Sushi night

Tour of CA — Stage 7
Long Beach

With a big flat circuit race for the last stage (meaning big flat fast
criterium) it would be pretty easy to control for the guys. Especially
since sprinter teams want to win this stage in a sprint finish.

This hotel is huge and spread out. The parking lot is a full 10 minute
walk from the lobby. We are so far from “the building” that the
organizer had to build PVC pipes to run water out to the parking lot.
They had to run about 400 to 500 feet of PVC to get water to the teams
last night. Power? Another story. A big trailer with a generator that
was about 10x4x6 feet and powerful enough to power ALL teams from this
one unit.

I think the coolest thing about this stage was the accessibility to
teams. With the race starting and finishing next to the parking lot
(team parking) the spectators were able to both mill about all the teams
preparing for the stage AND easily walk the short distance to the
course. Heaps of spectators flocked in and around all the teams working
this morning. The parking lot was so packed full of fnas/spectators that
it was actually hard to walk around much less drive. Getting the team
car from the truck to the start (300 feet) was oh so slow as we had to
part the waves of spectators AND get the constant flow of “GO Eki” or
“Go Johan” or “Go Disco” cheers. PLUS their were the numerous request
for Eki and Johan autographs. Since we could only go slowly to the
start, it was actually easy to both ask for the autograph (since they
could clearly see us) and easy to actually sign them (since we were
crawling out of the parking lot at barely faster than walking pace).
Good think it was only 300 feet to the start.

With the win in the pocket, our post celebration dinner was sort of
organized by out local boy Tony Cruz. So a well deserved Sushi night
just 4 blocks from the hotel. What a treat. Too bad Chris (mechanic) PJ
(Sponsor relations) Basso and Johan had to go to San Diego right away as
they had wind tunnel testing tomorrow morning. Don’t worry guys, I’ll
have a celebratory drink (or two) on your behalf.