Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Prologue Report

“Exquisite.” That’s the word Peter Sagan used to describe how he felt after winning the prologue of the inaugural Tour of Alberta last night. Sagan’s English may be a bit shaky, but his word choice on this occasion was perfect. He pretty much nailed how a lot of us who attended last night’s time trial felt when it was all over.

The weather was about as good as it gets in early September around here, a respectable crowd showed up (at least where my gang was, on the hill going up to the legislature), and there was a kind of electricity in the air, especially as the final riders (Sagan, Evans, and Hesjedal) zoomed past. It was a remarkable evening for Edmonton cycling fans, a rare chance to see these strong-men up close. (I could have touched several of the riders—they came that close to the curb I was standing on.) My sons got into the action too, snapping action photos and holding up a home-made sign (a reference to Cadel Evans's deadpan remark at Monday's press conference: "I notice you've got a few potholes here." The mayor was standing next to him. The crowd cracked up.)

And it was also a special evening for Edmonton. The crowd wasn’t spectacular, but it was spirited, lively, appreciative. I’m not sure how many people on the roadside knew what was really going on, but they clapped and cheered for everyone, in solid Canadian fashion. For a lovely few hours the city felt downright cosmopolitan—the kind of place you’d see on television. It was a promising start, not just to this year’s race, but perhaps to something bigger.

1 comment:

  1. I had a great time at the prologue! Like you, it made me happy to be in Edmonton at that moment, on that hill, cheering on the hometown boys just a bit more enthusiastically than I did the other riders.


Speak up!