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by Scott Penzarella on August 20, 2012
We all met down in the staging area where we had a chance to see our chase car, check over our bikes and test the race radios. Check out the beautiful race machines produced by hand one at a time right here in France: Cyfac Absolu frame sets, equipped with the latest Shimano Ui2 and Mavic's lightest (clincher) climbing wheels, the R-sys SLR. Boy were we ever being spoiled. Not event the best pros are riding bikes so fancy.
While everyone got ready, Craig Parker primed his engine ( the big quads! ) and waited to launch his beautiful Cyfac machine. Our goal for today was a training ride on the Col du Telegraphe. This beautiful +2500 feet climb winds through a dense forest with captivating views of surrounding peaks around every turn. We were ready to ride, particularly Thomas who was now wide awake and raring to go.
The weather couldn't have been better and it felt great to get out and stretch the legs.
Nick, our Australian chase car driver, followed us to the top keeping other vehicles at bay , taking photos and keeping us hydrated. He was a great addition to our team and brought that element of Aussie humor that we all appreciated.
It took us about an hour to reach the top of the Col where we all took a little break and had some refreshments. We descended back to the resort for lunch and late that afternoon we gathered with all of the other team riders and event organizers to watch the Olympic road race from London.
Afterwards the organizers reviewed the logistics for the start of the race and the racing format which would be a team time trial with each team receiving the time of its fourth rider across the line. This would be the format throughout the three day event which meant that teamwork would be the key to success as each team would be only as good as its fourth rider. We followed the group discussion with dinner and a massage then on to bed for hopefully a good nights sleep as we had a lot to focus on for tomorrows start.