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2015 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 01

2015 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 01

Monday August 17, 2015 | Steamboat Springs, CO

The Rodeo Bulls that shared the riders’ team bus and tent area are powerful and impressive animals. But the magnificence of their physicality was tempered by the overwhelming smell of their sickeningly pungent manure that had the entire peloton questioning why their team pit was located in a stockyard.

2015 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 01

Race Stats
Start Location

Steamboat Springs, CO

Finish Location

Steamboat Springs, CO


96.6 mi. Or maybe they didn’t go anywhere at all?

Number of Steps

8617 or 4.2 Miles. Kyle – 30 maybe 40, I was mostly scootin’.

Time of Filing

12:26 AM


Quality Inn, Steamboat Springs. Great place for a Tip Sweep.

Today's Objectives

Take photos of bicycle racers and the fans who came to watch them race. Avoid going to The Rusty Porch at all costs.

Top 3 Finishers
  1. Taylor Phinney, 3:39:07
  2. Kiel Reijnen, +0:00:00
  3. Brent Bookwalter, +0:00:00
WIFI Details
This is America, we do WiFi right.
There was some surprise rain as the riders approached the first KOM. But it ended quickly and the rest of the day the weather was fine.
Quote of the Day
"I’m in a porno right now, are you guys filming a porno?"
-Avery May (@averymay)
"I feel like I need milk in my hands right now."
-Some Sougnier Lady
Course Description [OFFICIAL]

After a brief venture onto the rolling roads of Routt County in 2013, the USA Pro Challenge knew it had to get back there for a classic circuit race. The quiet roads offer straights, twists, and a few rather steep surprises. Match that with fan favorite host city Steamboat Springs, and you have the makings of a great opening stage.


This 49-mile circuit will be completed twice by the peloton creating great spectator opportunities both in Steamboat Springs and on route locations like the Rt. 27 KOM climb and the town of Oak Creek. Will Steamboat Springs be treated to another classic sprint finish or will the challenges of Routt County create an opportunity for a surprise first yellow jersey of 2015? Either way, the fans of Steamboat Springs will be treated to quite a show.

MFS Bible
Course Description [UNOFFICIAL]

The teams all staged in a livestock shelter before the race, then they did two laps around a mountain that looked more like a hill. There were no steep surprises because each racer had access to a course map before the stage. Then they finished where they started, it was quite a show.

Today's Observation #1

If the professional road race that you are covering only has Xerox copies of the technical race manual that you rely on to make all of your decisions regarding the day’s shooting schedule, and maybe you have an acknowledged/unacknowledged issue with detailed orientation, then it is important to be extra careful when making a judgement on which direction the race will travel. If you weren’t extra careful then going the wrong way will bring about unnecessary stress and anxiety even though in this particular instance you were able to avert the disaster by making it to your chosen KOM/Photo location before all travel on the road was shut down.

Today's Observation #2

The Rodeo Bulls that shared the riders’ team bus and tent area are powerful and impressive animals. But the magnificence of their physicality was tempered by the overwhelming smell of their sickeningly pungent manure that had the entire peloton questioning why their team pit was located in a stockyard.

Today's Observation #3

12 year-olds and French businessmen have known this for years, but folding mini scooters really are the best way to travel.

Today's Observation #4

A road crew picks up the discarded water bottles thrown to the side of the road by racers. In France the truck would be rolled over and lit on fire, because in France there are people who like to watch bike races, and they come out and watch bike races, and they tackle and gouge eachother’s eyes out over these discarded bottles. In the USA we save the tackling and the gouging for holiday sales.

Today's Observation #5

The Double Smoked Bacon Sandwich at Starbucks should not be used to substitute the Starbucks Bacon Gouda Sandwich, even if the girl with the gum commercial smile and pep rally voice behind the counter says that they are just as good.

Meal & Food Report

On Sunday night we experienced perhaps the worst meal of my adult life. The restaurant in question? Steamboat Springs, Colorado’s The Rusted Porch (TRP). We came to this place by way of an ultra runner friend of ours. In the parking lot before entering we exchanged a playful bit of conflict display with another driver whose heedless use of inflammatory hand signals led us to deliver a jonty bout of blasts from the Chrysler 200s’ powerful horn, this then left the other driver blushing with embarrassment. Daniel said, “You know how some people are conflict adverse?, well I’m conflict curious.”


