idea is really the hardest part. Over
the next couple of weeks, I spent
about 10 hours hammering out a
written storyboard and listening to
stock music tracks. I decided to
use humor to tell the story of how
I normally watch the Tour and put an
unexpected twist to it. With the
contest deadline only days away, a
friend of mine with some shooting
experience was eager to help. Once
on location, we captured our shots in
about two hours, then spent three to
four hours on the edit.
RBA: What were your thoughts
about Europe and then, of course,
Greg: This was my first trip to
Europe, and I was wide-eyed like a
kid in a candy store. At first I felt like
I was in a life-size Playmobil set! The
French countryside is beautiful and
quaint. Lake Annecy was spectacular,
and I really enjoyed our stay there.
I was surprised by how many people
smoke cigarettes and the French
passion for fromage. The food was
rich and thoughtfully prepared.
I don’t speak French, so it was
hard to follow all the action of the
race until I got home and watched
coverage in English. I wanted to be
outside experiencing the things you
can’t see on TV. At the top of Alpe
D’Huez, it was an all-day outdoor
party. Euro pop music blared from one
of the storefronts, and the crowds
along the barricades cheered wildly
when the riders came through. Even
the slower climbers got a raucous
cheer as the crowd slapped the barricades. So many of the riders broke
out in big grins as the applause
erupted; it had to be motivating. A
contingent from the UK bellowed
“FROOOOOME” both times as Chris
raced past us. Being on the ground
gave me a deeper respect for how
hard these athletes work and
how crazy fast they can race up a
RBA: What was your one best
take-away from the Tour?
Greg: The geek in me enjoyed
watching the crews efficiently break
down and pack up the barricades,
trailers and signs for transport to the
next stage. Moving the Tour from
stage to stage is an impressive logistical feat. The highlight of the trip was
the Specialized group ride from
Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand. The
route included a few kilometers of
Stage 19. Surrounded by the snowcapped Alps, we then climbed
12 kilometers to the summit of Col de
la Colombière, a quiet majesty broken
only by my own breathing, the steady
hum of chain and gears, and the bells
of cattle grazing on the vibrant-green
alpine meadows. Stunning.
RBA: Can you tell me a bit about
your regular riding in Florida?
Greg: I ride with Eastside Cycling,
a strong group in Orlando, Florida.
We’re not the biggest organized ride
in town, but we push each other hard.
We have a standing Saturday ride,
along with occasional century rides.
Right now we have a group training
for Six Gap Century in Dalonega,
Georgia. The big challenge is finding
some elevation to climb. Hilly
Clermont, Florida, is within reach, so
we make do. When I ride alone in
summer, I try to get out in the early
morning two to three times a week to
beat the stifling heat and humidity.
The best part of riding in Florida?
There is no off-season; you can ride
jury weighed in on
their own contest
Just to ensure that the pages of
Road Bike Action retain the widest
range of opinions as possible (and to
help clear our shelves of some of the
excess schwag), we ran a post-Tour
Facebook contest to find out what
riders and bikes made an impact
during July. We asked: 1. Which rider
impressed you most in the Tour de
France and why? 2. If you could have
one team bike from the Tour, which
would it be? Here’s a selection of the
responses we got.
1. I really loved to see the young
Nairo Quintana blowing up the race
and giving Froome some thoughts. It
is not that he is impressive as something unexpected, but his humbleness, quietness, focus and simplicity
really captivated the heart.
2. Pinarello Dogma. So stylish.
Pure panache. Italian dream bike.
1. Bauke Mollema, because he
doesn’t give up! He is a fighter and
believes in himself, and that’s what it
takes to do well in the TdF! I would
love to see him take down Froome!
Let’s hope so! (I am not a Froome fan,
as you can tell.)
2. I would love to have Mark
Cavendish’s Specialized McLaren
Venge! I would be the talk of the lunch
ride—well, at least until I get dropped
by the guy who works in the postal
pool! That guy does nothing but ride.
But hey, if I at least get an RBA
jacket, I would have something to
brag about back at the office. It would
make him jealous, until he takes it out
on me during the next ride.
1. Jens Voigt. At 41, he’s still
going. That is amazing!
2. Team bike: Bianchi
1. I would say Tony Martin. Winning
the time trial after that bad crash
2. Team Garmin Cervelo.
1. Even though I’m not really a fan,
I would have to begrudgingly say
Alberto Contador. He showed tactical
smarts to go along with his obvious
physical talent that I don’t think he’s
2. Since each and every bike
seems absolutely equal to me, all
using a mix of the same components,
I’m going with the coolest-looking,
which for me is the Cannondale Evo.
1. Bauke Mollema. He’s extremely
talented and wise beyond his years.
2. Cervelo R5Ca.
1. Andrew Talansky for his impressive performance on Stage 14. For his
first Tour, he is riding remarkably well.
2. BMC Team Machine SLR01.