Party gives cycling fans a place to gather |

Party gives cycling fans a place to gather

John F. Russell Pilot & Today Staff Steamboat Springs There will be no national titles for Steamboat cyclist Bo Randolph this year. Well, at least no cycling titles. Randolph capped off his week at the National Junior Road Biking Championships in Park City, Utah, on Saturday. Randolph entered the race knowing he would have his work cut out for him. The Steamboat team just started training a few months ago, and he knew the field in this year’s race was bigger, stronger and more prepared than he was for the race. Randolph won the criterium title in 2004, when the nationals were held later in the summer. “It was a day of mixed emotions,” said Tom Davis, coach of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s cycling program. Randolph opened the day on a high note by qualifying for the finals in one of two heats before the race. The top 30 riders out of a field of 70 advanced to the finals. “The preliminary heat took a lot out of him,” Davis said. “He gave it his all in the finals, but he just didn’t have enough to keep up with the lead pack.” In the finals, Randolph fell behind the lead pack and eventually was pulled from the race after being lapped by the leaders along the tight 1-kilometer course. “Bo had a strong final day,” Davis said. “He performed well. It was a good week for the team.”

Tom Davis hopes to fuel Steamboat’s enthusiasm for this year’s Tour de France by hosting a tribute to one of America’s greatest cyclists Saturday.

“The Tour seems to have a huge following in Steamboat,” Davis said. “This event is a chance for cycling enthusiasts to get together in a group and celebrate the start of this year’s race.”

The “Tour de France Farwell to Lance” video presentation is a tribute to six-time winner Lance Armstrong and his miraculous comeback from cancer.

The presentation will highlight all six of the riders’ Tour victories and incorporate Saturday’s 20-kilometer individual time trial.

The event will be the first in this year’s Tour and will mark the start of Armstrong’s bid for a seventh title.

Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., and the presentation is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. In addition to great video highlights, there also will be drawings for socks from Smartwool, helmets and glasses from Uvex, water bottles and other great prizes.

The celebration will be held in Olympian Hall and is a fund-raiser for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Cycling Team.

Organizers will be accepting $5 donations at the door, and participants can purchase additional raffle tickets for $5 apiece.

All proceeds will go to the SSWSC Cycling Team, a nonprofit junior development cycling program established in 2004.

“It’s a great chance to hang out with other cycling fans and support the next generation of competitors,” Davis said.

The event will be held on the opening day of the Tour de France.

On Saturday, riders will take part in the time trial between the French cities of Fromentine and Noirmoutier-en-l’ile that will establish the race leader and give the field an idea of which riders to watch during the next three weeks.

The tour has 21 stages, and the final one takes the riders to Paris’ Champs-├âlysees on July 24.