at me like I was screwing with him. I told him the moon deal and he said it was probably too cloudy.  I agreed.

Right then another officer walked up and the first guy said to the new guy, “I’m tempted to go over to the finish line and rip up that UCI banner stuck on the ground and put it on eBay to sell to some Slovakian dude.” I told him I would buy it from him if he did that.  He said,, “Let’s go and get that fucker, I’m serious.”  I should have, but kept looking for the moon.

It really was too cloudy, so we went back upstairs to our room.  Looking down at the start/finish area, I noticed that the UCI Worlds banner that was stuck to the road was now gone.  The cop had taken it.  I was, once again surprised.  2nd time in one night.

Anyway, yesterday was very enjoyable.  There is something to be said about spectating a 6 1/2hr bike race.  I had a chance to meet up with a ton of old friends, etc.  Plus time to go to lots of different parts of the course to view.  Cycling is a wonderful visual sport to watch.  I think the local residents of Richmond found that out first hand.

My picks from yesterday didn’t pan out.  I was close with Stybar attacking on Libby Hill and the Van Avermaet going on 23rd.  But, Sagan went right over him at the top and then did that tuck. The cameras only showed Sagan and I said to Trudi that Van Avermaet was never going to catch him since Sagan did a couple pedal strokes.  That tuck is really screwy and dangerous, but it is faster than shit.  I’m not saying that Peter Sagan won the race because of the tuck, but that might be the case.

Anyway, I wasn’t that far off.  I did state that a solo rider would go after the 23rd street hill and solo to the finish.  But, I think Sagan would have to be classified as a favorite, not as an underdog.  And he did seemed to have pretty great legs.

The US team rode great.  Animated and in contention until the very end.  I talked to Tyler Farrar after the race.  I asked him about his last lap move.  He said that he didn’t think he had the legs to be able to get over Libby Hill in good enough position to be able to have a result, so he did the early move, hoping to be over the top before getting caught.  He thought he was good enough for 23rd street and the finish hill.  It nearly worked out.  I have to applaud his effort.

Finishing two riders in the top 20 is about as good as the US should expect doing.  They only started with 6 riders and Ben King, then Taylor both did huge breakaway efforts.  I was initially joking that maybe Ben King thought the race was a points race because he pulled across the start/finish line first for lap after lap. The field was nervous or his group would have been out there many more laps.  They were on a short leash.

My buddy Ivan Stevic was in Ben King’s moves early.  He stayed there for a few hours and finally got spit out the back on his own.  Then he proceeded to take bows and make gestures  as he was quitting race. I’ve never seen that before.   It wasn’t like he was on a 5 hour solo break. He was one of 5 guys and got dropped from them.   Dick.

The rain held off the whole day, which was mildly surprising.  They did change the forecast during the night, but walking around, every once in a while, it started spitting down rain, even when it was partially sunny.  Everyone lucked out in this regard.  The race would have been completely different with just one lap of rain.

I felt sort of weird when the race was over yesterday.  I felt the same way as watching the Cyclo-X Nationals a couple years ago.  There is so much energy and anticipation, then someone wins and everyone just disperses.   It seems sort of anticlimactic.  I don’t know why I get those feelings.

Anyway, lots of stuff to do today.  Drive bikes to the Washington D.C.  airport.  Take cars to be transported back to California, etc.  I don’t have any clean clothes left, so I need to do laundry. We’re going to start driving back home tomorrow sometime.  It might be a serpentine route, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

Early in the race, I guess he wore one too many layers.

Early in the race, I guess he wore one too many layers.

Peter Sagan on Libby Hill mid race.

Peter Sagan on Libby Hill mid race.

Ivan Stevic taking his bow.

Ivan Stevic taking his bow.

Course with UCI banner.

Course with UCI banner.

After Mr. Policeman last night.

After Mr. Policeman last night.

Taylor Phinney looking concentrated.

Taylor Phinney looking concentrated.

CEO of USAC riding across town on a carbon Ritchey Breakaway bike.

CEO of USAC riding across town on a carbon Ritchey Breakaway bike.

This is me, General George Casey, Mike McCarthey and Wayne Stetina. I know Mike and Wayne, but not General Casey. He is an avid cyclist and does the Ride to Recovery events with Wayne.

This is me, General George Casey, Mike McCarthy and Wayne Stetina. I know Mike and Wayne, but not General Casey. He is an avid cyclist and does the Ride 2 Recovery events with Wayne.

The podium.

The podium.



