Distance 138km Number of Steps 10,232 – 5.15mi Time of Filing 10:12 AM Tuesday Accommodations Home. We’re at our homes. My house is great. The coffee here is great, I made it myself. My dog is great, she’s happy when she’s awake and she’s happy when she’s sleeping. My wife mostly likes me. She installed a dishwasher while I was gone. I’ve got all my things here, I love my things, my things are great.
- Enjoy a somewhat unhurried and unharried morning. Grab some coffee, have a breakfast, get to the race before the men’s start. ✓- (we didn’t get breakfast covered)
- Present the Most Animal jersey to the winner of the Most Animal jersey, who in this case was Neilson Powless. ✓
- Avoid falling asleep standing up. ✓
WIFI Details Another thing about my house that is great is that the wifi at my house is great. Weather Completely wonderful. Sacramento your weather was great. Blue skies with little white non-threatening clouds. I was wearing jeans, but never got hot, I was wearing a t-shirt and I didn’t get cold. Birds were chirping, crazy people were loitering, and all of this with the sonorous sounds of Towle & Sohner show echoing through the capitol mall. The weather was California doing California, palm trees and pleasantries.
Quote of the Day
“You stop making deals you stop getting seasons.”
-DWP on all the behind-the-scenes wheeling & dealing that happens during races.
“Magnets stop working.”
-KVH (see above)
“These guys hate their shirts.”
-KVH on the team mechanics cleaning bikes and packing up after the race.
“Washing bikes to saxophone.”
So the 2016 ATOK is in the bag and for MFS we made it through, by which I mean nothing critically damaging happened and there were no unsolvable issues. Yes, we had a few things get filched from us, and we’re trying to come to terms with that, but outside of being victims of theft our experience was net positive. Here’s some general observations from our ATOK coverage experience:
- We spent a lot of time in our car, and being that this California, the epicenter of car culture, we should have expected this, but damn our car time was hard. We spent long hours of driving after long hours of following/watching the race. It would be absurd for me to compare our efforts to those of the racers but we’re nothing if not absurd and each day was more exhausting than the last. Every day we had our own stage to race, race in this case being defined as a mental/psychological challenge in which fatigue/tedium/and self doubt are major factors. I might have PTSD or at least PTSD-lite.
- On average slept for 5.5 hours in our hotels. But we paid for a full night’s sleep. Were we offered a discount? No. But I don’t think it is out of the question to hope for one.
- The Gibraltar stage was incredible. We need more of that. The climb and the view helped but it was the fans that really did it. You came out, you cheered, you got excited, thank you fans, thank you.
- As much as I push back against our travel triumvirate of Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Chipotle, I realize that when you deviate you roll the dice, and rolling the dice when it’s 9:30pm and you’re looking at another six hours of work after driving/watching/working since 9:00am is a risk you can’t afford to take, because if it doesn’t pan out, if the dice come up snake eyes then you’re going to be faced with an emotional low and in these situations an unexpected emotional low spells disaster.
TODAY'S HIGHS & LOWS
Watching the Mark Cavendish come across the finish line in first place. Not necessarily because we love Mark Cavendish, though we think he’s a swell guy, but because it meant that the race was over, and this is a high because we look back on the week and we go, “Damn, we did it, we followed the race, took the photos, wrote the words, and even made some of the videos,” and as good as we felt about this we also felt elated and relieved that it was over.
Running into the SRAM Canyon Women’s Team at Chipotle. We took this as a sort of validation for our #2 on-the-road go-to joint, (#1, of course, being Whole Foods). If the world’s best athletes eat at Chipotle and we eat at Chipotle then we must be the best in the world at something to, that just how logic works.
On our way to drop Rebecca off at the train station we found ourselves in a maze. From what we could tell, the city of Sacramento was building some sort of movie set/life-size model train set/future prison grounds, and thanks to the magic of Google Maps we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of it. It was one of those deals where you had a suspicion that soon enough the area would be populated by prisoners wearing special neck collars rigged to explode if the prisoner escapes the containment zone. Either that or Sumner Redstone was in the midst of building the 1:1 scale model railroad he’s been dreaming about since he was struck by the idea while producing the movie Titanic.
STAGE 08 MOST ANIMAL COMPETITION
Manual for Speed has been commissioned to introduce a new race classification category called “Most Animal.” Points for the classification will be awarded on the basis of style, swagger, and grit. We’ve assembled an elite group of expert analysts who will be assessing and assigning points for performance. The most animal jersey for ATOK will be awarded at the end of the race.
