Time for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California(AToC) Peloton Awards. These prestigious awards honor riders, team personnel, race organizers and anyone else I feel like for their contributions to making the race what it is. Since the Academy Awards will be held tomorrow very close to the finish of the race, we are going to start with some more fashion-related observations.
Flashiest Team Jersey: Rock Racing! This new kit rocks and you can buy it!
Preppiest Team Jersey: Slipstream. Rumor has it that after the race they are all pledging with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity
Rugby Jersey: With their all-black kit, look for the boys from Health Net-Maxxis to be lining up with our favorite Kiwi rugby team.
Most Retro Jersey: Team High Road Sports with that lettering straight out of the late '70s.
Sentimental Favorite Jersey: Team Astana. I liked them at the Tour, I still like them and some guy named Levi is kicking major butt in it as well.
Most Patriotic Jersey: Toyota United. It's OK that a Canadian rode it across the line to victory in San Luis Obispo.
Most Edible Jersey: Jelly Belly. These guys are up against some pretty big boys, but they continue to exude positive energy.
Jersey Most in Need of a Makeover: BMC. I have already acknowledged that I have no fashion sense, but these guys need to spice it up a bit. Boring.
Lint Free Jersey: Bissell Pro Cycling. These guys have a great sponsor in Mark Bissell and with two riders in the top 10 at the Solvang TT, they are definitely cleaning up.
Sunglasses Jersey: Saunier Duval-Scott has the brightest jersey out there and they wear it well. Next year bring some English-speaking riders so I can interview to them.
Steal this Jersey: Rabobank. The Dutch bank has opened some offices in California so they are almost the home town team.
Most Classic Jersey: Team CSC. With just the right mix of lettering and colors, this jersey looks great at the head of the peloton which is where the No. 1-rated team usually is!
Almost as Classic Jersey: Tom Boonen and his Quick Step boys are almost as classic. If they could just get that diminutive Italian to give up his rainbow stripes then they would be there! I am not even going to say anything about the gold shoes.
Honorable mentions: Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast, Bouygues Telecom and Credit Agricole for adding their own color to the peloton.
Well, that's the jersey portion of the awards. More to follow at the conclusion of the race.