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Posted by wetalkhablamos in chechu, cycling fans, team astana, tour de georgia.

For Team Rubiera in Georgia, the fun continued on Brasstown Bald. Annie tells all,

We topped and tailed on Brasstown Bald.

This is a new phrase that Larry taught me. It means the first and last. We took the first shuttle up Brasstown Bald at about 8:45 am and then took the last one down sometime, maybe about 5 pm. We didn’t plan to be the last ones down, but that is the way it worked out. It was a wonderful day full of fun and great racing.

The shuttle took us up to within 1km of the finish line to a flat area where all the team buses parked and all the vendors set up. We staked out our place, relaxed for a while and then checked out the vendors to see what kind of free stuff we could get. It was a festival like atmosphere and we met so many great people. This was a week where strangers became new friends and new friends quickly became old friends.

The race finally started and we had a great place to watch all the action on the big screen. We were sitting by our neighbors from the cabins we were staying in. They were a father and son from Alabama and had been cycling fans for a long time. Of course, we had told them about Rebecca and Chechu’s website, and that we had met Johan and Chechu.

During the race I told them that Chechu would stop and see Rebecca when the stage was over. They didn’t believe me and started saying the riders would go straight to their buses and down the mountain. Again I told them if there was any way possible, that Chechu would stop and see Rebecca – and again they were thinking “no way”.

We were all so excited to see Chechu leading the stage and the race for a while, but then the peloton caught the breakaway as usual. To see the finish, Amy and Cricket had walked up the mountain a little way while Rebecca, Larry and I stayed at the 1km mark. We all had a great view of the riders as they passed just meters from us and tried to take lots of pictures. At our position, the riders flew around a corner and by us, sometimes so fast we didn’t get a picture. The announcers had been talking about Trent still being in the lead, so we were stunned when a High Road rider whose name no one could even say put on the yellow jersey.

Soon the riders started coming back down the hill with the race officials directing them to the team bus area. When Chechu came down he stopped (for the 3rd time and I am sure Amy will tell about the 1st two) and propped his bike against the rail and walked over to Rebecca and Larry to the surprise of everyone but us. After such a hard stage, he was still thinking about others and thanking us for the support and flag waving. He smiled every time he saw us with the flags. And of course, I had to tell our new friends “I told you so”.

When we finally got down the mountain, we decided to go to a restaurant and get some real food. While waiting on a table, Rebecca and I walked outside. Some guys were coming in and saw my Chechu shirt and said “That is a great shirt”!!! They were on an amateur cycling team and working the race. We talked for a few minutes and gave them pins and the information about this website. Between the flags and the t-shirts, we got a lot of attention this week. It was always great explaining about the flags, the website and why we love Chechu so much.


1. Christine KAHANE - April 28, 2008

Great report, Annie. It makes me think of stages to mythical Mont Ventoux, here in France, and I recognize Chechu’s way of acting. He sure enjoyed having so many fans around him in his last season as a professional. We are now waiting for your photos.
Christine, Paris, France

2. Anikó Szász - April 28, 2008

Thanks for the great report Annie! Can’t wait for the pictures and Amy’s report!

Thanks again for all the great news you gave us!


3. cg - April 28, 2008

I was on the road to vs up the mountain this year so thanks for sharing!

4. Martha - May 1, 2008

Since I couldn’t be there in person, Amy’s report was the next best thing.

Many thanks for sharing!

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