Once inside TRP we were shown to a table in the far back corner of the newly half-furnished annex. Once seated we rubbed elbows with a stack of overhead light fixture boxes, an off-kilter kegerator, and a yet-to-be-installed electric fireplace. The atmosphere was complemented by a wonderful selection of Southern rock gems and punctuated by the glass shattering wails of few seemingly unsupervised youngsters.


While we waited for our ultra runner friend to arrive, Daniel and I scanned the menu back to front, front to back, back to front, as if scanning the scene of a natural disaster, nothing stood out, everything was bad. If there were one saving grace in our experience, it was our waiter, attentive and kind, she returned to our table every couple of minutes wondering if we were ready to order anything: time after time we weren’t. Finally, out of desperation, I ordered a Labatt Blue, and that beer sealed our fate, we were there to stay. We ordered Buffalo Wings to start, and while they were being prepared our runner friend Reese arrived. “Oh,” she said, “I thought you meant we would meet at The Porch, that’s the name of the place that I’m staying at.” It turns out a misunderstanding and a subsequent Google search had lead us to this wood-paneled little corner of hell. The buffalo wings arrived. I would describe the meat as drowned rather than juicy, and the sauce was less buffalo and more “aged ketchup.” We ordered burgers because there was a whole page devoted to them and that page stood out like the wreckage of a ship in sewer pond. At the first bite I knew that even if it were possible to send our food to starving people in Africa, I wouldn’t. Ideally, I would send wholesome, nutritious food. Food that would represent the best of my culture. I would even settle for sending over Taco Bell; but this?, no this would be like sending over the culinary version of Jerry Springer, duckface, and Black Friday Sales. Still we ate, what options did we have? Complain and wait for another meal that was sure to be just as disgusting? Skip out on our meal and risk another restaurant? Google had already failed us. Return to the Quality Inn where a 6 hour bout of work faced us without supper? No, we ate. And we regretted. That evening we were lost in the tummy tumbles, floundering in concussive waves of gas. It was a bad scene. But by morning we had found relative peace, and we ventured out with the memories of The Rusted Porch seared in our minds and blistering our stomachs.


With that in mind, we decided we would play today Starbucks Safe. In order to do so we started the day off at Starbucks, obvs, with a set of Americanos: vente with room for DWP and tall no room for me, to which we added a pair of Bacon-Gouda sandwiches. Things were good. Really good. We went to the start of the race, photographed the sign-in, chatted, waved, took notes. Then we came back to that same Starbucks: vente with room for DWP and tall no room for me, only this time we went through the drivethru, missed the order intercom, and called an audible at the window. Daniel had to have the Starbucks guy add his cream, and no surprise, he nailed it. We drove the course backwards (see today’s observation #1) caught the race, took some photos, hugged some dogs, and fisted a chimp. After that we surfed the race caravan back to town once again finding ourselves at Starbucks. Vente with room and a Bacon-Gouda for DWP and a tall no room and a double smoked bacon for me (see today’s observation #5). Then we drove to the Start/Finish where I scooted around and hung out with some historical notables while Daniel snapped photographs. The race finished and on our way back to the Quality Inn we hit Starbucks once again; this time DWP did a decaf vente Americano while I chilled in our bad ass white Chrysler 200s. With a day’s worth of blissful Starbucks elixir all but erasing our TRP experience, we decided it was time to put our past behind us and once again venture out with our eating experience. We went with Steamboat Spring’s Fiesta Jalisco. We ordered our food to go and indulged in this completely fine Mexican food while watching the end of Jurassic Park.


I apologize to my body for The Rusted Porch.

