Wednesday, September 14, 2011

grands prix cyclistes de montreal 2011

After my run on Sunday, instead of hanging out at home (which is often needed after a long run), we did something a little more fun- we headed to a bike race. The Grands Prix Cyclistes de Montreal is a UCI World Tour event. You know what else is a UCI World Tour event? The Tour de France. So yeah, it was kind of a big deal.
I think the great George Hincapie is giving me the stink eye in this picture.
Being up close to a big bike race was pretty awesome. Watching the peleton go by- pretty exciting. One of the coolest things was seeing the difference in speed between when the group of riders is just going along and not trying to push the pace versus when they are pushing it on the last lap and going really riding like they mean it.

It was also pretty cool to be a little bit of a fangirl and get excited that I was so close to bike riding "royalty". Sure, Cadel Evans wasn't there, but his team was! And some pretty great riders were there. Best climber/Polka Dot jersey winner Samuel Sanchez, 16 time Tour de France rider (and the above pictured) George Hincapie, and countless others. Two of the definite highlights though were Ryder Hesjedal and Johnny Hoogerland.

When Hoogerland rode by at the end of the race, I could actually see the scars on his legs...(from  a pretty insane incident in the Tour de France involving a media car crashing into some riders).
Johnny Hoogerland in the flesh
Now when I need to Hoogerland the F up, I've got a real life image to attach to the thought. (And Laura- feel free to steal this picture. I have another I can send to you if you want :)

I have a feeling Ryder Hesjedal really wanted to win this one. He came in 11th (after the peleton split a LOT during the last lap of the circuit) and we could tell that he was really spent at the finish.
Ryder finishing up in his "ode to Canada" Oakleys
Luckily, he had a Garmin soigneur to give him a bit of a pep talk and get him ready to go collect his top Canadian podium finish.
Soigneur doing her duty. And Sammy Sanchez's butt.
While it would have been awesome to see a Canadian win at one of the Canadian Grand Prix events, I just thought it was pretty cool to be there and to see such a big cycling event in my city. And since a trip to the Tour de France is on my bucket list (hopefully a mountain stage! look for me running up the mountain in some sort of strange hat...) this was pretty awesome to be able to watch.

Have you ever been to a big bike race? Does it interest you or is it something you can take or leave?

*I took some video, but the quality is TERRIBLE when I upload it to the blog. Any suggestions on how to make it better?


Marlene said...

That Hoogerland pic is seriously bad-A!

Laura said...

HTFU has made an appearance in my last 2 races and will be there during my half in Oct.
I am going to spectate @ Ironman Arizona in Nov and am very excited.
..oh and the hubs race in Spain should be cool as well. :)

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

i love these kind of races! we always have them come october in Austin. Its so intense!

Anonymous said...

I've never been to a bike race, but I've done a leisurly ride. Sounds fun!