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Prologue: Colombian Camp, Prediction Score, and Favorites

August 23, 2011

Colombian Camp

Why am I developing an emotional attachment to the Colombian teams in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge? At least part of the answer arrived in the shape of an American cyclist I met at the prologue start of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Her husband used to race with members of the Gobernacion de Antioquia –Indeportes Antioquia and EPM-UNE teams.

Colombian Camp at UPCC Prologue Team Parking (Mary Topping)

“They’re just happy to be here,” she said, with emphasis on the word “be.” She continued, “It’s hard for them to get a VISA at the U.S. Embassy in Bogata. Even with the VISA when they arrive in the U.S. they can be denied entry.” Just getting to the race is a struggle.

I love a fighter, an underdog. But doesn’t all the world embrace fighters and underdogs, and that being the case, why weren’t the media in the team parking area checking out these two teams instead of interviewing Americans and chasing down Frank Schleck? OK, I didn’t camp with the Colombians, so it’s possible the media might have been speaking with them when I wasn’t looking. It’s very logical: American readers crave updates on the American riders and the international superstars.  I’d like to believe true cycling fans understand the real story from the Tour of Utah, the story that’s about to unfold again in Colorado.

The Colombian teams warmed up for the prologue together in a partially shaded compound, an exterior nook of the Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center. Bouncing off the walls of that nook: many bursts of laughter, lots of chatting.  Happy to be here.

Prologue Favorites

Favorite image of the day. Burgundy lips on Patrick Gretsch’s right cheek as he stood on the podium.

Patrick Gretsch's Best Reward for UPCC Prologue Win (Len Basobas)

Favorite quote of the day. Christian Vande Velde at the press conference, after hearing Patrick Gretsch took the corner from Ridge Road at 30 mph: “I took it easy; my goal was not to end my season early.”

Prediction Score

The ProVéloPassion Podium Prediction for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge UPCC prologue:

  1. Fabian Cancellara
  2. Cadel Evans
  3. Thor Hushovd

The actual placings:

  1. Patrick Gretsch
  2. Christian Vande Velde
  3. Brent Bookwalter

Cadel Evans placed #9, eight seconds behind Gretsch. Cancellara and Hushovd did not start the UPCC. It’s an OK result; as many of the riders say, tomorrow’s another day.

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