Every race has one.
39th pretty much never gets you bragging rights. But one beauty (of the many beauties) of bike racing is how the concept of ‘victory’ is oftentimes so personal, and that it might well not include crossing the finish line first. And when it comes to tending to personal ghosts, you probably can’t find a more appropriate setting than where we recently were: Stage 4 of the 2006 Tour de Georgia. A time trial from Chickamauga, GA to Chattanooga, TN.
Chickamauga is a town that might have some faint familiarity to you. It’s in northwestern Georgia, and in 3 days in 1863 it became a killing field possibly second only to Gettysburg for carnage on American soil. In 1863 the Union Army was as single-minded about getting to Atlanta as Patton felt about Berlin. The road to Atlanta inevitably went through Chattanooga -- a city tightly in the grip of the Confederates. The Union’s tactics included cutting off the Confederate supply lines to the south of Chattanooga. As the Confederates learned of the Union’s end-around sweep to the south of Chattanooga, they shifted their troops south to meet the Union head-on in the rugged hills of northern GA. The inevitable clash was brief, and it was severe. In 72 hours there were 35,000 casualties, resulting in one of the Union’s worst defeats in the war.
We drove straight through the battlefield as we finished our drive from Atlanta to the time trial start in Chickamauga. It’s been preserved with fitting reverence, and you don’t need a degree from West Point to see how the terrain led to such bloodshed. The huge clearings that separated the thick swaths of forest were surely no different in effect than the no-man’s-land that separated trench networks in WWI. Exit the cover of the trees and you welcome all-but-certain maiming or death. Sure, they didn’t have machine guns in the Civil War, but the abundance of artillery memorials on the battlefield proved that mass instruments of death were nevertheless in effect.
The battlefield of Chickamauga is a serene, yet intensely haunted place. It’s been tended to with great care by the people of Georgia. If it wasn’t for the stone statues and historical markers punctuating the landscape, you might mistake it for an arboretum. The main road that splits it in two is pristine blacktop. Between the eerie scenery and the perfect pavement, it seemed like an ideal landscape for the gang of photographers following the race -- that is, if the race went through it. As we drove through we saw little evidence that it would. No barriers, no tents, no race vehicles, no tifosi anywhere. By the time we exited the National Park that houses the battlefield it was pretty apparent that it wouldn’t. Was it out of respect for history, or was it simple logistics? It’d be nearly impossible to put on a race in Europe without crossing a battlefield -- Liege-Bastogne-Liege is one fine example. And how could we forget the fact that American Jonathan Vaughters won his one Tour de France stage win in 2001 in the TTT that finished in Verdun? It must’ve been logistics, because there was both beauty and precedent going for the notion of running it through.
We drove to the Chickamauga town center and parked our car in front of a small grocery store. The race officials, city police, and GA State Troopers we starting to close down the roads and -- small as the village is -- we were nevertheless clueless about where to go. Our plan was to meet up with the TIAA-CREF team and use our car as a follow vehicle for one of their riders. An easy misconception to develop from watching too much Giro and Tour coverage is that in every UCI time trial each rider has a team car following them (with a nameplate on the front bumper, no less!) in case of a flat or mechanical. The reality of things is this, though: The teams travel to the lesser races with one bus/Winnebago to schlep the riders from stage to stage, one trailer for the mechanics’ gear, and 2 cars for following the race. The net effect is that on time trial day the team director has to pick out two riders who get followed by cars. The rest, unfortunately, are screwed. Mavic provided neutral support for the Tour de Georgia, which on TT day meant that they had bright yellow roadside tents every 5km with a mechanic armed with a holster full of tools and a handful of spare wheels. Our pals on the CREF team were happy to use our car and our manpower to follow a 3rd rider.
We arrived 2 hours before the first rider was slated to go, and we were anxious to track down the start given the fact that we had neither a UCI license nor team credentials to get our car parked amongst the caravan, and that Georgia cops are big, burly boys. They were making quick work of sealing off the roads to automobile traffic. The confusion about where to go was confirmed by the fact that a Hyundai crept up behind us at 5mph as we puttered down a side road. The passenger rolled down the window and in a slow, sleepy voice said ‘Duuuude. You know how to get to the start?’
We pointed over yonder. ‘That-a-way…we think,’ I replied.
