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UPCC Pre-Prologue Potion, 5 Ingredients

August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21st, the day before the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge first day of racing. Some ingredients in the mix as we look ahead to the prologue and a week of racing.

  • The kick-off press conference line-up didn’t include a single Colombian when it was announced last week, post Tour of Utah. Some are, at long last, getting wise to the Colombian factor: at the press conference in USA Cycling Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Sergio Luis Henao (GOB) was the first to arrive and sit behind his name placard on the speaker stage.

    Sergio Henao at 2011 UPCC kick-off press conference (Mary Topping)

  • Tom Danielson’s got it. When asked at the press conference about what to expect from the Colombian teams he said, “I expect chaos. If they have the leader’s jersey, they will attack; if they don’t have the leader’s jersey, they will attack. Plan on them attacking. The entire team will be in the first group over Cottonwood Pass.” I think he means both teams.

Vande Velde, Danielson, and Evans at UPCC kick-off press conference (Mary Topping)

  • What may be the best spectator / fan opportunity of the race emerged: hanging out at the first corner into the park or the left-hand turn at the bottom of Ridge Road the day (today) before the prologue in the Garden of the Gods. The reward? Most teams reconned the course today, including: all of EPM-UNE and Gobernacion riding together, the entire Leopard Trek pride, some of BMC (including Cadel and George), Bissell, SpiderTech, and Rabobank ,and all of UnitedHealthcare, Exergy, Liquigas-Cannondale. Frank Schleck appeared to have seen Ivan Basso for the first time, coasting over to him to say, “Ciao.”

Ivan Basso and the Schlecks create traffic jam in Garden of the Gods (Mary Topping)

  • Robert Gesink could be a factor. When asked at the kick-off press conference why he was “over-dressed” in a sweatshirt, Gesink replied very assuredly, “It’s hot here, then you go inside and it’s like a refrigerator. I’m motivated to do a good Tour of Colorado and I don’t want to get sick.” Something about his demeanor exuded a belief that he will perform well, better than in this year’s Tour de France.
  • There is a little bit too much hoping going on. Cadel Evans said, “The altitude will be the biggest test for us; I’m hoping I’ll adjust in time.” Ivan Basso: “I hope I feel OK,” implying the racers will ride into the sky.
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