The Crew
Daniel Wakefield Pasley
Kyle Von Hoetzendorff

I Dear USA Pro Challenge

You said the race was going to be two laps. So if I undestand this right, that means the riders are going to go around the same course twice. That means they are going to go down the same descents, around the same corners, through the same intersections, twice. And they did, they went around twice. Nothing wrong with that at all. But let’s get to my issue. As we were coming down from the first KOM we were stuck behind the volunteers’ van. This particular van was festooned with dragon paraphernalia: stuffed dragons were lashed to the bumpers and dragon stickers were peppered all over the surface, and just to be clear that this van was about dragons the name Dragon Wagon was boldly emblazoned on the side windows. Hey, you want to add flair?, add flair, it’s your rig, Dragon Wagon, World Chimp, Leg’s League, Sprint Shrimps, Victory Van, Climbers Clatch, Bike Car, Spandex Ship, Helmet House, The Water Bottler, The Chain Gang, The Lube Sled, The Cassettes Only, Tire Turners, The Seat Sniffers, The Flat Bandits, Wattage Cottage, no problem, you do you. But here’s the thing: why, if these guys are going to go around the exact same course twice, was the Dragon Wagon picking up all the course flaggers?”- KVH Why was the course Marshall’s truck picking up all the water bottles and most of the km-to-go signs? I have to say this really didn’t make any sense. I mean these guys were going to need flag support on the second lap right? They are going to be tossing bottles on the second lap, they are going to need to know how far they are from the finish on the second lap, right? It all just seemed a little premature. Chances are you had a good reason, you had some plan in the works that we didn’t know about, but from our perspective you were creating a lot more work for yourself. Here’s some advice, rather than pick up the flaggers just drop some water and maybe a sandwich, then pick them up at the end of the race. Same goes for the Marshall’s truck, just pick up the bottles once, at the end of the race, after it’s over, no need for all this extraneous work. I mean you probably have something better to do any way, like printing more technical manuals.

II Today's Highs & Lows

  • Dave Towle and Brad talking about Kyle Murphy, then Brad looking right at me and saying, “I learned about Kyle Murphy on Manual for Speed, that’s where I get all my race information.”
  • Jurassic Park.
  • Marty dropping off the bank on our Micro Scooter.
  • Operating @worldchimp.
  • Going the wrong way on the course.
  • Remembering The Rusted Porch.
  • Going to the media office 4 times looking for a Technical Manual and never getting one.

III Today's Top Dave Towle Quotes

Dennis just went primal!”- Dave Towle His mouth looks like a hoover vacuum trying to suck in oxygen!”- Dave Towle They have separated the wheat from the chaff.”- Dave Towle He’s like a fly in your house that you just can’t get rid of.”- Dave Towle This guy is like your mother-in-law, he just won’t leave!”- Dave Towle He has put his foot on the the throat of the Canadian!”- Dave Towle It’s not the sprint, or the counter, but the counter of the counter that wins races.”- Dave Towle

IV Today's Playlist



  1. Daniel and I were both convinced that this song was popular before psychedelic drugs became a part of pop music, we were thinking early 60s-ish. Turns out this song was released just as cocaine was hitting its stride. 1979!
  2. This was one of DWP and EG’s favorite jams while they were in France. Turns out that in this song the name “Hannah Montana” stands for any white colored drug, be it MDMA, cocaine, speed, etc.
  3. There is a lipsynch competition TV show hosted by LL Cool J, for which the upcoming finale was advertised while we were watching Jurassic Park. The show was going to feature Taraji P. Henson and Terence Howard from Empire. Daniel heard the name Terence and immediately referenced this song.
  4. I saw a Smash Bang Fusion sticker on a car by the Steamboat Springs court house and I asked Daniel if he had ever seen this video. He hadn’t. Now he has. We laughed.

V Steamboat Springs

Fast Facts Courtesy of Wikipedia


  1. Country: United States
  2. State: State of Colorado
  3. County: Routt County (Seat)
  4. Incorporated July 19, 1900
  5. Government Type: Home Rule Municipality
  6. Area: 10.1 square miles
  7. Elevation: 6,732 ft (2,052 m)
  8. Population (2010): 12,088 (1,200/sq mi)
  9. Time Zone: MST/MDT (UTC-7/UTC-6)
  10. ZIP Codes: 80477, 80487, 80488
  11. FIPS Code: 08-73825
  12. GNIS Feature ID: 0172749
Siqqqq shirt!

VI Rt. 27 KOM


VII Steamboat Springs


VIII Scooter Sesh
Feat. Kyle, Marty, and Todd


IX Steamboat Springs

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