Saturday is a bit of a “for rest day” before Sunday’s main event so we decided to walk around downtown Greenville. The Palmetto Peloton ride had just ended and the street was filled with recreational cyclists. Among those cyclists was Saul Raisin. We briefly chatted to him. He’d just got done doing two laps of the road race course with Kevin Livingston. I asked how long he’d ridden for and he done two and half hours and wanted to do more. It was good to see Saul on the bike and getting better. Steven Cozza of TIAA-CREF pulled up to us and chatted about the course as well. Saul’s advice was not to be afraid of the climb. If you are afraid of the climb, it will kill you mentally. I need to remember that bit of advice as well. Cozza told us because he joined the team late this year he only has one pair of bib shorts. Hopefully he’ll get some more for next season!
Saul is back on the bike!
Brad Huff-reigning criterium champion
We continued down Main Street and visited Carolina Triathlon, the local bike shop. A cool feature is that the place has a coffee and smoothie bar. Try the P&J smoothie, you won’t be disappointed! Also they have a louge area with sofa and large screen t.v. This would be the place to hang out and watch the Tour. Hanging in the window is the GT that Hincapie raced on in the 1997 Tour du Pont and World Championships. Also on display is a pair of his shoes and helmet.
Also coming back from a recon ride were the Successfulliving.com boys. Daniel “The Raminator” Ramsey was 10th in the time trial, an outstanding result for the rider from Ventura. Super nice guy who was realistic about his chances, get into an early break and hang on. And according to rumors that’s what the TIAA-CREF team is going to do. They have the superior numbers with 18 riders so get two or three riders in an early break. If it gets caught, send another break up the road. Then there is the interesting question of what about George Hincapie who only has Jason McCartney as a teammate. Does Levi, who will be re-joining the Disco team and is riding solo, help George? What about David Z, who is also riding sans-teammates and is staying at George’s house this week? Not to spill the beans, but other Americans on other teams, but joining Discovery in January, will they be helping Hincapie? Aside from conspiracy theories on who will be helping whom, the plot to the road race is that an early break could get away and stay away. After five times up Paris Mountain attrition sets in and the finish could come down to 10 to 12 riders. But don’t quote me on that…
Stealing a Navigator Colnago
On the way back up Main Street we dropped into Earshot music, a new and used cd store that not only serves coffee but beer as well. Kicking back inside were three riders from Navigators enjoying a post-recon ride snack of a chocolate brownie and beer. Fifth place time trial finisher, Bernard Vanulden also gave us the inside scoop on how he thinks the race will play out. The Paris Mountain road seems to be the decisive point in the race. Bernard was saying that you come around a corner on the climb and you think that the road will flatten out. Instead it kicks up steeper to the summit. According to Bernard, his teammate Phil Zajicek was grinning ear to ear when he saw the climb, so look for fireworks from him tomorrow.
The Navigators secret post-ride meal
Later tonight is the teams presentation. If I hear anything interesting I’ll let you know.