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!
How many more of these stages do I have? Are we on the coast yet? It’s been hot as hell… I just want more coffee from the Rapha MCC and some more House Industries caps.
Yesterday was Monterey to Cambria, one of the most scenic routes in the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. The race course snaked its way through Big Sur and the coastal redwoods as they hit two KOMs back-to-back, three total and one sprint section.
I was in the Skratch Labs Neutral Human Support vehicle, watching them work – more on that in the captions – and trying to get a few shots from the passenger’s window. Meanwhile, with no cell reception, we were all forced to soak in the Cali coast…
Read up the captions, because I tried to be clever this morning.
Side note: if you’re on Instagram, follow Skratch and tag your photos with #SkratchNHS and a quick description of what you think “Neutral Human Support” means for a chance to win a bag of product from Skratch!
It’s always a given: mountain top parties. Whether it’s Baldy or Diablo, SoCal or NorCal, there’s always gonna be people / super fans / regular fans / cyclists who congregate en masse at the top (or nearly top) of a peak.
This year, the Amgen Tour of California returned to the hot and sweaty summit of Diablo. Once again, there was a congregation of people both at the tip top and at the various overlooks, parking lots and camp grounds.
Rapha set up their new Mobile Cycle Club, Tillie at the Juniper Campground to serve coffee, blast some tunes and offer a platform for people to park their bikes and fill up their bidons at the water spigot nearby.
You could say the cyclists swarmed, but it was the thousands of pesky – pinching – ear wigs that did that…
So, at the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California, each of the Shimano-sponsored pros had Shimano Sport Cameras on their seat tubes and head tubes with one intention: to capture the final sprint…
It’s been a long, long day. Or rather, yesterday was a long day. So long that I had to cut it into a few posts and sprinkle them on top of The Radavist’s 2014 Amgen Tour of California coverage.
The first chunk is the mid-section and the reason why we all rode up to the Juniper Camp Ground in the first place: to witness the majesty that is the PRO parade / party train that quickly ascends one of NorCal’s most (in)famous climbs: Diablo! Yes, it is a party train… Or at least we tried to make it one.
Now, as mentioned, there’s a lot of content to come from today, er yesterday, so if I shot your photo, don’t worry, it’s coming in a different post. Please don’t email / tweet / gram at me just yet, ok? xoxo
The time trial. To some, the most significant stage of any race, to others, it’s a prison of pain and suffering. Grown men tear themselves inside out for around an hour for the world to watch. The prison metaphor is very fitting for Folsom, which houses the state prison. Founded in 1880, this penitentiary was made famous by Johnny Cash’s two performances, which still resonate today.
Speaking of performance, the time trail bikes of the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California epitomize technology. From the newest wheels, groups and even the helmets, the PRO racers looked like high-tech spacemen.
Team SKY’s Wiggo took the crown today, with a finishing time 44 seconds faster than anyone else…
Sacramento’s projected high temperature was supposed to be 84 on Sunday, yet it felt like the 90′s. I also made the mistake of wearing all-black (again). It was cooking hot, but how could I complain when the PRO racers were out in the real heat, cranking away calories and watts. Luckily for them, the Skratch Labs team was out with Neutral Human Support.
Us on the otherhand, not so much but we did get to drink fresh espresso at the über-new Rapha Mobile Cycle Club and watch the PRO women race for an hour in a fast-paced circuit race around the State Capitol, which became the highlight of the day for me. Not just watching them cook corners well-done, but to see how engaged the audience was and a majority of the passionate fans were women AND it was mother’s day.
There was a lot of love for the women going around, so I reciprocated that by turning my lens to them.
Stage 01 ended with a phenomenal sprint by Cavendish and everyone’s appetite was whet for Stage 02′s time trail in Folsom…
I wish I could have squeezed this into my schedule somehow before the ATOC. If you’re in SF, make sure you swing by the Red Bull Ride + Style and don’t miss the Stay Strapped DVD premiere! Check the flier out for that below.
Here’s a video recap from last weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Shoreline crit in Long Beach!