It was a rare moment. I haven't been at a spot near such an excruciating race finale. For most of the riders their emotions preceded them. One step off the track and the rider Silence-Lotto's Johan Vansummeren started balling his eyes out and blubbering to his girlfriend in his native tongue (of German?) Seemingly unaware that we stood nearby offering our private console.
The Two Cofidis riders that came through (Florent Brard and Sebastian Minard) had to be my favorite. Sublime and a part of everything that was happening around him. Possibly the gravity of what had just been accomplished still sinking in to ones gut. Not to mention Minard's interesting tape job on the arms. Apparently this was simply to keep the jiggling and shaking of the muscles down. Some riders had taped their wrists and even their fingers as well.
Roger Hammond didn't even get off his bike until he did this sweet cyclocross manuever into the shower building. Way to go Rog'. Is everyone with me in thinking that this guy is an amazing hardman? The comparision for myself comes from this past weekend and the Battenkill course there. I stood at the finish line wholely pleased with myself. Despite the conditions and mechanicals I was pleased with myself. However, my preference at this point was to wander off alone and smile at what had just been done.
These riders are faced with the lot of us standing and pointing cameras into their faces.