Yesterday was the USA Cycling Pro Road Race Championship here in Greenville and our very own George Hincapie won the Stars and Stripe Jersey! Congrats George!
Greenville is the host for this event since 2006. How they got it awarded, I don't have a clue, but it sure did a lot of good for the cycling sport in the area. So I was more than happy to hear this morning on the radio, that the championships will return to Greenville in 2010.
My new residence is in walking distance to the P3 Stars and Stripes Challenge course on which the cyclists do four loops. I was watching them zipp by on their first and their fourth loop. The second time I saw them ride by, I was able to snatch a disposed water bottle as a little souvenir.
This is the leading group on their fourth loop:
The course leads over Paris Mountain... Ascending on the steep part or "Back of Paris". I did this ascent once and I had to get off the bike the last 150 yards or so... I never have to get of the bike, but that hill was getting me. When I finally made it to the top, I just sat down and hoped not to barf for the next couple of minutes. Good times! I haven't tried the "Back of Paris" since, but I think I should, just to see, if I have gotten any better over the summer.
Speaking of my training. Now that we had those nice and fresh markers for the Stars and Stripes challenge on the road, I took that route as my workout for the day, but I bypassed Paris Mountain. Nevertheless, even the bypassed route was quite a hilly and I felt every piece of it (I wasn't on the bike in over a week, of course I felt every piece of it. Duh!). The course led me through my new neighborhood all the way into downtown Greenville. There, I lost the markers for a while and was moving stop and go through all the traffic lights. After a while, I just thought about wrapping the ride up and head back home without any markers, when I was suddenly back on the course. The way out towards Furman was a really nice piece of road, but the next time, I think, I stick to the less traveled roads around here. The P3 course is pretty and all, if you don't have to worry about traffic, but for a training ride, it's just too much slowing down and starting back up again.