Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stage 6 - The Solvang Time Trial

The Solvang time trial is a 15 mile course over slightly hilly terrain. Riders go out individually at one minute intervals and ride the route in the fastest time possible. They usually average 25-30 MPH. Carlos Sastre, 2008 Tour de France winner, better known for his climbing skills, placed 82nd - 3'30'' behind the winning time. Tyler Farrar in his Garmin skin suit. In indivudual time trials it's about being aerodynamic, maintaining the highest power output throughout the entire course, and getting to the finish line in the quickest time. All while trying not to get a heart attack! Yaroslov Popovych takes a neck break or maybe his helmet slipped. Michael Rogers taking the "high road" above his support car, placed 4th-22 seconds off the pace. Phillip Gaimon experiencing a major sugar rush - visions of jelly beans dancing in his head. Pedro Horillo about to make use of his snot pad on his cycling glove. Lance Armstrong had his own personal photographer during the Tour of California, and his own personal driver. Jason McCarty, foaming at the mouth, will not win the neatness award, but did come in 8th - 41 seconds behind the winner. Are those chocolate stains on his left sleeve? Big Tom Boonen struggles to get aero. "Paco" Mancebo could be in a Cadillac comercial here. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit. Chris Horner (32' 19" for 24th) being cheered on by the Mavic wheelmen. Christian Vande Velde (12th position) and his support argyle BMW. Chris Baldwin sports the golf ball time trial helmet. Floyd Landis 54th overall grips at the aerobars as he heads downhill. Winner Levi Leipheimer (30 min:40 sec) shows his "praying mantis" style, making himself small and cutting through the wind like an arrow. L3VI!

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