While at Redlands, I ran into ex-pro Clark Sheehan, one of the nicest guys I've had the pleasure of meeting through cycling.
It's been a long, long time since I last saw Clark, and bumping into him while heading back to the car after the last stage of the race was a great way to cap off a wonderful adventure.
I will catch up with Clark later this week, but in the meantime, if you don't know who he is, read this:
By John Alsedek
"If there's any truth to the maxim "good things happen to good people," then 7Up-Colorado Cyclist's Clark Sheehan should just order his rainbow jersey now. Despite having a promising professional career plagued by illness, serious injury, and sometimes just rotten luck, Sheehan has never lost his love for the sport - or his sense of priority.
A native of Denver, Sheehan found himself drawn into cycling in much the same way as other Colorado natives during the late '70's and early '80's - by the Coors Classic. "I grew up in Denver and watched the Washington Park Criterium, the pack passed me the first time and I was hooked!" He began racing in 1983 at the age of 14, and soon showed his aptitude for the sport by winning a junior national time trial title. There followed an 'apprenticeship' under the then national coach Eddie Borysewicz at the Olympic Training Center, as well as a stint racing in Belgium.
However, by 1989, things had begun to stagnate for Sheehan, largely because he had been racing overseas the previous year. He became a 'forgotten man' - he wasn't selected for the U.S. National Team, and the non-national team racing opportunities were few and far between. Then came an offer from the AC-Pinarello team to turn pro at the tender age of 20. "It was a really good bunch of riders, like Matt Eaton and Randy Whicker, guys who were just excellent tacticians and racers." After getting his feet wet in big North American events like the Pepsi Tour of the Americas and the Branders Tour of Texas, Sheehan made his big splash at the Tour de Trump, finishing seventh overall in a field that included eventual winner Raul Alcala, Soviet wunderkind Viatcheslav Ekimov, '88 Giro champ Andy Hampsten, and a Tour de France-bound Greg LeMond. It should have been the harbinger of greater things for Sheehan in the next few years, but it didn't quite work out that way..."
Complete text at: http://www.cyclingnews.com/teamprofiles/1999/sheehan99.shtml