Hang on for a ride with Floyd | PostIndependent.com

Hang on for a ride with Floyd

Ian CroppVail CorrespondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SPT river ride 3 KA 7-29-07

AVON – There are a few certainties in the Colorado-Eagle River Ride, like great weather (no matter what the forecast), beautiful views and some pretty impressive support. Back for the sixth installment of the race Sunday were all the favorites that drew close to 1,000 riders, but participants got an added bonus when they had a chance to latch on to the “Floyd” peloton.Floyd Landis, the 2006 Tour de France winner (his case with the United States Anti-Doping Agency over abnormally high levels of testosterone during the 17th stage of last year’s Tour is still ongoing), took part in Sunday’s Colorado-Eagle River Ride, giving everyone from former professional riders to first-time century participants a chance to pull up alongside the guy in the orange jersey.”You could tell where he was riding because there was this big pack of guys – everyone was around him,” said Scott Van Deren, of Sedalia. “I got on the Floyd peloton early. I sucked on his back wheel for 8 miles.”

From the pancake breakfast beforehand to the post-race meal, Landis drew a large crowd, although none as big as the pack of riders that moved through the 100-mile race at a solid clip.”I like to use this as social training,” said Mike Kloser, who was one of the pack riders, “but today I think our group averaged from 20 to 40 throughout. I’m sure Floyd and I may have been up front a bit, but none of us were really hammering.”Somewhere after the second aid station, Kloser flatted out and Landis dropped back with him while he changed his tube. After Kloser fixed his tire, he and Landis stormed back to the “Floyd” peloton.”It’s kind of like having a Tour de France winner as your domestique for a while,” Kloser said.

Landis was unavailable for comment following the ride.After the peloton passed – another certainty Sunday – riders had plenty of time to soak in the semi-familiar scenery in a biker-friendly environment.”I know the roads,” said Mark Marto, “But it’s a pretty ride next to the river. And it helps to be supported. Snowboard Outreach Society (which puts on the event) does a fantastic job. I do other races, but this is the best supported race by far. They have great rest stops.”

“Everyone around here tells me how beautiful it is,” said Terry Michel, a part-time resident. “The scenery was beautiful, and the whole thing was well-organized, and everyone was friendly. The hills were very hard.”Those doing the 100-mile, 100-kilometer and 42-mile ride options took full advantage of four aid stations stocked with an endless supply of food and beverages most riders wouldn’t even bring for themselves. In addition to the aid stations, there were roving support vehicles.”I can’t believe how many people enjoyed it and how many helped out,” said Arn Menconi, executive director of Snowboard Outreach Society. “I really want to emphasize this ride wouldn’t be possible without all the people who volunteer their time.”

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