from our Japan correspondent David Graham [who rarely writes]
Approximately127.77 million spectators, equal to the total population of Japan minus four wives of attending Positivo Espresso team members, lined the streets today between the Tamagawa and Moto-Hakone to watch the first team training of the Positivo Espresso Team in 2009. Although time and route of the first training has been a well kept secret, after rumours have spread on the news, police and volunteers struggled to keep the masses under control.
In order to avoid to be recognized by the crowds, the team members took precautions and did not wear today the new
The training was under direction of the new team coach Car Chrismichael, brother-in-law of Chris Carmichael who was contracted on January 1st to coach the four elite riders who attended the training today and all other 128.76 million members who are supposed to join the team in 2009.
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„I want to teach these guys some new skills, such as stopping at red lights. OK, this is a situation rarely encountered at races, but one needs to get a feeling for seeing a red light, processing this information and pulling the brake lever against all logic.“
The training also focused on „riding together as a team„, however the approach failed after 40 km, when each team member choose the road it would like to go best.
The second part of the training consisted of a 14 km long 745m elevation meter climb from Hakone to Moto Hakone. As everybody stared at the team members, it was hard for them to give up or take a break and they were forced to climb up in one go. This resulted in a new Hakone Toge Baka record. Also it showed that guys in their forties are impossible to be outsprinted up a hill by guys in their twenties [provided that the former are on 500.000 JPY plus bikes and the later run].
When the banquet reached its high point, they sneaked out of the door and continued their training on route 20, nominated not only as „Most beautiful cycling road in Japan“ but recently the decision to ride on route 20 was voted as „The mother of all best decisions“ by an independent panel of decision makers.
They were shadowed until the town of Atami where it seems that they a) bought beer and b) hopped on a bullet train in direction Tokyo where c) later four empty beer cans where found in the garbage container at the rear of car #5.