Stage 2, Crested Butte
This Colorado place…..it could catch on.
Was issued an amazing room at Elevation Resort, up in Mt Crested Butte village. A huge suite with two bathrooms, full kitchen, nice selection of teas, and 3 different televisions. Unfortunately, after a 3 1/2 hour drive from Aspen, I checked in just before midnight and checked back out around 9AM, so I didn’t get to enjoy it for very long.
Aspen-Crested Butte stage was pure chaos. About 20 miles of the route, over Kebler Pass, is dirt road. A huge set of thunderstorms rolled in, forcing the RF camera relay aircraft to land, so the NBC show went dark for about a half hour. Then the stage was partially neutralized because mud and huge puddles of standing water made the descent down off the pass too dangerous for the racers to ride at speed. When the race finally finished, half the field were wearing jackets, obscuring their bib numbers, and the other half were so covered with mud, their numbers weren’t very readable. Fortunately, John and Super John had installed a chip system at the finish, and the team mechanics had mostly cooperated and installed the timing chips on the chainstays of the bikes. With a 13% uphill grade at the finish, the racers were going so slow across the line, the chips were readable for almost the entire field. The guys got results out right on time. Great job, One2Go Timing.
Afterward, a 3 hr drive to Salida. The Salida Days Inn is…shall we say….NOT the Elevation Resort. However, I will check in and check out in less than 12 hrs, so ultimately all I care about is a long shower and some sleep.
Tomorrow’s stage finishes up at Monarch ski resort. As we drove over Monarch Pass tonight, dozens of motorhomes were already parked along the route. Fans were out tailgating and getting psyched for Stage 3. The finish line is at about 10,200 feet above sea level, so there’s going to be a whole lot of suffering going on.