Jens Voigt: The Bloody Menace, Part II

I unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) missed this when it happened as I was on southbound I5 traveling back from the 2010 Seattle to Portland bicycle classic.  It looks like the mountains in the Tour de France have taken a second swing at Jens Voigt of Team Saxo Bank.  In the 2009 Tour de France Jens was unfortunately taken out of the race in one of the most dramatic crashes in the tour in recent memory.

This year the mountain tried again, but couldn’t knock him out.  Jens hit the tarmac on stage 16 while descending from the Col de Peyresourde.  In Jens own words, his front tire “just exploded” sending him to the ground, his bike rendered unusable.  Unfortunately all of this happened behind both of the Saxo Bank team cars – leaving Jens without a bike.  He was finally able to get a spare from the neutral support teams, but unfortunately the bike didn’t really fit him.  I think this may be one of the most compelling images of this great rider: tattered and bloody, finishing the stage on a borrowed bike that doesn’t actually fit him, refusing to quit.

The post-stage interview shows typical Jens Voigt attitude and humor remained intact after the crash:

There is a saying among cycling fans: “Jens Voigt doesn’t get road rash.  The road gets Jens rash.”  It captures the toughness this rider has shown throughout his career.  I’m sure the Jens mystique will be even further strengthened after this and as he crosses the Champs-Élysées.

2010 Seattle to Portland: To the finish.

We woke up a little more relaxed on the second day – but noticeably more sluggish and a little bit sore from the first day’s effort.  (If you didn’t catch the first day’s details, check them out here.)  We got a 7:45am start out of Centralia – downright sleeping in compared to the 5:30 start of the first day.  We were both quite slow and heavy in the legs though.  It was a relatively flat start through farm lands and into Chehalis under overcast skies and downright chilly conditions.  We slowly – almost grudgingly – made our way onto a rode in Chehalis lined with beautiful older houses with great big lawns.  That is when I saw it – “Free Starbucks Coffee.”  Really?  Sure enough a guy had quite literally ran an extension cord out his front door to the sidewalk to where he had a coffee pot brewing coffee on the sidewalk.  We stopped and chatted for a couple of minutes – the guy actually refused any sort of payment or donations.  Yet another example of the amazing support of folks along the route.  That little stop for coffee completely energized us in a huge way.

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2010 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic: Check!

As hinted at in my uber-short, from the freeway blog post yesterday, Melissa and I successfully completed the 2010 Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic event.

Photo by Brian (@poptopvw)

It is said that over 10,000 folks started the event this year, where the 202 miles (plus or minus, due to some construction detours) is covered in either one or two days.  Given that neither Melissa nor I had ever completed a full century prior to this event, we opted for the two day option.

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