Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rolling in the Slipstream

Today, unbeleivably, I got to ride one of my favorite road routes with one of my favorite road teams; Garmin Slipstream. The Argyle Armada has set up camp in Boulder this week to get a little team-building and relaxation taken care of in the off-season. I figured there was a slight chance that here, in the dead of the off-season, I might be able to hang on for a ride with them.

This morning we gathered outside the St. Julien hotel where the team has been staying at 10am. The entire European and US based team was there as well as a handful of journalists and yours truly.

Leaving town and heading north on 36 I was amazed to find myself chatting with Dave Z and Tom Danielson while sitting behind Magnus Backstedt. We were about 20 or so back in the pack and taking full adantage of the draft soft pedaling at around 28mph. Then we turned west up Left Hand Canyon toward Jamestown and Ward. You can see the team cars with photogs in the back in this shot getting pics for the mags.
David Millar turns us around near Jamestown for the return to town.

I spent a fraction to long at the turnaround point chatting and found myself lagging behind the peleton as we started up the ferociously steep back of Lee Hill. Thats the group just in sight in this shot.
And this is my face as I crested Lee Hill trying my damnest to keep America's newest Protour team in sight.
By the bottom of the decent I had bridged back to the team and we hooked right onto Broadway heading back toward downtown. At this point in my usual rides I'd jog sideways onto a less trafficed street. Not so when you're riding with Garmin...
When you've got David Millar, Bradley McGee, Magnus Backstedt and David Zabriskie pulling for you its fine to take up a lane of Broadway and cruise at 35mph through town.
The equipement these guys ride is pretty amazing. I'd never heard anything like the squeel of thirty sets of Zipp carbon tubular wheels under braking before this ride, or the sound of 20 powertap rear hubs clicking down into a climbing gear. Its something I won't soon forget.
But no matter how bling Garmin's Felts are I still felt compelled to snap a shot of the Eriksen in front of this world class show.


Anonymous said...

How did you get back in touch with the peloton? Did you have help from your chatty friend?

Kate said...

too bad you didn't have a sweet Bikes Belong jersey to wear!