A Very Special Day. Two Very Special Jerseys.

Saturday might have appeared to some as a pretty ordinary day – at best, maybe Stuperbowl Eve. Here at CycleChick Headquarters, however, even though we were a little sad about missing out on the Winnipeg caravan to Cyclocross Worlds in Louisville, it turned out to be a very special day chock full of excitement and surprises.

First, things at Worlds got us a little excited when they moved all of the Sunday races to Saturday due to a high risk of flooding in the area. Always trying to outdo the Europeans, the Yanks apparently called in an Act of God – which would have made for an AWESOME foam party and easy course tear-down, but otherwise sketchy and dangerous conditions. No matter, these guys came prepared for anything.I was sure they must be European, but they are actually from Atlanta. Go figure. Thanks to SpeedMetal Cycling for the excellent, if slightly disturbing, photo.

Second, there was the matter of Lisday Gauld’s Cool Million. With a goodly number of cycling folks treading water down in Louisville, it was up to the rest of us to pay our respects to the little big man.For most of us, reaching a million kilometres on a bike in our lifetime would require more years and cojones than we could ever hope to have. So to ride that symbolic millionth with a local hero was pretty special indeed. Think he’s done? No sir. In fact, as we tipped a glass later, he told me about the changes he was making to his Iditarod plans this year to make sure his face doesn’t turn black with frostbite again.

Congratulations Lindsay. Now go kick Alaska’s ass!

Which brings me to the jerseys. It was at Lindsay’s celebration that my friend Matt presented me with a couple of very special jerseys for the CycleChick Collection of Awesome Cycling Things. They had come into Matt’s possession via a close connection at Cervélo, and had been stashed away in his closet. He figured I might appreciate them. He was right. Let me show them to you again to remind you of their awesomeness.The one on the left is the 2010 world road champion jersey signed by Thor Hoshovd, who is definitely up there on my list of favourite riders, and even enjoyed boyfriend status a couple of years ago during the Tour de France.The one on the right is the yellow jersey from the 2008 Tour de France, signed by winner Carlos Sastre.Sastre is one of those GC riders nobody really talks about, in spite of the 2008 win. He retired in 2011 to little fanfare. But given recent events, this jersey is very, very special. Here’s why:

Note: Since I made this chart a number of months ago, the years 1999 to 2005 are now listed as “vacated”.

Not including the last two years’ winners, to find a Tour champion other than Sastre with no doping blemishes, we have to go back 22 years, to Greg LeMond.

Neither jersey is race worn, or official on-site race issue, but they are exceptional nonetheless. And since it is considered bad form to wear the WC stripes or yellow jersey unless you have actually earned them, the jerseys will be framed and put in a place of great distinction here at HQ.

Suddenly the fact that I missed out on Louisville doesn’t seem quite so bad.