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Exergy Tour Recap - Stage 2

This morning, Kristin Armstrong defended her 2008 Olympic Gold Medal in grand style and won the 2012 Olympic Time Trial with 15 seconds to spare.  She retired, had her son Lucas, and then decided to come out of retirement with the singular goal to win a 2nd Gold Medal.  It was inspiring to see her accomplish her goal and then enjoy the podium with her son.  I'm sure her entire support system is breathing a sigh of relief tonight as they celebrate from London to Boise and beyond.   

Kristin has won every time trial she's raced this year, so today's win was expected, but you never know.  She was the favorite in The Exergy Tour TT but had to abandon due to her injury in The Prologue.  Two months after surgery and a rushed recovery, she proved her toughness (if having a baby wasn't proof enough) by racing and crashing in the Olympic Road Race on Sunday and then winning the Time Trial today.  She has announced her retirement only a few days before her 39th birthday, but I expect to see her continued involvement with women's cycling and we'll surely see her in some capacity at The Exergy Tour next year.

It couldn't be a more fitting day to recap Stage 2 of The Exergy Tour since it was an Individual Time Trial and Kristin probably would have won if she wasn't injured.  If you haven't read my other Exergy Tour posts, you might want to start from the beginning.  I volunteered full time as a Traveling Course Marshal (TCM) for The Exergy Tour in May and as time permits, I've been posting my experience Stage by Stage.
Exergy Tour Stage 2 - Individual Time Trial
Stage 2 started just like Stage 1, cold and rainy.  The 10mile time trial started and finished in Kuna, only a few miles from the house, so I again made arrangements to meet my TCM Team at the Start.  After 2 days of volunteering, Sharon took the day off, but my parents were still in town and Saturday was their volunteer day.  They swung by early and picked me up for the drive to Kuna.  They were local course marshals and would be assigned somewhere along the route to help fill the gaps that our 40 TCMs couldn't.  We parked and then split up, agreeing to meet after the Stage for a late lunch.  Even with the downpour, the community farmer's market was set up and a few hardy souls were buying breakfast items and shopping.  The teams slowly started arriving, but again due to the weather conditions, stayed in their team cars until the moment they had to get out and warm up on the trainers.
ExergyTwenty12 Mechanics prepare the trainers while the racers wait in the Team cars
My van arrived and we took off to inspect the course and choose our positions.  Except for a turn near the Start/Finish, the course was absolutely straight as it went out Swan Falls Rd and then did a 180 and went right back.  We were responsible for the middle section, which meant the 180 turnaround!  Learning from Stage 1, I called out my preference to help with the turnaround knowing it would be exciting and allow me to get a good glimpse of every single racer (and support car) as they came thru.  We drove the course as a team, hoping the rain would let up, but finally had to start dropping people at driveways and intersections.  Maura and I having taken our spots at the back of the van were the last to be dropped, which meant the turnaround.  David walked down the course a bit, leaving Shawn, Maura, and I to handle the 180.  I was jazzed and I think Shawn and Maura had a good time watching me run around like a puppy with way too much excitement and adrenaline.
The view from the back of the van
Time Trial Turnaround

Being at a location with the van is a huge advantage in bad weather and allowed us to take turns getting warm.  I didn't have to go to the van too many times, since I had pulled on my Alaska fishing pants and gloves. Along with long underwear, hiking boots, and a lot of activity (whistling, brushing, cheering, and dodging support cars) - I kept reasonably warm.  The racers finally started coming thru and as the rain continued, we did our best to keep them safe as they rounded the cones and headed for home.
Time Trial Course - Swan Falls Road

TCM Gear - staying warm and dry in my Alaska fishing gear
As soon as the last racer and caravan came by, we gathered up our brushes and cones and said goodbye to the few spectators, policeman, photographer, judge, and neutral support.  After spending several hours working together to support the race, I started to understand the concept of "family" I had been hearing from other TCM volunteers.  I was a little sad realizing the race was almost over and I only had 2 more days to spend with my new "relatives".  We sped back toward the Finish picking up our sopping teammates who each had a different story about how they tried to stay warm.  Most had a local course marshal with a car nearby and were also able to take turns.  The van voted to skip the podium and head straight to the hotel for warm showers and clothing.  Since I had plans to meet my parents, I had the van drop me off at the Finish.
Stage 2 Podium - Team Specialized Lululemon Sweep (Amber, Evie, Clare)
Stage 2 Winner Amber Neben speaking to Announcer Dave Towle

I ran into Leslie at the podium and we watched the winners accept their flowers and then take photos with young girls in the crowd before walking over to the coffee shop/media area.  I couldn't help but go to the media interviews after hearing the winners speak at the previous 2 stages.  The room was small and humid but warm!  I stood in the back with Amber Neben's sister (also from Park City) as Amber talked about her winning time trial, battling cancer, and hopes to race in London.  Amber did make the Olympic Team and placed 7th in today's TT race!
Exergy Tour Leader's Jerseys after Stage 2

Amber speaking to Media
I pulled myself away from the media session and met Terry and my parents at El Gallo Giro for 1st class Mexican food.  The rain finally stopped so Terry joined Rob for a road ride while I drove back to my brother's house.  My sister-in-law and I went for a nice run while the boys worked on the new backyard playground.  Then my parents offered to babysit so we could go out for Thai dinner and catch-up.  We didn't party too late, since we were all exhausted.  I was looking forward to an early bedtime after another busy day of Exergy Tour, exercise, and family. Sunday's Stage 3 meant we were off to the mountains and I couldn't wait!

Other Exergy Tour Posts:

Stage 2 - you just read it, hope you enjoyed!

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