Steamboat resident Win Park gets up close at cycling event
August 26, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Having tuned skis at five Olympics for the U.S. Ski Team, Steamboat Springs resident Win Park knows what goes into an elite-level sporting event.
So when he learned Wednesday that he'd have the opportunity to be a mechanic for the HTC-Highroad cycling team during Stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Park jumped at the chance.
Through friend Chris Franges, Park was set up with the opportunity. Although there wasn't a lot for him to do, his joy in simply being involved was easy to see from the streets of Vail.
"The only thing I did was put bikes on top of the car and I cleaned a couple, which was awesome," he said after Thursday's time trial. "I played the whole time. It was awesome."
Park equated the experience to tuning skis at the Olympics.
He said seeing what bike mechanics do at the highest level of professional cycling provided some perspective.
"The overall energy was incredible," he said. "They have the want, the need, the desire and the know-how to achieve that."
He said watching the crowds, however, might have been the best part of the day. As has become commonplace in road races across Europe, and now here in Colorado with the inaugural Pro Cycling Challenge, thousands of spectators lined the course Thursday to cheer on the riders and participate in the spectacle.
So what can people expect Friday, as riders fly into Steamboat at speeds upward of 40 mph?
"Expect quick viewing," Park said. "But also realize the excitement around everybody. I recommend people take the time to enjoy it. Get out and enjoy it."
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com