Jake’s Journal du jour: Stars come out in Monaco
Neither jet lag nor lost luggage could dampen my mood right now. Plopped down on a lobby couch, looking at Team Garmin physiologist Allen Lim's Forerunner 405CX data and chatting with Kozo Shimano (yes, that Shimano), I was in mid-sentence when a figure strolled up decked out in orange and blue argyle from his smiling face to his lightning-quick feet. You'd never think that someone could bounce back so quickly from fracturing five vertebrae, yet here stood Team Garmin leader Christian Vande Velde looking like he could conquer the world. First stop, Monaco.
Even though bicycling's biggest race doesn't start until Saturday, this tiny shoreline nation is buzzing with excitement as the world's top cyclists, their just-like-clockwork staffs and top-tier sports journalists gather for the 96th running of this epic race around, outside of and across France. After chatting with Christian a bit, I talked with Martijn Maaskant and Dan Martin just as the news was breaking that Dan's nagging knee injury meant that Martijn would take his place. Handling it with more maturity than his 22 years would suggest, Dan wanted what was best for his team and his own long-term health. Then came the U.K.'s dynamic duo, David Millar and Bradley Wiggins, whom I last saw at training camp in Boulder. David paused for a Twitter picture, and Wiggo explained that his buzzcut was all business. "This is the Tour, man, no time for a rock star."
Well you wouldn't know it from looking around the busy streets. Larger-than-life banners cast shadows on ornate team cars, and cameras and microphones are as prevalent as the lean cyclists themselves. Seems we're surrounded by cycling's rock stars, and they're ready to perform on the world's biggest stage. Stay tuned to the Team Garmin blog and my @JakesJournal Twitter feed for updates.
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