‘Thaaaanks, dude,’ he said. And that was our introduction to Dave Zabriskie. Tall fluffy hair dangerously not-far-removed from what was vogue at Def Leppard shows in the mid-80’s, and sickeningly skinny. Sick, I say, because he’s twig-thin but he can peg it at 34mph on a flat road on his Cervelo P3 Carbon and keep it there for a long, long time. He was one of the heavy favorites to win the TT that day, and he was equally lost, though he seemed a lot less uptight about it than us.
Eventually we found our way to the start then backtracked to get our car there -- through two thick sets of barriers anchored by two thick sets of Georgia’s finest. My colleague Scott Warren rode shotgun, and given his years of experience in the pro race team management scene he made things easy. He’d printed out a course profile, the course directions, and a course map. At the first set of barriers we rolled down the window, waved the paperwork frantically, and said with no small urgency ‘Officer, we need to get to the start area.’ He nodded at us, and parted the barriers. The second set was even easier. We just drove up and the officer let us in like he was auditioning for a job with the TSA.
The tougher stuff came when we got to the high school parking lot where the teams were setting up. Cops are one thing, but UCI officials are a whole different breed. They stopped our car and a lady with a thick Irish brogue asked for our UCI license before allowing us entry into the caravan area. We stumbled on our words a bit and she glared at us sternly like she’d already spent the week fending off the hordes. We eagerly played our one trump card -- a boatload of name-dropping. Jonathan Vaughters. Allen Lim. TIAA-CREF. They’re expecting us! She got distracted by something as we told her about our status as a follow car, then she waved us to a nearby patch of grass, telling us they’d just verify our credentials later. She handed us 2 stickers. They were yellow with the letters ‘TT’ in black on them. She told us to stick one to each windshield. Like Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie where he pretended to be an airline pilot -- good looks and a stalwart line of bullshit got us in.
We made a beeline for JV, Allen, and the rest of the CREF gang. By pure coincidence their vehicles were parked directly alongside the Team Discovery circus. Discovery’s gleaming team bus was straight out of the Rolling Stones tour -- three stories tall with all manner of satellite dishes and wacky antennae sprouting from the roof. They had the bus and their team cars cordoned off with yellow police tape. The scene unfolding there was the true legacy of The Lance. One solitary Disco rider was warming up on his trainer next to the bus. It was a true nobody, a lowly domestique of utterly no note, maybe Janez Brajkovic or Egoi Martinez de Esteban. Guys like Davitamon-Lotto’s Henk Vogels (top-10 Paris Roubaix, top-3 Ghent Wevelgem) or CSC’s Lars Michaelsen (winner of Stage 1 of the ’06 Tour de Georgia, not to mention victories in Ghent-Wevelgem, stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana, and a decade-long list of UCI top-10’s vast enough to wallpaper your whole darn house) walked around unencumbered. In fact I chatted with Vogels a bit, and he seemed eager to keep our conversation rolling -- the circumstances were that easygoing on him. But the Disco guys -- they were Mick Jagger, each one of them, nary a Charlie Watts amongst them. That one anonymous Disco domestique had a crowd of near 300 people watching him ride his trainer. And they watched. And watched. And watched some more.
In the meantime we caught up with JV and Allen. It was the ol’ pre-race herding cats routine -- putting the final positional and equipment touches on the time trial bikes they’d be using for just this one stage. The day’s course was a gnarly one. It’s not that the total elevation gain was formidable. But where there was climbing, it was steep; and where there was descending, it was corkscrew treachery straight out of Six Flags. There was an argument, perhaps, for using a road bike with clip-ons. In fact, we saw more than one CSC rider warming up with a standard Cervelo Soloist Team road bike with some Vision TT Mini’s. But the CREF guys were all handed full-on TT frames with Oval A900’s. Most of them went with disc wheels, but a couple stuck with deep section aero wheels so they could use their Power Taps (Power Tap doesn’t have a disc wheel option (yet), and riding with power during a TT is a dream situation because maintaining a pre-determined wattage range is an ideal way to ensure that you’re going hard enough without risking blowing up.) CREF’s one concession to the terrain was an interesting one: Except for former espoir World Time Trial Champion Danny Pate, all the CREF riders rode 50/34 Shimano compact cranksets. (Trivia note: When Pate won his World Championship title in Lisbon in 2001, in 4th place was Yaroslav Popovich -- now a highly regarded rider for Discovery who’d won the previous day’s road stage solo).
