I’ve been looking forward to this stage since the first time Rapha North America and I discussed doing the Tour of California again. Why? Because Stage 05 ends in Santa Barbara, home to one of my favorite dudes / frame builders, Aaron of Stinner Frameworks.
Our plan was to get into town super early and hit a quick road ride before waiting at the KOM for the Hot Boyz of PRO Cycling to crest. Well, when you’ve been on the road for around a week, plans get shuffled around a bit.
We got to town late, like four hours late, but we quickly assessed the race via the ATOC app and figured we could hammer it up Old San Marcos road to the KOM in time.
Side note: I was over shooting frame builders in their studio, so it was nice getting Aaron out onto a bike. If only I could do this for every “shop visit”…
After literally hammering it up to the top, the breakaway group summited, then the peloton and eventually, the stragglers. The temps were up in the high 90’s and it was hot, hot, hot.
20 miles and 2800′ elevation later and we were ready to hit the road…
Read more in the captions!