It was very inspiring to spend a race weekend busting out with our new local bike community (after leaving so many special friends back in Routt County)- and I found myself not just bowled over by the collective local talent, but by the collective local spirit. (be sure to visit Dave's post from the Hill Climb)
I love this picture of Mike and Kristy Driver at the finish of the race- Mike ("local good guy the Hammer") rode his first road race in ages, completed 50 plus miles in great time and never passed his soigneur without a smile plastered across his face. Kristy rallied to water up all of the LIVETRAINRACE team members, a host of hangers on and, then, made sure neutral water was available to those who failed to plan for the brutal lollipop loops on the Reeder Mesa (hence, the crazy collection of empties she brought to the bottom to reunite with their owners).
When it was all over but the shoutin' (out and back + 4 loops on the mesa for the Pro 1/2s and 3 loops for the 3,4,5, 35+), they waited to cheer the last riders safely off the course. They have some cool pictures of Saturday's hill climb on the LIVETRAINRACE web page and, I'm sure are crazy busy getting ready to launch the inaugural Grand Junction Criterium tomorrow night! Then they head out to Hurricane for the real start of Mike's season in the Cholla Challenge... Oh, and then get back on time to get to work on Monday morning. That's what I'm talking about.
No picture of the real hero of the day, however. This title goes out to the 19year old soon to be Mesa State Freshman who abandoned his race to stay with 2 very injured racers who had separate, nearly simultaneous, cataclysmic clashes with a cattle guard. He had come all the way from Littleton with his parents to visit the campus and ride along his soon to be classmate/teammates in this epic 3 race series. After conquering the hill climb and the crit, then the most brutal climbs of the road course, he saw the men go down in a blur of exploding carbon wheels and frames, got off the bike, called his Mom and made sure no one was left alone on the side of the road to wait for the ambulance. This kid is going to be a brilliant addition to the awesome Grand Valley cycling scene and one day he will understand how much more proud he made his parents this weekend than he ever could by taking the podium. Strong work Kid and we all hope to meet you on the road again!