The past two days brought us the first real climbs of the Tour. Yesterday in Dahlonega, and today during the epic and legendary Brasstown Bald climb. I’ve never seen anything like Brasstown before. The climbing and competition are absolutely brutal. So much can happen on climbs, Jamie and I were frantically scribbling all over the place trying to keep up with everything. I snapped a shot of my view somewhere just a few kilometers up the climb. That whiteboard has the info of the leaders, time splits, and anything else I could gather from race radio, our only source of information. We then had to condense all that into a five second update as we flew by fans. Ive also got a box of Jelly Bellys sitting on my lap. The paper taped to the dash is a roster of names and teams, since race radio only transmits numbers.
Today (Saturday’s) stage showed another cool side of cycling that can’t be found anywhere else. Take a look at this picture.
While it is incredibly illegal, there is something special about being able to TOUCH your favorite athlete as they compete. Thats Tom Zirbel in the picture getting a little help up Brasstown Bald, but the point here is, these fans came out to see the race, and had such good seats, they could touch the riders, feel the sweat, and smell the grease. Yesterdays stage had 130 miles of course, which means 130 miles of seating for fans. Go watch a bike race!
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