We knew that the final stage of the USA ProCycling Challenge would be a big one. Starting in Golden and finishing in Denver, it was sure to draw big crowds. And it did, of course
Barb took the kids down to where the finish line would be by 8:00 a.m., even though the racers were not due until around 1:00 p.m. This was very important to the kids. Their efforts paid off with front row seats about 15 yards from the finish. I had school work to do so I did not join them until around 11:00 a.m.
It was an exciting place to be. There was a huge festival. People were giving away free stuff. Each of the kids got shirts for this, the final stage. The crowds gathered and started pushing in about noon. By the time the riders came by the crowds were whipped up into a frenzy. You knew it was time when the offical cars, the state patrols, the wheel cars and the camera crews came through. After treking through Golden, up and down Look Out Mountain and then to downtown, the riders had five laps left to go. By the time they arrived they had split up into four distinct groups with a lag time of about 4:30 between the leaders and the last rider. Each lap it got closer and closer. They whizzed by so quickly that we simply attempted to get some photos. We'd have to actually look to see who they were later on. By the last lap the riders had bunched into three groups and cut the time down significantly. I think they shaved off almost two mintutes. The crowd was thumping, pulsing and cheering. The riders were focused, sweaty and fast.
Even before all of the rider came through the crowds broke down the barriers and headed towards the stage for the podium event.
(to be continued)