The mechanics did the final touches to the bikes, and JV started hollering ‘GO! GO! GO!’ to spur the team from their youthful stupor to go warm up. The difference between big-budget operations like CSC and Discovery as opposed to the smaller scale operations comes in the little things -- like windtrainers. CSC and Disco had an Air Force-like flight line of 7 or 8 perfectly parallel TT bikes on trainers for their riders to warm up when/how they saw fit. Other teams had no choice but to warm up on the open roads, not an easy endeavor given that thousands of people were converging on the exact point the riders were attempting to exit for their warm up ride.
While TIAA-CREF is anything but a big-budget team, one reason we’ve lent moral support to them over the years is the ample evidence that they’re on the way to becoming one. Not unlike the way the domestic Subaru-Montgomery team of the early 90’s had the management smarts and interest of big money to eventually morph into US Postal and then the Discovery team, TIAA-CREF has the foundation in place to be America’s next ProTour team. What makes the team so appealing, though, isn’t just their potential as an organization. It’s the fact that they’re determined to make it to the big time by developing their own riders. They started a couple of years back as a strictly under-23 team, but in the time since they’ve added some key over-23 riders (e.g. Danny Pate, Will Frischkorn) to give them added G.C. firepower. Team Director Jonathan Vaughters lived through a (sadly, very typical) helter-skelter developmental process in his own superb career as a rider. Talking to him, you quickly learn that he wasted mammoth emotional energy in his early days as a pro tending to logistics and travel and administrative headaches that sapped his already sapped body and mind. While JV eventually won a stage of the Tour de France and still holds the fastest time trial time ever up Mt. Ventoux (it was in the 2000 Dauphine Libere, as we recall), what he’s perhaps best known for is an anecdote from an early part of his career when he raced for the notorious Spanish pro team Santa Clara. Apparently he hacked off his team director somehow, and next thing he knew his race bike was kidnapped and literally buried underground. He had to hunt down his bike and exhume it with a shovel so he could race again.
The CREF team is nothing less than a manifestation of all the lessons he learned from a decade of suffering -- not just in races up the Alps and the Pyrenees, but in the hotel restaurants and various services course where intra-team politics and disorganization can murder a career. The CREF mission is a simple one: It’s a team that gives its riders a luxury life, because their only responsibility is to train and rest and race. Not unlike a ProTour team, every other detail is dealt with by somebody else. The theory is that a rider’s development will occur most rapidly and most successfully when all they need to do is ride. The CREF boys are young (virtually all of them are 23 or younger), they’re fired up, and they’re very, very fast. They’re being thrown in the wicked end of pro racing -- if it’s not the Tour of CA, the Tour de GA, or Philly week, you’ll see them in countless savage European races. Their developmental mission is such a noble one that the A.S.O. -- the outfit that owns the Tour de France and a fistful of other prestigious French races -- have more or less extended an open invitation to the team for any non-ProTour race they run. Leading up to the Tour of Georgia they fought through races no less notable that the Etoile de Besseges, and the Tour of Normandie where CREF sprinter Brad Huff won one stage and held the leader’s overall jersey for two stages.
The team rode off for their warm-up, and we finally got to catch up with JV and Allen. The week hadn’t gone particularly well. Unlike the Tour of CA, where they’d been active in some breaks, Georgia wasn’t so favorable for them. And today’s time trial didn’t portend better things. Not only was the course severe, but there was no small number of contenders who were capable of putting up blistering times. Allen had chatted, for example, with Floyd Landis earlier in the morning. Allen is a full-time coach for the CREF team, where he designs and exhaustively reviews each riders’ training protocol thanks to their extensive use of Power Tap powermeters. But he’s also Floyd’s coach, and every year he literally lives with Floyd for the 2 months leading up to the Tour de France to map out and monitor his training.
Allen said what he saw that morning when he chatted with Floyd was remarkable -- he’d never seen Floyd so fired up to win a race ever. ‘He’s gonna win, no way he won’t,’ Allen told me.
‘What about Dave Z?’ I asked. His victory at the Stage 1 TT of the ’05 Tour de France instantly gave him status as America’s premier time trialist. Allen knew what I did -- Floyd and Dave are in fact best friends. Before Dave got famous last year, Floyd was his mentor is every way imaginable -- letting him use his apartment in Girona, buying him dinner whenever they went out together, etc.
