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Friday, June 27, 2008

Tour of Pennsylvania, Mid-week Recap

I just want to say one thing. This is a very awesome experience for me. I get to see the behind-the-scenes of a bike race, and I have got to say it is a LOT of work to put together a tour and then run it, and I'm only doing less then 5% of it. Some would say "all you need to do is call the cops, make sure they'll help escort the riders, then call some sponsors to get money and stuff, then make sure the towns and cities you're going through all know what's going on, then find the riders". While all that is true, that's still only a small percentage. Now I don't know much about the details that happened prior to my actual start on Tuesday, but if what I'm doing is like this, then I can only imagine how difficult it is. Congratulations to all before me that have made this race possible, I am honored to volunteer for such a great and successful Tour of PA race.

On Tuesday was the time trial prologue and the actual first stage criterium, both in Philadelphia, (which it happens to be the same location as the Philly Phlyer's Team Time Trial and Circuit Race during my recent spring collegiate season). Both were interesting, and I got to witness most of them, the most I got to see of this tour. Wednesday was the second stage with two KOMs, 2 Sprints and a feed zone. 91 miles from Downington to Carlisle, I was in the truck behind the caravan, picking up signs along the way (you know, "50 KM to go", "30 KM to go" spring and KOM signs, etc). So I didn't get to see anything but the start of the race. This morning was a 104 miler with two KOMs, two sprints and 2 feed zones. We had to line up right before the riders took off, so I barely got to see anything. For both of the last races I was able to give my camera to someone I knew who both would see more of the races than me. Because we had an interesting KOM today, riders were dropping back and we were able to see some of them since we did a pretty good job staying in the caravan, so tomorrow I'm going to try my luck and hope that happens again so I can take a few pictures of them when we drive by any.

Tomorrow is a short race, 59.5 miles, from Bedford to Latrobe so there are no feed zones nor sprints. There are, however, two KOMs, so we still have some signs to take down. However, we should be able to stay in the caravan section for most of the race until closer to the end when we'll have more signs to pick up. Saturday we go from Ligonier through Latrobe to Pittsburgh, and then Sunday is the Circuit Race in Pittsburgh, which I can't wait because I'll have more time to watch the race then since there will be no following of the riders and stuff.

I miss riding my bike though, and seeing all of these guys about my age riding their bikes, makes me jealous!!

I'll wait until Monday when I get home for another post, stay tuned! In the meantime try to catch this race on the Versus channel and go to http://www.tourofpa.com/ for regular updates! I will probably be in a picture on http://www.dailypeloton.com/ as well, as there was a lady taking pictures and asked some of us to get together for one. I'll let you know!

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