On his way to the first stage, riding through The Dalles old town downtown, Keegan O'Neill's rear derailleur disintegrated with no more shock than the cracking of a potato chip.
Suddenly, despite all our preparation, our Super Nova was extinguished.
It was sudden, tragic, and complete.
We set out to find a derailer hanger in one of the local shops.
In the Dalles Oregon on a Friday afternoon,
ALL WERE CLOSED.
But the luckiest guy in the parking lot suddenly became the talk of the peloton.
Sue Butler of Hall of Mountain Bike Oregon Fame status asked everyone on our guy's behalf for a hanger or even a bike.
It was all too much to hope for.
But lo and behold the SRAM neutral race support men pulled down off the roof of their bright red car an $8,000 Specialized Carbon Fiber road bike, and handed it to Keegan.
Unfortunately the seat binder bolt was faulty and during the race the seat post slipped along with Keegan's position in the General Classification.
Keegan finished a little late, and after the race thanked SRAM with awe and emotion.
But to be ready for the next day Keegan still had to find a derailer hanger and get it on his bike. Once again, our beloved friends came to our aid.
Portland Velo's Micheal Girard got his modern communication device out of his pocket and started taking pictures to be sent to eagerly waiting mechanics at Crank bicycle shop back in Portland.
Then Mr. Girard set out to transport the Junior's bike up and down the mighty Columbia in his SUV. Later that evening Keegan's sainted mother appeared at the Country Cousins Inn in the Dalles, Oregon with the bicycle.
Keegan is the luckiest guy!