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Monday, May 17, 2010

Tour of California Day 2

Congratulations Brett Lancaster (Cervelo)
Winner of Stage 2 in Santa Rosa.



What the Finish looked like.

No I didn't make it there personally - but I did see the mob roll through Oakville...

...I sit here in my truck at the base of Oakville Grade waiting for the race to get here.
I pulled up stakes from my office around noon and decided the Tour Tracker wasn't going to be good enough for me with the riders coming as close as 30 miles from where I was sitting.






I knew where I wanted to park - and here I am at the corner of Oakville Rd. and St. Helena Highway waiting for them to make the right turn across the tracks of the Napa Valley Wine Train.


Fortunately he came by a few minutes ahead of the race.

Yesterday, Bec, Pastor Brent, and I watched the final few minutes of stage 1 from the comfort of 3 office chairs lined up behind his desk in the church office. Half of my guys are off work today for the rain, so the pull was irresistible.
I'm not alone, as there are many others out here with the same idea.


Just down the road is one of the Bay Areas most demanding climbs - Oakville Grade.


Fellow Cyclists that traveled from Portland to follow the ToC for a few days.


Salesman for CLIF nearly takes away my front row seat.
Nice marketing though.


I actually thought I might get some work done while I was waiting. It was a thought...

I'm following the race on the AmgenToC website, with a cell phone modem on my laptop, and see that they are just about to the top of Howell Mt. - the last climb before they bomb down and across the valley toward me. It's nice sitting here in the truck, knowing I don't have to be standing in the rain yet. (Yes it's raining) I'm looking through the water streaming down the windows at about a dozen rather wet enthusiasts all with cameras at the ready. They wait in eager expectation of Lance rounding the corner at any moment. They will keep waiting. It'll be at least 20 more minutes, and the 5 man breakaway will be rounding long before Lance, Levi, or the current leader, Mark Cavendish.

There is a touch of solidarity here - small touch though it may be - having the pro's riding the same roads that I consider to be "my" routes. I wonder if they feel the solidarity as they fly by?

Surely.



Pace Car? Not sure what that's for.


Now for the guys on bikes...


video
I didn't recognize the names of any of these 5 in the breakaway group.
They came through about 5-6 minutes ahead of the Peloton.


video
Yeah, they went by that fast.
Levi, Lance, and the balance of Team Radio Shack were right up front. Go ahead and watch it again. Maybe you can tell me who was who.
If the video link to the Tour Tracker had been working right, it would have almost been better to stay in the office and watch it from there.

Almost.

The grande white mocha I picked up in American Canyon tipped the scale.