Tomorrow The 2009 SRAM Tour of the Gila officially begins. I got down to The Sity of Cilver yesterday afternoon after a long drive from Salt Lake City where the RMCCC championships was held. Good showing for DU in general, with all categories finishing off the year with some of their best results and all of our A men looking super fit for Nationals.
Here at Gila things are going to be interesting with todays UCI ruling permitting Lance Armstrong and company to race. As many of you know I've recently become a pretty big Lance fan, so you can imagine my excitement to get to meet him and race against him. It's really an opportunity that I never imagined having, so I'm extra happy that the organizer opened up 25 more spots allowing me a spot in the race. This news also calls for a special edition of the Gossip Column so I can relay a little bit of the buzz around Silver City to the rest of the world.
#1 - Frank, a Silver City local was sure he saw that Lance guy walking down aisle 12 at Wal-Mart this week.
#2 - Due to the economic downturn which has led to Rock Racing's withdrawl from STOTG (Sram Tour of the Gila), the American public's refusal to tip over 15% at restaurants, Joe Sapperstein's ability to wave his hands in the air like he just doesn't care, as well as the layoff of thousands, Team Astana cannot afford to transport Time Trial gear to the STOTG, or pay for support in the feed zones. In an effort to neutralize the potential disadvantage to the Astana boys, STOTG organizers have decided that no one will be allowed to start with aero-gear, and all feed zones will be closed to the Pro, 1 category.
#3 - Since his recent injury sustained at Spain's Castilla Y Leon, Lance has developed a paranoia of being crashed in a preparation race before the Giro D' Italia, so he will be starting stage 1 tomorrow with an 8ft diameter "hula-hoop-like" protection device attached to his newest LiveSTRONG edition Trek to keep some of us amateur riders a safe distance from him. There is however a way of opening said safety hoop to let protege' Taylor Phinney into the ring if Lance needs a refresher on the latest teenage slang.
#4 - Dan Porter received a hand-written letter from Johan Bruyneel early this morning asking him to stay in Ft. Collins, CO as his negative, and sometimes derogatory remarks regarding peoples riding styles could be potentially harmful if accidentally directed toward Armstrong at this pivotal point in the lead up to his first Grand Tour in 1274 days.
#5 - Team BMC is now allowed only 3 riders in STOTG due to the UCI ruling that allowed Armstrong to race.
#6 - Lance's initial trouble in registering for the STOTG was that there is a UCI rule prohibiting ProTour riders from competing in smaller races. It is believed by some "in the know" that the UCI was tipped off to Lance's intentions to ride the STOTG by none other than Slipstream's own Jonathan Vaughters who is also rumored to despise the Texan.
#7 - This ruling could disallow Slipstream from competing in any NRC races here in the US, as they too hold a ProTour license these days. Which asks the question, "What up now Vaughters?"
Thats all for now. More is sure to follow. Thanks for checking in.