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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tour of Missouri 2007

I had a great time at the Tour of Missouri in 2007. Because I only had a few events the morning of the race, I was free to be a crazy cycling fan the rest of the day. So....after the Hughes Brothers sang the National Anthem, I was off to the Discovery Channel bus. Wahoooo.

Throughout the year I had kept in touch with a few friends on the Paceline Forum and was planning on meeting up with them at the Disco Bus. It was Discovery's last year and we wanted to make sure that we had a chance to get pictures and autographs. It was great to put a face to the names of the people that I met on the forums. Debbie also brought a Thank You banner for Johan ( the team manager), signed by people from the forum, to thank him for his work with the Discovery Team. I spent most of the day with Debbie at the bus in the HOT sun. We took plenty of pictures of the team and even got a pic taken with Johan. Wahooo. We also were given Discovery Channel water bottles to take home. I bought a Discovery t-shirt for autographs and had fun working on getting it signed.

Levi won the Time Trial and George was still in the yellow jersey. For those of you that don't follow cycling, they were both on the Discovery Team. YAY. to the awards ceremony I went. I had a few things to do so I told Debbie that I would catch up with her later. On my way to the ceremony I was taking pictures with a friend on the TT ramp when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and was face to face with George and Levi. Ummmmm...uhhhh, hi? They wanted to know how to get to stage. I pointed them in the correct direction because apparently... I had lost all speaking ability. LOL However, my friend had my camera at the time and snapped a great picture of George as they took off. NOW, had I actually had control of my brain at the time, I would have asked for a picture with the both of them, but no...frozen solid and in shock. Yes, I realize, they are just people too but, well, you don't expect to turn around and see them face to face.

The ceremony went off wonderfully. The Branson Landing, where the event was held, is on the waterfront. It has a beautiful fountain, designed by the same people that did the fountain at the Mirage in Las Vegas. When Levi got his award the fire was shooting out of the columns and the fountains were going off. It looked very impressive. So, I'm standing at the rail with the t-shirt in my hand hoping to get Levi to sign my shirt, getting smushed between all of the other fans. All of a sudden, Levi walks off the podium and hands someone his flowers. This person proceeds to walk past everyone and then puts the flowers in my hand. Ummm, ok...SHOCK? AWE? So, I wound up with Levi's flowers to take home.

Needless to say. I had a blast at the Tour of Missouri. I got to meet a few friends and went home with some great souvenirs. I wasn't able to get all of my signatures on my shirt so Kelly, one of the Tour organisers, took the shirt with her and got the rest of it signed for me. I got it at our follow up meeting later that year. =)
OH, so as a sidenote. A lot of the riders made comments on how hard the TT course was and that it was one of the toughest that they had ever ridden. We didn't have the high mountains but the hills made it hard for them to get a good rhythm. Great job Craig and Dathan!

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