A Full Weekend of Racing
The applause for the champions is well deserved, but there's more to life than that.
himself as a solid support rider. The same thought for Tommy Danielson. He has high aspirations to be a Tour de France team leader. While Hesjedal hasn't stated whether he'll do the double of the Giro and the Tour, he's now in a commanding position within the team. Perhaps the best thing is for Hesjedal to support Danielson and if the American falters take over. Sometimes it must be a blessing to have so many talented riders under one roof. I bet there are many directors who wish for that.
Here in the States we had our professional national championships this past weekend. No surprise, Dave Zabriskie won his seventh national time trial title. Two days later Garmin-Barracuda lined up a solid squad for the road race hoping to accomplish the double: time trial and road titles in the same year.
It didn't happen as once again a rider with little team support took the title - Timmy Duggan. He took an impressive solo win about nine miles from the finish line.
I'm not sure what it is about the Greeenville course that seems to favor the smaller squad. The course does have its sections of straight roads where a team can chase down a dangerous break. Perhaps it's the combination of the usually hot, humid southern weather and the climb of Paris Mountain that wears down the riders to a select few who are truly in great form. Regardless, congratulations to both David Zabriskie and Timmy Duggan for their respective championship titles.
There's a day between the Greenville time trial and road race. During that day I was a guest of the UnitedHealthcare team as they visited the Greenville Children's Hospital. Nothing sets your priorities more straight than seeing sick children, and in the case of that day's visit, mostly babies.
UnitedHealthcare professional rider Brad White stopped by each room and talked to the parents and cooed at the babies. As a father of a nine-month old and two year old, White had the empathy that comes naturally for a parent.
He spoke about how these visits put everything into perspective and in the case of his team sponsor UnitedHealthcare, there was something more than throwing money at a team to promote the brand. Riders were taking the time to visit hospitals - approximately 25 a year. Sure, the babies or even the older children don't fully understand the concept of a professional racer, but it breaks up the day for both the patient and the care givers. It also showed to me that someone cares about them and that they matter.
It's easy to forget about that. Often we get so wrapped up in vitriol and spew forth without thinking - like a cornered animal. I'm not going to say I've never done that, but what I am going to say is visiting a hospital and seeing patients hooked up to a machine puts things into perspective. Life is a fragile and limited thing. Again, I'm not saying I'm going to turn the other cheek or devote myself to writing