The Redlands Cycling Classic started today here in Southern Cali, and I have a rare moment to do a quick blog entry. So, here goes...
I spent Tuesday with the men of Kelly Benefits Strategies - Medifast, the team of 2007 Redlands defending champ, Andy "The Baj" Bajadali. Rode with them on what was a 31-mile recovery ride for them. Thankfully, only one person ended up in the dirt temporarily, and it wasn't me...and wasn't because of me. Whew! This is super sprinter Alex Candelario, Brian Buccholz, and Dan Bowman chatting with Road magazine editor, Neal, after the ride.
I'm staying in host housing with the ValueAct Capital cycling team -- an incredible group of women who are being hosted by a terrific family headed by husband and wife who are both firefighters. This is Australian rider Hannah Banks (right) and the famous Martina Patella striking a pose with one of the team cars in the host house driveway.
Today was the Prologue, a 5km uphill time trial -- The Sun Time Trial -- in the streets of Redlands. This is the women's podium, left to right, Aaron's Katharine Carroll, and Team High Road's Mara Abbott and Kim Anderson. Mara scorched the course, finishing almost 30 seconds before anyone else.
And the men's podium, left to right, Toyota-United's Ben Day, Health Net-Maxxis' Rory Sutherland, and Ben's Canadian teammate, Dominique Rollin.
When a photographer asked the guys to all step on the top step of the podium for one last shot, New Zealander Day struck a more cozy pose than Sutherland had anticipated....Rory's exact words as shots were snapped: "This is just wrong."
And a puppy that I buddied up to for a few moments while waiting for race results. Awwww.....
Tomorrow is Stage 1, the Beaumont Circuit Race. It's gonna get crazy-hectic from here, so don't know that I'll be able to do any more posts until it's all over, but will get back to ya as soon as I can. Will at least try to post links to my daily reports on VeloNews.com, and here's today's.
And additionally, my latest article for USA Cycling's website was also posted today -- here.