Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013 tour of utah - stage 4

Stage 4 (8/9/13), Salt Lake City circuit, 33.8 miles total/5 laps, 3,550 foot elevation gain.  Stage 4 was Friday night in SLC so we thought we'd make a date night out of it.  H drove me in to work in the morning, then came back at 4:30 p.m. so we could park in my work garage and walk up to the Capitol where the start/finish was.  There was a good crowd there, wandering through the vendor village, lining up along the 11% grade hill from South Temple to the Capitol, clustering around the start line.  We timed it right to catch a quick interview with Jens Voigt who was funny and charming as always: when asked what it was like growing up in Berlin Wall-era East Germany, he smiled, saying "We thought it was you behind the Iron Curtain!"

Some of the Garmin boys, including Tommy D. 

The last time the ToU did this city circuit, it was in the middle of the day (read: wicked hot) and the racers were doing eleven laps.  This time it was cooler in the early evening and the boys would only have to do five laps: from the Capitol up towards City Creek Canyon, through the Avenues, down past the University of Utah, west on South Temple and then up that terrible State Street hill to the start.

Jens Voigt (RadioShack), grinding it out

 The stage began right at 5:30 p.m., the peloton surging up and into the canyon.  After the riders cleared out, H and I walked to the fences at the top of the State Street hill (standing next to a family who had unfurled a big "Jens Voigt for Governor" sign) where we could watch the racers as they crested the hill.  Jens was at the front of the pack after the first lap but faded back into the peloton after that.  We stayed there for four laps and then went back to the straightaway to the finish; we couldn't get close to the finish line itself but we were right there as the riders came flying around the last corner, heading for home.

GC leader Lachlan Morton (and his ridiculous mustache)

Stage podium:  Michael Matthews, Greg Van Avermaet, Jasper Stuyven.  General classification:  Lachlan Morton, Greg Van Avermaet, Lucas Euser.

Stage 4 podium

After the race, we stopped in at the Bar X for a beer, then headed to the Campfire Lounge for dinner (fish taco for me; bratwurst for H; basket of tater tots to share) and a couple more beers.  We got seats at the bar right away but it got busy quickly and service was pretty slow.  Still, for $29 (including tip) it makes for a cheap and tasty date night.

No comments:

Post a Comment