‘Floyd’s not gonna let it happen. No way. He won’t let Dave beat him today.’
Some other options were there for the smart money. Yarolslav Popovych had won the previous day’s stage into Rome solo and stole some seconds for GC. Given that Tom Danielson had won the overall in 2005, it had the makings of a quarterback controversy for Team Discovery. Surely Popo and Danielson had some dick-measuring to do that day -- whoever had the faster time would be the de facto Discovery team leader for the remainder of the race. If that didn’t motivate both of them, nothing would.
And you couldn’t discount one other dark horse: Team Health Net’s Nathan O’Neill. Yeah, he was an Aussie racing for a domestic US team, but O’Neill is earning an international reputation as a time trialist, with his awesome victory list capped off by the gold medal he’d just won a few weeks previously in the time trial of the Commonwealth Games. Even though he’s an Aussie, his base of operations is just outside of Atlanta. This was a hometown race for him, and it was his hometown discipline. It was a key opportunity to showcase his skills against some of the best time trialists in the world.
The start was quickly approaching and JV gave us our marching orders -- we’d be following Craig Lewis. The name was familiar. I mumbled out loud to myself, ‘Craig Lewis…Craig Lewis…’ Then I turned to Allen, ‘Why have I heard his name before?’
Allen laughed, and uttered two words: ‘Outside Magazine.’ Bingo! That’s right. Who could forget the article? On the one hand, you’ve got to give Outside h-u-g-e credit for having the interest and vision to write a not-short article about Lewis in 2005. In a media world where VeloNews and Cycle Sport couldn’t fit enough photos and blurbs about The Lance in their pages in hopes that 35 photos of him instead of just 30 might sell more issues, Outside had the prescience amidst the ad nauseum hype to profile a potential superstar of the next generation. Everyone agreed, though, that as marvelous as the article was, it stung hard, too, because the author uttered words that were nothing besides a curse:
‘Ascendant cycling phenom Craig Lewis might be Lance’s heir.’
Allen stepped a bit closer, and his voice lowered. ‘And the crash. Two years ago in Georgia. You remember the crash, don’t you?’
Yes, I had a vague memory of it. Tales of deadly and near-deadly crashes all tend to hazily blend together in my mind -- a trick I play on myself by design, perhaps, to stay forgetful about them so I won’t convince myself to quit riding my bike for all of its dangers. Saul Raisin’s recent horror in the Circuit de la Sarthe some day will surely merge in my mental patchwork with Andrei Kivilev’s death at Paris-Nice, which is perhaps one-and-the-same now with Lauri Aus’ death-by-drunk-driver while training at home in Estonia, an accident that occupies the same mental space as the heartbreaking death-and-crippling of the Otxoa brothers.
I’d paused just long enough that Allen felt compelled to fill in the gaps. What he told me was no different that what you can find by doing a Google search. The Outside article about Lewis, in fact, did a fine job telling the story:
‘During the 18-mile time trial in the 2004 Tour de Georgia, Lewis was cranking downhill at 40 miles per hour when a 65-year-old retiree gunned an SUV directly into his path. Lewis never had a chance to put on the brakes. At the time of the crash, his pace had him finishing in the top ten. But instead of sprinting for the last mile and a half, he was being rushed to the hospital with both of his lungs punctured, a fractured scapula, collarbone, tibia, wrist, and skull, 14 cracked ribs, a broken nose and vertebra, plus a busted jaw.’
Lewis’ legend was instant when one tiny fact was added to reports of the crash: ‘When Lewis regained consciousness several hours later, he motioned for a pen and paper and wrote, WHEN RIDE?’
Despite the fact that his weight fell from 140lbs to 100 as he recuperated from the crash, he eventually got on his bike by the fall, and he regained enough fitness to take 54th at the 2005 Tour of Georgia -- two spots ahead of Andrea Tafi. On the one hand, it was an awesome accomplishment. But on the other hand he fought anemia and a general battle to become the person he was throughout the year.
‘Today is a big day for Craig.’ Allen told me, ‘He’s been training for this race all winter. He told me he needs to get through today.’ He paused for a second. ‘He gets through today -- then he’ll finally get the crash behind him and move on with the rest of his career.’
