Individual Time Trials – Junior Men, Women’s Elite
My assignment told me that I was to report to Belvidere Street and the 2nd street ramp, on the bridge. That sounded like an interesting location.
My shift started early today, 8:30 am, and I left the house at about 7:40 because I didn’t know what the traffic would be like. Just my luck, a bunch of construction at my entrance to I-64 put me well behind. I also knew that the first rider wouldn’t hit the course until 9:30 am so my natural desire to be early was appeased.
I parked the car about 2 blocks from where I parked it yesterday, off-loaded my bike, grabbed my back pack and chair, and pedaled off.
I reached Belvidere street in short order and stopped to ask a Richmond Police officer if he knew where I was supposed to go. He told me that the 2nd street ramp was on the northbound side of the bridge, about 400 meters from the edge. I grinned and pushed off again, crossing over the deserted road and heading out across the span.
Today was much cooler than yesterday, about 55 degrees this morning, and it was overcast with a prediction of the sun breaking out after lunch. When I stopped at my station and dismounted, the wind hit me at about 15 mph. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It. Was. Cold. I worked hard setting my stuff up in order to keep warm and get out of the wind by ducking down behind the jersey wall. I did take a picture though.
|My City - Richmond VA|
This is just one of the reasons why I really love Richmond. It’s a beautiful city. This is the view southwest looking at part of the downtown area.
Once I set up, I could watch the folks still running and riding across the bridge, which was closed to morot traffic but not yet closed to cyclists and runners. There were also a number of teams out stretching their legs and getting one last ride on the TT course.
About 9:15, a van pulled up and stopped. Robert, the Road Marshal director, introduced himself and thanked me for volunteering. He offered me a hot breakfast sandwich, which I took, and then asked if I minded moving back off the bridge. They had made the decision to place a work truck across the ramp and some cones to direct the riders and he needed me to fill a gap on shore.
|Keep your station clear!|
I was glad to go, simply based on the wind. I also knew that this position would be just sitting and watching and I’d be bored in no time with that. So, I packed my stuff back up and rode back to the edge of the bridge where I reset my station. I was stone’s throw from the 1st time check as you can see in the background. (Note that I’m riding my old beater hybrid which is more conducive to carrying a bunch of stuff.)
There’s always one guy……
The first riders left the starting house at 9:30 and reached me about 8 minutes later.
They were flying down the hill, with the wind, and just killing it across the bridge. On the return crossing, slightly uphill and into that wind, they were getting killed. The wind was quartering from the riders’ right and when it gusted and hit their disc wheels, it was tough for them to hold a good line. Some were all over the place.
About 10 minutes after the first rider came past, a man about my age came jogging down the sidewalk toward me. He had earbuds in and was making a pretty good pace and when I went to put up my hand to stop him, he was already past. I hadn’t gotten my whistle around my neck yet so I couldn’t make any noise to stop him. There were no police on my side of the street but one of them started yelling and blowing his whistle at the man. He never wavered his stride having not heard anything.
The officer crossed the street but by then the man was several hundred yards out on the bridge. The officer continued to walk after him as well as 3 of his co-workers. They never actually caught him. The man reached the other side of the bridge, about a mile, and turned around to run back and the officers met him at the halfway point.
He was very apologetic, he just didn’t realize that the bridge was completely closed. He ran the rest of the way and then took the 2nd street ramp down off the bridge, heading off to other parts of the city.
When the officers returned to my area, two of them stayed with me to assist in stopping folks. This proved fortunate as there were about a dozen others who decided they were crossing the bridge, despite the signs saying it was closed.
One guy started cursing the officers and I was so impressed with how they handled him. In very measured tones, they let him know that although it was a lovely day and he was going to be slightly put out by having to take a detour, they weren’t going to make it worse by arresting him; but he wasn’t going to cross the bridge. He finally got the message and headed down the hill to another route.
In the Men’s Junior TT, Leo Appelt of Germany edged out favorite Adrien Costa of the US by 17 seconds for the rainbow jersey. Third place went to American Brandon McNulty.
In a very close Women’s Elite TT, Linda Mellanie Villumsen of New Zealand scored her first World Championship in 8 tries edging out Anna Van Der Breggen of the Netherlands with Lisa Brennauer of Germany finishing third. American favorite Kristin Armstrong finished 5th and teammate Evelyn Stevens finished 6th.
Small crowds seemed to be the order of the day with plenty of places to stand and get a great view of many parts of the course, including the 14 turns that are a great place to watch!
The fans who did come out today were very loud and supportive of the riders which is always great. Lots of cowbells, whistles, and clapping and beating on things to make noise. I hope they’re all hanging out Friday night when I’m riding in the
Conquer the Cobbles ride!
I finally got a chance to go to the start\finish line and see some of the festivities after my shift ended. It’s very festive, high tech, and shows off wonderfully on TV. I’m very impressed with how well the organizers have done this.
Tomorrow it’s the Elite Men’s Individual TT and it’s going to be a completely different course.