Photos by Corey Keizer www.coreykeizer.com
As soon as the post-race interview was a wrap, Bob Roll left Solvang and Dave Zabriskie in the rearview mirror. The individual time trial was won. And the 2011 Tour of California would make its way to Southern California the next morning, excepting Bob Roll, who would make his appearance Thursday evening.
From the Danish themed town of California, Bobke made his way to Pasadena, California. At around 7:45, he sat down in the Velo Pasadena office to check his email.
“He must have had a private jet,” said one guest of Bobke’s on-time appearance in Pasadena. “I know how long it takes to drive here from Solvang! He was just live on Versus! I saw him!”
But it wasn’t true. His dedication to his friends Hrach and Nevrik Gevrikyan, owners of Velo Pasadena and Velo Studio, compelled him to make a commitment that few would be able to uphold. But he did. By car.
Fans were anxious to get their chance to meet Bobke, to get his autograph, and of course for the photo op. Cycling celebrities including Michael Ward, author of Mike and the Bike and Lucille the Wheel were on site as well.
Bob hosted a Q&A, and here is what we learned:
All time Favorite Cyclist
Bob’s favorite cyclist of all time is Miguel Indurain. Bob says of the Spanish Tour de France winner: “He is classy and nice, most riders of his talent are not so nice.”
Favorite Current Professional?
Contador. “I like the vodka excuse better,” says Roll.
On Chris Horner
“He is a savant, is the greatest of all time interviewer. He’s like Hal from 2001 A Space Odyssey… ” because all you have to do is ask him a question and he takes care of the rest. He knows how to talk.
On the Up and Coming Young Talent
“Well, you can’t look in grade school,” Roll jokes about Taylor Phinney’s age. Taylor Phinney is one of Bob’s favorite young riders.
On 7-Eleven Opening the possibility of Europe to US Teams
“…like the 4 minute mile, the Italians didn’t think itwas possible for an American team to succeed in Europe.”
And the best place to watch the Mt. Baldy stage of the Tour of California?
The switchbacks: “get a disco ball, a giant ghetto blaster, play earth wind and fire…”
At the end of the Q&A, Bobke hit the road to his hotel for his 4:30am wake up call. The Queen Stage of the Tour of California would roll at 11:45 in the morning, and Bob needed his beauty rest.