And nobody would have a better seat for it than us. As we saddled up in our rented Saturn wagon for his 12:02 start time we were completely fired up to watch him get back on track after his 2 year detour. We crept over to the caravan start area and got in line behind some other team vehicles. Scott was next to me with a set of spare wheels and some tools. He had a walkie talkie that linked to the earphone in Craig’s Giro TT helmet. The stage was 40km, and Craig wanted splits every 8km, plus any other info that seemed exceptionally relevant. ‘Talk when you need to’ he told Scott, ‘but keep it real.’
As if Allen’s briefing didn’t already adequately illustrate the emotional landscape of the ride, Craig’s younger brother rode in the backseat. In one hand he held Scott’s cell phone so we could call JV with time splits, and in his other hand held my Palm Treo so we could get race updates on cyclingnews.com’s outrageously cool Blackberry/Treo-specific live coverage (change your life forever by checking it out at live.cyclingnews.com/wap). Based on his giddy restlessness he was clearly very in tune with what was going on, and his energy was an added boost for us. We were stoked to have him along for the ride.
We weren’t certain whether our watches were in exact sync with official race time, but we had a master start list and we knew we were close when a Sierra Nevada rider ripped down from the start house -- it was 2 minutes ’til Craig’s start. Moments later a UCI official marched over to the driver’s-side window. He played the official’s role perfectly -- he walked with the stiff gait of a Marine recruit, and his crisp shirt was complemented by the stopwatch hanging absolutely square from his neck, not to mention the levelness of his panama hat and the symmetry of the pens in his shirt pocket.
He held up his clipboard and barked ‘Lewis?’
‘Yes sir,’ I replied, ‘Craig Lewis, TIAA-CREF.’
‘License, please.’ He held out his hand state trooper-style. I instinctively reached for my wallet before a voice in my head said ‘Oh, shit.’ He didn’t want my driver’s license, he wanted my UCI license -- a credential I had absolutely, positively no need for since the last UCI race I attended was the 2003 Tour de France.
Scott and I had chatted on this very issue earlier in the week when JV had first asked if we could drive a car. Scott knew we might get asked for the license, and given that it’s $150 for literally nothing -- you don’t take a test, you don’t get a bumper sticker, it doesn’t get you backstage -- we just decided to blow it off. It simply gives you documentation for, well, nothing as far as we knew except for driving a car in a race caravan. Surely they wouldn’t ask, we’d said to each other hopefully. And while I can lie OK, and while I can think on my feet pretty well, I felt as idiotic and tongue-tied as a 9th grader trying to call a girl on the phone for the very first time when I uttered ‘Uh, I left it in my hotel room.’
He shook his head with a firmness and an awesome range of motion that made his feelings clear to everyone within a mile. ‘NO WAY will you drive on this race course!’ He shouted. And I kid you not, he cackled as he marched off clipboard in hand. He said it again. ‘NO WAY!’
At that very moment I felt worse for Craig’s brother than anyone else. I turned to the back seat and his eyes looked as big as golf balls. He was young. Maybe just out of high school. Not accustomed yet to spontaneous conflict and rejection and the other painful vagaries of this cruel, cruel world. Scott got on the walkie-talkie, ‘JV, we’ve got a major problem. We’ve got no UCI license. They won’t let us on the course.’ Of course, the walkie-talkie went straight to Craig’s helmet, not JV. Hardly the best way to help Craig get in the right pre-race frame of mind.
The official marched drill sergeant-like back to my window. In the 8 steps it took him to get to us I made myself mentally prepared for additional berating. I was sure he was coming over to tell us to get the hell out of the caravan assembly area. We saw Jelly Belly’s Brice Jones rocket down the opening straight. Craig was next off.
He said only two words ‘Craig Lewis?’
‘Yes.’ I said ruefully.
He stood there silently, deep in deliberation.
‘You know about Craig?’ I said.
More silence. ‘The crash,’ I said. ‘You remember?’
‘Oh yes,’ he replied slowly. ‘I remember.’
I pointed to the backseat. ‘That’s his little brother.’
He took a deep breath. He shook his ahead again, but this time less vigorously. He looked more human now, less Vulcan. ‘I don’t believe I’m doing this.’ He said. Then he stepped back and he used his clipboard to wave us forward. ‘Go on…’ he said.
