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Feb. 25, 2009
Final Stage: on the Road of the Tour of California
What an incredible finish to one of the more memorable trips of recent years. Today's charge up Palomar Mountain was no small feet. There was also more heckling on this stage than any other. As the MASH crew made their way up the flat section to the start of the climbs there were all kinds of unsolicited remarks like, "a track bike?! you'll never make it up Palomar" and "go get more gears!" Never before have I witnessed people get the chance to eat their words so quickly. Walton, the 18 year old on the trip was so strong on the climb that he passed one of the groups of doubters going twice their speed while doing a wheelie on a 15% grade. It was incredible.

Frank Schlek earned himself a really strong stage finish and Levi Leipheimer went on to win his third consecutive Tour of California. Garmin-Slipstream's own David Zabriskie took 2nd overall and rode a brilliant race start to finish.

The various podiums and victories were remarkable throughout the 8 stages but what I'll be remember in the weeks and years to come is how impressed I was by everyone in MASH. Their committment to such a huge challenge. Their committment to each other. Their love of bikes. Their ability to laugh at themselves and find just the right words of encouragement when it was needed most. Keep your eye on for their future adventures.

My hat's off to everyone in MASH, everyone in Garmin-Slipstream, BMC, Fred Rodriguez and all the other cyclists who spent the last nine days grinding out the miles and feeding themselves proper nutrition from Clif and SHOT.

So...MASH...Tour de France?

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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