Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After the Col de la Colombiere it was time to head down to Lac d'Annecy for the final time trial and the last chance for anyone to shake things up on GC before the stage up the Ventoux.

On the descent down the other side of la Colombiere.

It didn't take nearly as long as I thought to get to Annecy so after driving around the town for a bit looking for food and parking I finally got to the start/finish and team bus area to check out the action. As early as I was the course was already closed though so I didn't get a chance to ride it. A little more Ballan action. Vai!

Seeing how I wouldn't get to ride the course and I couldn't find a way to sneak into the VIP area I decided to find other ways to entertain myself. Number one on that list, put aloha fixed stickers on any team bus I could get my hands on. Tommeke and the Quick Step bus were the first to get it.

This is the guy that got dropped during the hellish day on stage 13, that Heinrich Haussler won, and finished outside of the time limit but they let continue because of that days insane conditions. Can't remember his name.

Garmin gets it.

Danny Pate in the background and Tyler Farrar warming up for their spin around the lake. Tyler's quads are disgustingly huge. I later heard Danny talking to some family of his outside of the bus where he admitted that he was "over it." Shitty for him there were still three days left.

Cervelo getting some love.

This ones for George.

The canal that ran along the rear of the warm up area.

My riskiest one. I had to wait until the Gendarme looked away to slap it on.


World TT champion Bert Grabsch on the bike and Cav.


God damn these things are awesome!

Who was that? I don't know, some dude from Lotto.

The best thing that happened to them all Tour.


For fucks sake already!

The mob scene around the Astana bus. I didn't even try to get any closer.

I love the bent top tubes on these things.

Back at the Garmin bus National TT champ and all around weirdo Dave Zabriskie was warming up. Notice the Captain America painted disc wheel leaning up against the bus.

Hey Vaughters, go fuck yourself!


The start ramp.

I just liked the paint splatters.

Part of Lac d'Annecy.

Dave Z out on course puttin in work, catching and passing his one minute man.

I ran over to the barricades to try to get a shot of him after he crossed the line. A split second too early.

After walking around for a bit trying to find the best spot to watch from I found a spot right on the barriers with exactly 150 meters to go and a great view of the clock. I got to see the last 25 or so riders go by but everyone was again waiting for Lance Armstrong. With every rider that passed people tried to wedge themselves in closer and closer to get a better view but I held onto my spot like my life depended on it. As he was due I could hear the wall of sound approaching as he got closer and closer until I was finally able to see him as I was standing atop the barrier holding the 150 meter marker for support screaming as loud as I possibly could. He wasn't looking so good and seconds later the time he posted would pretty much seal Contador's victory and finalize my decision to skip the Ventoux in order to get to Paris in time to pick up Emily from the airport.

Decided to cruise around for a while before I left and check everything out and saw Bob Roll hanging out outside the versus bus and got my picture taken with him. I was pretty pumped.

Not that I wasn't super excited to get my picture with Bob Roll but there were two more dudes that I had to hunt down to get my picture with. It was really weird getting through and entire Tour without once hearing these guys voices but I finally found them taping the wrap up for the days stage. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. I don't know how these dudes actually got this close to me. At this point I don't think I'd showered for 8 days and probably smelled absolutely horrid.

Looking down the final straight.

After walking around for a little more I decided to head back to the car before it got dark and start heading towards Paris. One problem, I had absolutely no idea where I parked. I mean, I had an idea, I was just wrong. Very wrong. I spent the next two hours walking around Annecy in the dark so insanely angry and frustrated with myself I was about to loose my mind, again. At this point I , like Danny Pate, was over it. Don't get me wrong, I had the time of my life but after nearly a month of driving around France, Spain and Switzerland by myself and only one day away from a shower and a hotel room in Paris I couldn't take anymore. They say that for every cloud though, there is a silver lining, that lining for me was coming upon this Astana team car and getting a sticker right on the Bumper! This made it worth it. I finally found my car got some food and started heading toward Paris. One more night of sleeping in the car and I'd be there for the last stage and sprint on the Champs-Elysees and 5 days to explore Paris.