This is pretty much the one and only shot that I got today that I’m even remotely happy with … but since all I did was drive down to Provo to shoot the finish, I can’t complain too much.
Today was a fast stage … Dave Towle and Brad Sohner (the announcers) were saying that this was the fastest stage in international cycling history; which was just a bit of an exaggeration. The course was 159.6 km (99.4 miles) long, and Jack Bauer stopped the clock at 3:33:43, which works out to an average speed of 44.86 kph (27.88 mph). Mario Cipollini won a sprint stage of the 1999 Tour de France with an average speed of 50.355 kph (31.29 mph) … a pretty hefty statistical difference.
But, as has been pointed out to me, Towle’s & Sohner’s job is to hype up the crowd and get them excited, and they are certainly succeeding. Of course, their job is being made a lot easier by the exciting racing that’s been going on. Three days in to the Tour, and thus far the small Continental teams have been dominating … after Sergio Luis Henao’s prologue win on Tuesday, Jesse Anthony’s stage one win yesterday, and now Endura Racing’s Jack Bauer’s stage two sprint win today.
Tomorrow’s time trial is going to be interesting though. Tom Zirbel (Jamis-Sutter Home) has always got to be counted among the favorites, but good performances should also be expected from Garmin-Cervélo’s Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie, Radio Shack’s Levi Leipheimer & Janez Brajkovic, as well as HTC-High Road’s Danny Pate & Tejay Van Garderen and BMC Racing’s Jeff Louder.
This will be my first trip out to the Miller Motorsports Park, so I’m really looking forward to it … although I’m not looking forward to the heat out on the track, but what can you do? It’s August in Utah, after all.