Tour of CA — Stage 1
Sausalito to Santa Rosa.
This year we stayed at the Fountain Grove Inn. At this hotel was only us
and CSC. Very nice. Our Hotel was only about 2 or 3 Ks from the finish.
I got a text to ride a spare bike to the race and show the guys the way
back home. Meaning go down to the finish well before they come in and
then ride with them back to the hotel. I did all my daily work including
helping put all the luggage away and then I rode down to the finish. A
rare treat for the hotel mechanic since I hardly ever (if at all) see
any of the road stages. TTs I get to see (by working _AT_ the Venue).
But seeing road stages is a rarity. I got to the finish and recognized
the area as some of the streets we Nor Cal riders use for a regional
(local — small) criterium.
In the end Levi and George were caught in a crash and Ivan was delayed
by the same crash. So the two of them tried to pace Levi back to the
front. They were unsuccessful due to the high pace of the end of a
stage. Because of this and trying to get some of the guys cleaned up,
our team was split in almost half. Some going to the hotel right away
and some did not. So I just gave directions to the front group and
waited for the last few guys to go to the hotel.
I got in the van with the soigneurs and drove back the 3 K to the hotel.
So much for being the tour guide and riding with the guys back to the
hotel on a bike.
Dinner was at the main hotel where all the remainder of the teams were
staying. That hotel was only 300 m away in a straight line. But to
actually get there we had to (drive or walk) go about 1,200 or 1,400
meters. With this distance and the dinners (all teams at one place)
potentially being a cluster we tried to have a local restaurant cater to
our hotel. But by law that can’t be if our hotel has a restaurant on
sight. There for no outside food service can provide food. So, we kept
the food catering service but got them to come to the team hotel venue.
Funny to sit down and have a catering service bring us food in a place
where it was (as always) a buffet from the hotel provided catering
service. But this was a local restaurant and a friend of Levi’s. And
this guy whipped up some great food. Pasta is pasta (and boring) in a
race situation. But the pasta this guy brought us was out of this world.
And oddly he also brought meatloaf. I’m usually NOT a meatloaf guy. I’ll
eat it without question. But I will almost always have a different
choice and rarely ever think meatloaf. But this guys meatloaf was off
I felt pretty sad for one team. Specifically the two team mechanics for
Priority Health. These two poor souls were still working IN THE DARK as
I was walking to dinner (about 8:00 or so). So bad they had a team car
running with the lights on and pointing towards them for light. I felt
sad for them. But, sometimes you have to learn to be efficient the hard
way. Not cool, but sometimes a necessity.