On Tuesday morning, Danny and I left Maryland on our way to Topeka, KS for the Solo National Championships. We had arranged in advance to stop in Branson, MO to watch the time trial stage of the Tour of Missouri . We rolled into Branson a little after midnight, found a hotel and hit the sack. Wednesday morning we got up, had a good breakfast , checked out and hopped on our bikes to ride the 3.5 miles to the start of the time trial.
There were some major international teams (and riders) there: Columbia (George Hincape, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers), Garmin/Chipotle (Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vandevelde, Tom Danielson), Liquigas , and Rabobank . Additionally, there were some continental US teams there: HealthNet Maxxis (Rory Sutherland), Bissel (Ben Jaques-Maynes, Tom Zirbel), BMC (Antonio Cruz), Toyota United (Ivan Dominguez, Domonique Rollin) and Rock Racing (Michael Creed).
Before the start we were free to roam around all the team buses and riders. Saw a lot of very neat bikes including a prototype Fuji TT bike that Michael Creed rode. Danny and I were interviewed by a local paper and got a couple of quotes in the article . I got to see every single rider (those who were still in it anyway) start and got pictures of most. I also had the opportunity to meet and get a picture with Tom Zirbel , whose blog I read frequently. Afterwards, we rode back to the hotel, packed up our bikes and drove back to the mall to watch the podium ceremony. Overall, it was a very cool experience.