Wow, I can’t believe the US Pro Cycling Championships has finished its run in Greenville, SC. I’m so happy to have been there for the final race (and most of the others along the way). This time I was a spectator, not a volunteer, and I got to spend time with some fantastic folks I’ve met through Twitter. What a great time, and a pretty great race to watch too. I should write a post just about watching all the vehicles at a pro race – let alone the hundred plus cyclists who compete, because I don’t think most people have any idea – I know, I used to think it’s just a bunch of men (or women) riding bikes for ridiculous miles too. Boring? Hardly.
Timmy Duggan from Team Liquigas Cannondale is your new US Champion (yep, the same team of sprinter Peter Sagan, and fan favorite Ted King), and he rode his heart out to win. This is an Italian based team, that happens to ride US made bikes, so how cool that one of their two Americans won the title. Even more impressive is how he and Ted pulled it off – literally a two man team! Couldn’t believe it when I saw the post race tweets – there weren’t ANY lime green and blue cars or support crew to be seen! Yet somehow…
Other teams had multiple support cars, mechanics, coaches – but not these two. They just got after it, enlisted a little help from some friends, and well…. why not win! I saw so many great pictures from the race (you guys know I didn’t even bother to try to capture the event with my camera!) – but the one on this link of Ted watching his teammate get the Stars and Stripes jersey is probably one of my favorite cycling photos ever. It’s pure pride and joy, nevermind that he didn’t win it himself. I was in the crowd at the finish line, and watched Ted ride his bike back after his finish, and walk with it into the crowd in front of the podium. It was quite a long ceremony (lots of people to thank for the great years in Greenville) but all the while Ted stood by to celebrate this victory as if it were his own.
So if you want to learn more about a true team sport, where “domestiques” grind themselves into the ground for their designated rider day in and day out, where strategy probably matters more than in any other sport – I highly recommend pro cycling. These guys are on TWO WHEELS, riding inches or less from each other at speeds that your CAR goes. Oh yeah, and with only a helmet and not much in the way of protective clothing. All guts, not always much glory.
But on Memorial Day, Timmy Duggan and Ted King showed a whole lot of guts and somehow, just the two of them, managed to get some well deserved glory. So proud of both of you boys – you taught us quite a lot about the true meaning of teamwork.