Chris Baldwin of the Bissell Cycling team was 200 meters from the top of Swan Mountain on stage five of the US Pro Cycling Challenge when the insanity of the huge crowd got to him.
He went down.
TS: I didn’t see you go down, but I saw you down. What happened?
CB: It’s insane, it’s a double edged sword. It’s thrilling to have all those fans there but it’s completely unsafe. In America I think fans don’t’ understand the situation, I think they need to put a fence in for the last kilometer.
TS: The crowds were wild, there was no room for anybody coming up.
CB: The guy in the KOPM jersey had no chance to sprint for the KOM because he couldn’t pass.
TS: And you got nailed.
CB: A fan just jumped out in front of me. There was no time to react, you can’t see straight. Like I said the last thing I want to do is complain. It’s thrilling to have those crowds in America and in Colorado but you need fencing. It was the same gong over Independence. You couldn’t move past.
TS: Were you worried that you’d lose your place on GC??
CB: I thought it was game over. But I got up and got into a group that BMC had chasing back to the front group.
TS: It took you awhile to get going again …
CB: I was pretty upset. I was dying a thousand deaths. I was cursing. It’s crazy and your adrenaline is up and you can’t see straight, trying to get back in the game. I don’t’ know if the Tour de France is like this but that was my Tour de France.
TS: Swan was like a stage in the Pyrenees with the crazy Basque fans.
CB: It was an absolute thrill. My knee is a little banged up but we got one stage to go. I’m having the time of my life — it;s so cool.