20 thoughts on “Worlds – The Day After

  1. James S.

    That was a great day. I agree with you about the anticlimactic sense. I have some ideas but I wont share them here.
    Anyways, how cool was that to see those guys at full gas in person! Really blew my mind the power, speed, finesse, efficiency of these folks.
    Hopefully North American can host another worlds in my lifetime. I would love to see that again.
    I rode from Williamsburg, VA and back, only had time to see 5 laps mid-race, but it was worth it!
    Anyways the cycling culture is really great. Very positive and inclusive. I was surprised at how pleasant it was to watch the race and meet folks. Definitely way better than other athletic events I have attended. We Should be lucky to pride ourselves in this great subculture! Non-cyclists should take a page from our book 🙂

  2. Todd

    Awesome spectating yesterday. If you had a bike, like we did, It was pretty easy to get to most of the course over the 6+ hours, excluding the bottlenecks at course crossings. Libby Hill had the best energy, but the spectators were in a great mood and cheering for all the teams including those who were dropped and OTB. Since there wasn’t a large screen in view, I had a the Universalsports stream on my phone around 200m to go on the finishing straight during bell lap, and about 8 strangers huddled around to watch the action unfolding 3-4km away. It was a mini UN of cycling fans with Dutch, Irish, and a Brit all watching.

    Richmond was a great host location. Example: The polcice officer handling the crossing at 23rd Street offered to take a pic of my son and me with the climb behind us. His shot was far better than a selfie…

    One of the coolest things we were in the midst of was the celebration of the Eritrean racer Mekseb Debesay after the finish. He had DNF’d and they were holding him aloft and cheering like he’d just won. It’s great for cycling to see racers and teams from Africa participating and making an impact at the highest level.

    Wish we had run into you, Steve. I saw the Topeka crew and chatted with Keith Walberg (who I used to race with on KCOI-Boulevard) at CX Worlds a few years ago, but missed you among the throngs. As we were just arriving at Libby Hill, I thought I heard Richard Fries mention your name, but that may have been my imagination.

  3. John H.

    No one wears a helmet for casual riding in those European cycling meccas that everyone admires…they must be doing it wrong too.

  4. TV

    I applaud the American intiative for the championsship but the tv-production was amateurish at best. What’s up with not showing the sprint for silver? Where is the heli footage of the sprint? Seriously frustrating… And all the helicopter footage showing only buildings…

  5. Skippy

    Thanks for the great commentary of this event .

    After Salzburg i lifted a bunch of Fence Banner bunting that is still hanging around .

    UCI have released a statement about ” Safety for Cyclists ” although it does not put the enphasis in the correct place when they allocate ” Points ” !

    The loss of ” Amy D. ” 2 years back and your personal friends must make you want to encourage your readership to be more ACTIVE in their communities ?

    Take time to google ” VisionZeroWorldWide ” and download or design your OWN Placards/Stickons to remind the Traffic that Cycling is NOT something you watch on the TV , but a SPORT that people enjoy visiting , even IF it is FREE !

    Those that follow @skippydetour will have already seen Bling & Rumnas holding these placards , still looking for the Sagan version from last season . Pity i can’t upload the Contador photo as well .

    Couple of gems i picked up recently :

    The sooner drivers accept that all they’re doing is queueing at different speeds*, the better.

    “accidents don’t happen, they are caused”

    TV Major Network Media are a bitch , whilst they jump thru hoops for 4 killed on a quad bike at night, they neglected any mention of an 11yo Schoolgirl killed whilst cycling in daylight .

  6. John

    I just don’t like the “do as we say, not as we do” crowd, and we’ve all been reamed by a USAC official for not wearing our helmets pre or post race.

  7. The Serb

    Stevic is calling it a career which is why he was taking a bow. His FB page is blew up with congrats from tons of fans including Towle and other friends of yours. Weird how dopers and friends of dopers all seem to travel in the same circles. Dopers, ex-dopers that are ok, ex-dopers who are scum, godfathers of doping, team managers up to the their neck in doping, etc. For someone who is the ultimate anti-doper you sure seem to keep interesting company.

  8. Bolas Azules

    Always great to see the tactics or lack of them with Tyler Farrar. I would love to hear the US teammates discussing having what would be considered their best field sprinter launching what turned out to be a two man break with +10km to go. After years of watching a pretty fast boy always finding the wrong wheel, attempting the most illogical paths through a field sprint or riding himself into getting pinched along the curb it was great to see he now can T.T. Ooooof.

  9. Niki

    Ouch ^^^ Do you really think he would have made it at the end against a field sprint? If you don’t try, nothing will ever come of it.

  10. Plain Speak

    Steve, you feature a photo of Stevic above. If you need a reminder about him, there is plenty here:

    I read all of your posts with great anticipation, but have to observe that you are very selective in how you speak about anti-doping- call out people you don’t like, but deafening silence about the rest, including those “close to home.” Please be consistent.

  11. PT Barnum

    Dude, you’ve got it wrong. Steve has called out Stevic before. And see the text above calling out his dumb bowing.


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