Saturday, May 2, 2009
Michelle and Lance, still maybe
While the women were racing the downtown crit, I walked around metro Silver City looking for the Livestrong Team car, hoping to find someone who could point out Axel Merckx. I've never met Axel.
I asked a couple of guys in Livestrong t-shirts, as if that set them apart, and they said, hey we just bought the shirts.
So I walked a bit further and saw a tall guy in a different looking Livestrong shirt - it had one of those skinny Euro t-shirt collars. I asked him if he were with the team and he said he was in perfectly clear English with a slight Euro accent. Are you Axel, I asked. He admitted he was.
I told him I drive the SRAM support motor and that I needed a favor but not for me. I told him about Michelle and how the race revolves around her, how all her friends and family work as volunteers, and how everyone connected with the race loves her.
And I told him she was sick with cancer and was undergoing treatments. I asked him if he would try to get a message to Lance about this woman, and that a call or a few minutes spent with her would thrill her and be a fine thankyou to the woman, the race and the town.
He said he'd try to do that, pass my message along, but that he couldn't guarantee what would happen.
If it were me, he said, I know what I'd do.
I knew it was a longshot when I came looking for you, I said. But my friends and I sat down and talked about how we might reach Lance, and asking you seemed to be the best way to go.
I'll do what I can, he said.
And I thought: That's what I've done too, whatever I could.
I'll be working tomorrow and then starting for home. I won't be near a computer for a day or so. Thanks for following my Tour of the Gila reports.
This is a great bike race. Not perfect but perfectly epic.