Exergy Tour Recap - Stage 3

The USA Pro Challenge was off the charts today with Stage 6 from Golden thru Boulder and a finish on Flagstaff Mountain.  All week on TV, I've been spotting fellow Course Marshals flagging and whistling as the peloton races by.  Then, on FB, I see fantastic photos and updates from my Exergy teammates - David, Shawn, and Maura.  It's KILLING me.  I missed volunteering at The Tour of Utah due to a conference room full of international consultants for a critical project, but at least I was a spectator on the weekend.  I had hoped to burn a week of vacation in Colorado, but my project and on-boarding those consultants were still top priority.  I know,  I need to review my priorities or get a job with Medalist Sports.
Tour of Utah Stage 6 - We had to attend a Birthday Party after watching the Start in Park City, but snuck out to see the caravan as they approached the base of Empire Pass.  A fellow Course Marshal had 4 streets to cover and no police help, so I jumped into action.
If you haven't read my previous Exergy Tour blogs, might be best to start here.  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.

In addition to the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge, we had several pro cyclists training in Park City before and after the Tour of Utah.  We were fortunate to interact with many of them at a Fundraiser for Play Well Play Safe.  It was an amazing experience and hope next year to convince them to include some outstanding female athletes.  Alison Tetrick was in town representing Exergy Development Group since they are a major sponsor for not just the Exergy Tour, but both the men's races. Maybe she'll make a showing and join her RoadID friends that attended this year.  You've all seen this video right?
Exergy Tour Merchandise
Already had a jersey, cowbell, and t-shirt from May, but couldn't pass up ridiculous discounts in August.
Anyway, enough of that, time to relive Stage 3 of the Exergy Tour.  The Queen Stage was only 58 miles but included 2 QOMs as the riders finally got a taste of the beautiful Idaho mountains as they cycled from Crouch to Idaho City.  After 2 cold and rainy Stages in the valley, I was expecting even worse conditions in the higher elevations so packed up everything I brought (except for shorts and t-shirt) before driving to the hotel to meet my van. The sun was out, but it was chilly and as the captains came out of their meeting, we were told the Start may be delayed due to snow storms moving thru the mountains.  A few people ran back to their rooms to change and grab more layers, it was going to be an interesting day.
Stage 3 Start - Crouch, ID
Sharon was volunteering again, but as a local course marshal in Idaho City. The guys were going with her and planned to ride from the Finish back up the course over both QOMs and then back before the caravan caught them.  This meant I finally was going to drive to the Start with the TCM team in the van rather than meeting them there.  We had a fun 90minutes and once again, all the California volunteers marveled at the scenery.  We were assigned the Feed Zone in Lowman up to the 1st QOM, so Shawn schooled me in the art of bottle pick-up.  If you thought I was excited working the Time Trial turn-around, this took me to a whole new level!  Not only did I get to work the Feed Zone, but I would be the 1st pick-up and in the jump seat ready for action.  The game plan was for everyone to look for bottles on both sides of the climb and then I would jump out and run along the van and pick them up, jump back in, catch the door with my foot so it didn't shut, dump out the bottle contents, pass over to store in a garbage bag, and get ready for the next jump.  I was chomping at the bit.
Traveling Course Marshals and Vans at the Start
We had some time at the Start in Crouch, so I decided to fuel my excitement with a chai tea and cinnamon roll.  I'm surprised my van teammates didn't ask me to just run alongside the van from the get-go.  The teams started arriving and then we had to depart to stake out our posts.  We drove up to the QOM and then headed back down to the Feed Zone dropping as we went.  The climb was primitive with very few intersecting roads and unfortunately not many fans. It would likely be an easy day.  There was a decent crowd in Lowman at the turn, but the Feed Zone was quiet.  The team support vehicles came to claim their spots, but many were concerned that the climb started immediately and the women wouldn't be interested in food, just drink.  I spoke with Lana Atchley from Team Specialized-Lululemon as she prepped bottles and we talked women's sports, injuries, and believe it or not, Max Testa.  Everyone in cycling seems to have some kind of Max connection.
Feed Zone Post - Lana and the Mechanic discussing logistics
The peloton sped thru the Feed Zone and one of the Race Directors slowed down long enough to ask me to do a thorough job of finding bottles, since they had some complaints from locals.  No problem there, I was on a mission!  I ran both sides of the road, picking and dumping fluids, then jumped in the van as Shawn drove by.  We picked up teammates as we started climbing, stories from the road were the best yet.  Someone had to hold back a group of bear hunters on their ATVs and another couple of older guys had hung out with a beautiful young French woman associated with one of the teams.  The entire van seemed to be into the bottle searching and I was jumping in and out as fast as I could.  My only regret is that I didn't have someone in the van take a video of the process.
Looking back down the 1st Climb - need to return to Idaho and ride this route
We reached the top and then screamed down with the rest of the caravan, so I took a minute to rest before we hit the base of the 2nd climb and went back to it.  We avoided the rain and hail all day, but on the 2nd descent the roads were soaked and I learned later that Terry and Rob had been caught in the rain on their ride back to town.  We flew into Idaho City behind the racers and stopped briefly at a restaurant for a bathroom break and to let me out so I could ride home with my crew.
View from the Jump Seat as the Caravan climbs to the 1st QOM
Conveniently, Terry and Rob were at the same restaurant eating lunch which was good since we didn't have any cell coverage.  I said goodbye to my TCM teammates, hello to my husband, and then hightailed it to the Finish Line to try and buy some merchandise and catch the press conference. Superstar sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg had pulled out a 2nd victory for Team Specialized-Lululemon.  I couldn't fit in the crowded media room, so went to the merchandise tent to pick up a cowbell, t-shirt, and jersey.  By that time, everyone was ready to drive home after a long day in the mountains.  The 4 of us refreshed a bit and then headed out for pizza and beer with Bob and Leslie.  Another great day in the books.  And like all perfect vacations, the "last day depression" was starting to set in realizing we had to drive home after Stage 4.  But before that happened, I had bottles to clean and looking at the forecast, shorts to unpack!
Exergy Tour Stage 3 Bottle Bounty
25 Bottles for TCM Van 1

Other Exergy Tour Posts:
Stage 3 - you just read it, hope you enjoyed!