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14 August 2011

Tour of Utah 2011

Adri and I had the opportunity to go watch the final two stages of the Tour of Utah this year.  Oh the perks of knowing the right people.  Anyway, we were fortunate enough to be able to get into the VIP tent that was right on the finish line both days (technically on the start and finish on Friday since they were doing laps).

Anyway, we had a wonderful time, and it was such an amazing event to be at.  It really inspired us to continue biking.  We actually took some friends on Friday that asked me if I was getting into biking so that I could race in the Tour next year.  As awesome as that would be, it isn't going to happen.  I don't have the time nor money to get into biking like this.

Anyway, we got some great photos, and just loved every minute of the Tour.  Overall winner was Levi Leipheimer (won last year as well).  This was the first year the race was part of the international circuit, so we had some of the big names and teams here.

This was the start of stage 4 and Levi is in the middle with the yellow jersey on, which signifies that he is the overall leader.
 It was really cool to see the teams really take care of their big rider.  For about the first 6 laps of this race Team Radio Shack stayed in the front of the peloton (main group of riders) to make sure that Levi rode well and didn't have to lead out and get too tired too fast.

This is a video of the peloton in stage 4 going by, and you can hear the announcer talk about how great Team Radio Shack is doing.  Not too many laps after this though there was an attack by two other teams that just blew the group apart.  It was so crazy to watch it all unfold.

 This is Rafael Montiel, on the Columbian team, who won stage 4.  He and the riders behind him (about 20 others) beat the rest of the field by about 2 minutes.
I don't really even know who this guy is, but it is one of my favorite photos of the Tour that I took.  And I think it says a lot about how hot it was, and how much work they put into this race.
This is Cadel Evans who actually won the Tour de France just a few weeks prior.  His team, Team BMC, was in the race, but he was not.  He said he was going to ride it but then the Prime Minister of Australia (where he is from) asked him to come home and celebrate his Tour de France victory with them.  Anyway, when he flew in the put him in the VIP tent with us, so we got to be right there close to him.  My friend and coworker actually got his autograph, and sadly I did not.  It's ok though.  It was just awesome to be there.
Here is Levi Leipheimer in 2nd behind Sergio Henao (of the Columbian team) allowing him to win the stage.  At the beginning of the final climb, these two just took off up the mountain to the finish at Snowbird.  Sergio was 23 seconds behind Levi in the overall standings at the beginning of this the 5th and final stage.  Everyone was saying it was a very classy move for Levi to let Sergio win the final stage since he was going to be winning the overall race.  I would agree with that.
Lastly, Adri ran up to get Levi's photo as he was going to accept the yellow jersey for the final time of the race.  He was kind enough to pose for one quick shot that just made her day.
All in all it was an awesome opportunity for us, and one that really solidified for us how awesome cycling is.  We are so excited to be participating in such and awesome sport.  Hopefully we will have the opportunity in the future to be a part of more races!

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