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2010 Tour of California -- Bay Area Stages

Living in San Jose, I was able to catch Stages 3 & 4 of the Tour of California as the ride rolled through the Bay Area. Luckily, the weather improved from the heavy rains that plagued Stage 2 up North.

Stage 3

Stage 3 went from San Francisco down to Santa Cruz, mostly along Hwy. 1 with two climbs jutting inland. I rode along Hwy. 9 from Saratoga to Santa Cruz to catch the finish, rocking my sleek CyclovaXC kit (shameless plug)!

There was a mass of humanity down by the boardwalk, even though we arrived over an hour before the finish. To get some good pics, we settled down near the 200m-to-go marker.

David Zabriskie, Levi Leipheimer (local favorite from Sonoma), and Michael Rogers succeeded in the breakaway, pictured right before the final turn. David ended up winning the stage.

Shortly after, Lance and Levi did a (for lack of a better term) victory lap, going backwards around the last turn & pumping up the crowd.

Stage 4

Stage 4 started in downtown San Jose, weaving its way through the East Bay mountains towards Modesto. The most difficult climb was up Sierra Road, which must've been tough considering they hit in on mile 8. I decided to watch further into the route, halfway up the Calaveras wall. Although it's a short climb, it's right after a sharp turn making it all but impossible to keep your momentum.

Four riders broke away by two and a half minutes from the main group, one each from Teams Rabobank, JellyBelly, QuickStep, and Bissell.

A chase group with three riders came by about a minute later.

The peloton rolled through about a minute after that, headed by Teams Garmin-Slipstream, RadioShack, and Columbia-HTC.

Francesso Chicchi from Team LiquiGas ended up winning the stage.

All in all, it was really cool to see pro riders in person for the first time and the turnout from fans was impressive. The rainfall we're having this late in the year is rare, and adds some irony to Amgen moving the race from February to May.

Full-res versions of my pictures from both stages can be downloaded here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post from Dan, the leader of our west coast contingent! Thanks for the great commentary and fantastic pics Dan! Looks like fun!

    So you gonna make it for the team ride tomorrow? ;)