Monday, June 16, 2008

Criterium Dauphine Libere in Grenoble!

On Sunday, I caught the morning train from Montpellier to Grenoble with intentions of marking another French city off my list and checking out a Pro Tour race, finally!!! I spent Father's Day (Happy Father's Day dad by the way) roaming around the city and then heading over to Boulevard Jean Pain to see the final stage of the Criterium Dauphine Libere. The finish line had a big screen TV set up showing the coverage of the race as it made its way from the Alps mountains down to the sprint finish in Grenoble. I had to punch three old ladies in the face, kick two handicap kids, and give away my Credit Agricole free cap to a homeless man just to get a good spot on the railing at the finish line. And they say the French don't love their cycling anymore.
After the podium presentation for the UCI Pro Tour, Cadel came over to say "Good Day Mate." I don't know if he came over to talk to me or this bimbo mom & daughter pair that had bleach blonde hair, a cake make-up job, and Aussie accents. Anyway, I took the opportunity to snap a close-up pic and move on to the next spandex-clad superstar. Luckily Cadel pedaled away from Medusa and her daughter before he failed a doping control from all their Chenal No. 5 and hairspray.
Levi "I might be a Child-Stalker" Leipheimer was next on the list. Maybe it was a bad timing, but this might be the scariest picture post race ever. This American girl and her French boyfriend had made some cookies or something to give to Levi for Father's Day (he has two dogs but no children), but he shot them down, but I am pretty sure I would have too. Well, I really wanted a cookie, but I wasn't a father so I didn't ask.
Former French cycling superstar, 7-time Tour de France King of the Mountains Jersey Winner, now turned TV Analyst, Richard Verenque and his lovely former model wife just walked right through the crowd. I don't think many people recognize Richard, as he is no longer his gangly, 124 pound frame from back in the glory days.
Last on the list was the traveling Girona road show. This tight little sporty hatchback (Saab maybe) was owned by none other than George Hincapie and he was jetting back home to Girona, Spain with his Team High Road teammates Craig Lewis, Michael Barry, and an unidentified rider in the back seat (maybe Michael Rogers???). George loves Fanta and all Fanta sponsorships can be directed to . Happy Father's Day George and all the Father's including mine back in Arkansas. For my first Father's Day, I would like George's watch.

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