TAYLOR SHELDON: 6 pts
Ugh, the tumble this guy took the day before on Stage 07 looked rough, so rough the cameras didn’t catch it, instead cutting to my man’s bike crumpled in a ditch and the JellyBelly man lying supine, staring at the heavens and asking, “Why cycling Gods, why, first Lachy, then Gus, now you toss me on my ass?” To get up, shake off the wrath of the Gods, take a new bike covered in jelly bean decals and chase back into the group in order to finish the stage… then wake up the next day swollen, road-rashed to shit and eager to hustle into the main breakaway takes a level of intestinal fortitude not seen since Brett the Hitman Heart and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michael’s Iron Man match at Wrestlemania XII.
NEILSON POWLESS/AXEON: 4 pts
This team animated the entire race from start to finish. Neilson with his youth and tenacity, the team with their youth and tenacity, they rode like they belonged and OH BOY did they belong. I can’t say enough about these pesky little rats. I was not surprised to see Krists Neilands made the breakaway and had enough gusto left in the panache tank to attempt a last second flyer out of the disintegrating break as the peloton closed in on the final circuits of Sacramento. This late dig made my heart flutter, and while we all knew the sprint trains would prevail, this never-say-die mentality further demonstrates that Axel knows how to scout ‘em and coach ‘em—and that these kids know how to ride. Due to the individual and team efforts these final four points will be assigned to both Neilson and the Team at large, who locked down the top three spots in the ATOK Young Rider Classification.
HE POTHOLE @ ~110K: 3 pts
This pothole took down Haimar Zubeldia of Trek-Segafredo and some other euro from Lotto NL-Jumbo. You know a pothole is fierce when it takes down the oldest, most experienced rider on a straight, wide road. Haimar was so shaken up after dealing with that fucker that I think he crashed again 4k from the line. That’s an ANIMAL pothole, man.
Standings After Stage 08
- Neilson Powless: 16 points
- Peter Sagan: 15 points
- Julian Alaphilippe: 12 points
- Axeon-Hagens Berman: 9 points
- Ben King: 9 points
- Toms Skujins: 8 points
- Wouter Wippert: 7 points
- Peter Sagan: 7 points
- Nathan Haas: 6 points
- Taylor Sheldon: 6 points
- Jasper Stuyven: 6 points
- Katusha: 5 points
- Vasil Kiriyenka: 5 points
- Oscar Clark: 4 points
- Rohan Dennis: 4 points
- Mark Christian: 4 points
- Dave Towle: 4 poimts
- Cannondale Team Car: 3 points
- Kristoff’s Bike: 3 points
- Laguna Seca: 3 points
- Tao Geoghegan Hart: 3 points
- Caps: 2 points
- Inflatable Cookies: 2 points
- T.Phin’s Shades: 1 point
- That Pothole @ ~110k: 1 point
WHAT’S YOUR TOP FIVE?
A Driving Transfer Game
- Talking Heads – “This Must Be the Place”
- New Order – “Love Vigilantes”
- Frank Ocean – “Swim Good”
- LCD Soundsystem – “Dance Yrself Clean”
- Fugazi – “Long Division”
- AC/DC – “If You Want Blood”
- New Order – “The Village”
- Them – “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”
- Martha and the Vandellas – “Nowhere To Run To”
- Pavement – “Summer Babe”
- 112 MA$E and Notorious B.I.G. – “Only You”
- Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg – “Nothing But a G Thing”
- Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
- Prince – “Kiss”
- Otis Redding – “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – Stanley Kubrick
- Blue – Krzysztof Kieslowski
- Walkabout – Nicolas Roeg
- All the Presidents Men – Alan Pakula
- My Dinner with Andre – Louis Malle
- Il posto – Ermanno Olmi
- Ikiru – Akira Kurasawa
- Army of Shadows – Jean-Pierre Melville
- Ghostbusters – Ivan Reitman
- Big Trouble in Little China – John Carpenter
- Hanna – Joe Wright
- Flashdance – Adrian Lyne
- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – Ang Lee
- Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
- Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle
- Walter Niedermayr
- Robert Frank
- Harry Callahan
- William Eggleston
- Ed Ruscha
- Guy Bourdoin
- Nobuyoshi Araki
- Martin Parr
- Peter Beard
- Cindy Sherman
STAGE 08 (MEN’S & WOMEN’S) AS SEEN FROM THE CALIFORNIA CAPITOL MALL
2016 Tour of Kalifornia: Stage 07
In the end it came down to only one inch.