Just a few seconds later Craig came down the ramp and took a hard left onto the road where the follow cars entered the course. I gunned the gas before the official could change his mind. We tore onto the road, and Craig did a double-take looking behind. His TT helmet and Oakleys gave him a steely, battle-ready look, but there was no mistaking his surprise that we were there.
If you’d asked me before Georgia what I’d imagined driving a team car would be all about, I would’ve gleefully talked your ear off about what an amazing prop a team car is in the texture of pro racing. Who wouldn’t want to flash the brights and toot the horn like mad and hang out the window and play make-believe Manolo Sainz by screaming ‘Venga, Venga, Venga!!!’ at the top of their lungs? As is all-too-often the case in life, though, reality and fantasy are miles apart. I was nearly paralyzed with fear of running Craig over. I kept it easy on the accelerator, and Scott had to urge me forward more than once, ‘Get closer. You’ve gotta get closer.’
Craig’s brother told us that they’d pre-ridden the course together a couple of times. They live in Greenville, SC, so getting down here wasn’t a big deal for them. One beauty of having him in the car was that he had the course memorized -- as only a cyclist can -- and he knew down to the 10th of a mile what was coming up. He warned us, for example, about the frightfully technical freefall descent down to Old Chattanooga Valley road just 5 miles in, with its more-than-180-degree turns that seemed hardly suitable for the dodgy handling of a TT bike. And the lesson I learned, of course, is that TT bikes don’t have dodgy handling -- riders who don’t spend time descending on a TT bike are what makes a TT bike feel dodgy. Craig looked as fluid as Alberto Tomba, and he put a 300 meter gap on our wagon after just a few turns there.
Once the road flattened out we throttled at 60mph+ to catch back up to Craig. We caught him and we could see Brice not far up the road. It was one of life’s little ironies -- Brice is in fact from Arkansas, and I’d raced against him over the years more times that I can count. In a state/regional environment, he was a god. He did pretty well on the national track team, and I as recall he was quite the Team Pursuit rider -- something that I thought might’ve been in his favor on a TT stage. But Craig was gaining on him fast, and as the 3 mile, 800ft climb of Nick-A-Jack road started it was only a matter of moments before he’d dust him.
Nothing made more of an impression on me during the TT than Craig’s ability to stay aero and keep his upper body steady no matter his effort. I forget the threshold speed on where being aero doesn’t really matter anymore -- is it 12mph? 15mph? 18mph? I dunno, but as Brice rocked out of the saddle with his hands on the ends of his cowhorns, Craig climbed in his aero tuck with a zen-like stillness to his arms and torso. It was amazing. Only when the climb got fearsomely steep did he exit the position. His discipline at this throughout the race was steadfast.
As Craig caught and quickly put a gap on Brice, his brother hooted and hollered from the backseat. It would’ve been easy to get caught up in his enthusiasm except for the fact that I was armed with a rearview mirror and I could see a good bit down the hill Craig was climbing. A tiny rider in CSC kit was flying up the climb -- veteran Spaniard Inigo Cuesta. He was a mere 16 years older than Craig, and his palmares include stage victories at the Dauphine Libere, the Tour of Catalonia, plus overall victory at the Tour of the Basque Country. And, for those of you whole can’t get enough of trivia, you’ll also note that he was a member of the star-crossed Linda McCartney team. 2006 was his first year for CSC, and it seems likely that his raison d’etre is to support Carlos Sastre as he pursues overall victory at the Vuelta a Espana later in the year -- a race that Cuesta himself finished 13th overall not too long ago.
As Craig summited Nick-A-Jack a pattern started to play out. When the road was flat he maintained his gap over Cuesta. Whenever the road tipped upwards Cuesta would slowly close the gap. This went on for 5 or 6 miles, until Craig hit the nasty 3 mile false flat that takes you up the Georgia side of Mt. Lookout. Craig maintained his beautiful aero tuck, but Cuesta dug and dug closed the gap. I pulled over to the side of the road and coasted to 10mph to let him pass us. And in a totally pro way he figured out a way to effectively use our slipstream for the 2 seconds it took to pass us which in retrospect was kind of cool, but at the moment gave me memorable sphincter convulsions since I was decelerating pretty quickly and was convinced he was about to T-bone our rear bumper, a disaster that would’ve been 10 times worse for the fact that we got special UCI dispensation to even be on the course.
Craig’s brother was hollering out the window and Scott shouted