Vince Gee

Late for the party(s)

Some riders and staff were to leave almost immediately after the finish of the race. Joe P (postal exec) hosted a reception for our team (riders, management and staff) with some guests. That reception was to be at about 5:30. The race finished and I think the riders were back at the hotel by about 5:00 and change. The riders went to that while we started our last days tasks.
For Juan, Mark and I it was straight to bike wash (had to send them home with a clean bike) and bike packing for those who flew (commercial). George drove so one less to pack. Antonio left his bike with me so two less. Eki flew with Lance on a private place so two more less to pack. But still lots to do. Especially hard because we had to fit two bikes (Road bike and TT bike) in each guys bike bag. Not a cake task for sure. We finished at about 7:00 but the Joe/Postal reception was basically over.
Johan wanted to have a celebration dinner even though some athletes left for home already. Dinner at 8:30 he said. Dinner at 8:30 really means dinner at 8:45 or 9:00 with a big group to corral together. We had a great meal. But my friend (and driver helper/Donna) was hounding me to come party with her and all the others at a race sponsored after party. More so was the fact that I had to drop off the team car for her and her dad to drive back to Philly for us. The race party started at 6:30 or so and I though it would go on and on till late. Amy and I were the only ones left with ANY minuscule amount of energy to go. But go we had as the work/race was all done and we had the next AM to sleep in (for me at least). So her and I went to the party arriving at 11:00 only to see them kicking everyone out of the place. Party over? DARN. We were 0 for 2 and late for BOTH parties.
I was sure I could convince Mark S (AKA FNG AKA Wash Boy) to go to the after party. But apparently he was so dead from his first stage race he passed on that offer. I told him he could sleep on the plane (I do) but he still passed due to barely being able to stay awake even for just a short while. Too bad. A party is just right the medicine for a hard weeks work.
Next time we will not be late for the party(s). Because we deserve it.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.