Nevada City isn't in France and 90-minutes of tough circuit racing may not translate into great things when the Tour starts in Monaco, but Lance Armstrong took his first win of the season in decisive fashion, and looked damn good in the process. Within two or three laps he, Levi and Ben Jacques-Maynes had built a 20 second lead on an already fragmenting field. By the time the dust had settled they'd lapped the bunch. Basso may be right when he predicted Lance will be a beast in two weeks. There was definitely a feral look in his eyes behind those glasses.
Lance, Levi and Chris Horner put a charge into the thousands who lined the 1.1-mile circuit in the very pretty town of Nevada City and the roars came up the road like a wave every time the Armstrong express train approached.
I loved the town, the incredibly friendly people and the lemonade stand that kept me hydrated throughout the day (thanks kids). During two of the earlier races I jumped on the back of a moto for some on course action... first time shooting that way. Difficult with all the bumps but an amazing perspective on the racing, and not the least bit scary considering I'd never been on a motorcycle before. There's a mountain of images yet to process but I wanted to get these out immediately. Look for more during the week.