It has officially begun. The City of Hope Cancer Center kick-off was a very emotional event. The cheering, the crowd, the intro from Lance. We were pumped up for the journey to come. It was the individuals I met that stick in my mind, such as the woman who asked me to sign her shirt for her husband, newly diagnosed with cancer. "Fight hard, Jim!"
My team has the challenge of taking over at 5 a.m. I am writing this in the bus after a 93-mile stage that was fantastic! Our legs burned a bit early as we started with a long climb. The first descent was screaming fast. This was by far the longest and fastest we have ridden together as a team. We worked well together and kept a fast paceline throughout. Our second descent was the hardest and most painful of my life. It was steep and fast and my legs, hands and shoulders were aching.
We have more than 3,000 miles to go and a date on the Mall in DC on October 9. So we are going to push the pace hard. I'm proud of my teammates as we work hard together. Now we get some well-deserved rest and the adventure picks up at 11p.m tonight. More soon. I'm so thrilled to finally be riding.