Actually, he and many others crushed me. It was insane how fast the Nevada City Classic was this year. Look back at my 2007 and 2008 posts and you can see how tough this race was for me as a cat 3.
I didn't really plan on racing it this year, but when Lance, Levi and Horner announced that they were going to race it I changed my mind. Now I can say that I raced Lance. Even though it was short lived for me, I can still say it. Of ~150 starters, maybe 30-40 finished...most of which were lapped by Armstrong.
Even the neutral lap seemed to be a race to move up. Here's a shot of me and Lance hammering it out on the climb: (Click on this to enlarge it and see that it really is me - ha!)
He utilized his call up to get great position for the start...the announcer couldn't pronounce my last name and failed to call me up to the front.
I did get some fame (joke coming up courtesy of my teammate Jan):
"Look at the two guys in the background. The one guy is proud of his picture that he just took of Angelo, the other is texting his 10 friends about how Angelo is doing..."
This must be the part of the race where I was putting the hammer down on Armstrong because I'm in the big ring and climbing the steep pitch (the camera angle doesn't give it justice.)
Anyway, it was awesome out there this year. The "Lance Factor" created a HUGE crowd that was totally into it. I felt very pro climbing and descending with that many people out watching. I was even asked for my autograph by a young kid before the race started...look for it on Ebay.
1st place: Lance Armstrong
2nd place: Ben Jaques-Maynes
3rd place: Levi Leipheimer