The fourth instalment of the USA Pro Challenge is currently taking place in Colorado. Whilst the scenery is undeniably magnificent one thing that’s been hard not to notice is the diabolically sketchy TV reception the coverage periodically suffers from given the trinity of challenges posed by demanding terrain, epic altitude and constantly-changing alpine weather.
The final kilometres of yesterday’s Stage Two were surely a commentator’s worst nightmare, as a storm atop the 9,900 ft. Kebler Pass left Eurosport’s Rob Hatch and Magnus Bäckstedt first with pixelated footage and then no pictures whatsoever to talk about for around ten critical minutes of the day’s racing.
As the riders navigated a treacherously wet decent on unsealed roads – which we later learned had dramatically claimed several scalps including Trek’s Franck Schleck – we instead watched the decidedly less interesting empty finishing line at Crested Butte.
Hatch and Bäckstedt did a sterling job all things considered. But it’s just another reminder that no matter how smart we humans think we are these days, Mother Nature still very much has our measure when she wants to.